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.
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      • 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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    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    2 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    5 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    5 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    6 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    7 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    9 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    16 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    17 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    18 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    19 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    19 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    19 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    23 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    5 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    6 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    6 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    6 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    6 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    7 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    7 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago