Anyone for more pork pies?

Written By: - Date published: 5:47 am, June 9th, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: john key, labour, national - Tags:

On TV3 last night John Key was continuing to tell outright porkies about how advanced National is with its “policy” development compared with Labour in 1999. Key’s figure of 14 policies is derisory – as John Armstrong wrote in the Herald on Saturday, some of the 14 are assurances of what National would not do, others merely copy Labour’s position. In June 1999, five months out from that year’s election, Labour’s policy machine was nearing peak production. It had released the commitment card, with its seven core promises. The card included final policies that’d been released on industry policy, housing, tax (raising the top rate from 33c to 39c) and superannuation (restoring the super threshold to 65% of the weekly wage, setting up the super fund). Labour had pledged to increase the minimum wage, and scrap the National government’s work-for-the-dole agency. Policy poisitons had been outlined in respect of asset sales and producer boards. Its key health platform – restoring elected boards – had been announced. There had been a promise to scrap the bulk-funding of schools. Discussion documents on the voluntary sector and creative industries were in the public arena. And so the list goes on. All this can be verified by anyone prepared to search media files from the winter of 1999. Unfortuantely our supine media is not energised enough to do so. So the mendacious member from Helensville continues to wing it. And largely get away with it.

39 comments on “Anyone for more pork pies?”

  1. What a joke, would that be the “commitment card” produced with stolen money that has hamstrung this govt in a mad panic of dodgy rushed unworkable legislation.
    Clearly the public are not listening to the screeching about “where’s the policy” evidenced by so many “rogue” polls.
    These posts are looking more like they are channeling the ninth floor as each day goes by.
    Constantly harping on about policy as we enter economic meltdown is not working is it??

  2. OOPs, it is early. Obviously I made a mistake re the commitment card. labour didn’t steal the money for that until the 2005 campaign.

  3. lukas 3

    Labours policy machine probably did peak 5 months before the 1999 election… nothing that good has come out of it since then…

  4. And the result of nine years of Labour policies : “All homes will be urged to cut their power use by up to 15 per cent in peak times as the Government grapples with the developing power crisis.”

    This is a totally unacceptable result of putting enviro-ideology before sound engineering.

  5. Nine years of Labour polices and we have : “All homes will be urged to cut their power use by up to 15 per cent in peak times as the Government grapples with the developing power crisis.”

  6. Let’s not forget the doubling of the health budget. That has worked brilliantly. Brilliantly of course if you think throwing everybody off the waiting lists to satisfy promises that Hodgson made is acceptable.
    Good news this morning though. Petrol likely to rise 10 cents per litre this week. That will gift around an extra 5cents a litre to the govt to spend for us.

  7. andy 7

    is kiwiblog offline?

  8. AncientGeek 8

    Barnsley: Do you ever stop whining?

    The EFA is a nuisance but isn’t really hampering electioneering, except of course in the minds of people who probably don’t do any. There seems to be a lot of it about.

    Polls at this stage of the electoral cycle are indicative rather than conclusive. Exactly how far I can’t tell because they don’t publish the number of people that they couldn’t get hold of or didn’t answer.

    Policy as we enter a global recession would seem to be a better idea than marketing John Key as a branded accessory.

    Bryan: You must be young right. This pretty much happens every time we go through an El Nino. It changes the weather patterns. In NZ usually with decreased runoff into the southern lakes. Each time we have the chicken littles coming out as if it was a big new issue, and the government can change weather patterns.

    What a pack of whingers. Sound like talkback radio

  9. RedLogix 9

    “All homes will be urged to cut their power use by up to 15 per cent in peak times as the Government grapples with the developing power crisis.’

    Troll. Any fool can tell that this is just another failure of 1990’s National govt market ideology.

    Our power system is weather dependent. Wet year = plenty power; dry year = not plenty power. (Or are you going to blame Labour for this too?)

    The so called market cannot deal with this because in wet years the price of power is low and the industry does not want to invest, and in dry years then price goes high and the industry wants to cream the profits. There is NO market incentive for industry to provide extra capacity that may only be used once every 10 years or so.

    The market is all about short term profits. The current ‘crisis’ is a perfectly predictable failure of that market.

    Oh and just to anticipate the obvious, selling off a major asset is easy, buying it back is MUCH harder.

  10. BeShakey 10

    barnsley – is the tax rate 50% now? I guess your ignorance also explains why you don’t have the basic understanding of economics to understand that when the cost of petrol goes up it doesn’t necessarily equate to the government getting a proportionate increase from taxes.

    On the topic – the other important point is that Labour wasn’t trying to pretend that they had made a radical shift from the platforms they had run on in the past. Although the details may have been different the general direction was consistent with the election before. National on the other hand is insisting that they are going to do pretty much only tax cuts that will be consistent with previous electoral policies. Which makes it even more important to ask ‘if you really aren’t going to implement anything like the policies you’ve run on in the past, what will you be doing?’.

  11. barnleysbill. when the price of petrol rises there is an overall decrease in tax revenue for the Govt.

    tax on petrol comprises two parts – excise and GST.

    When the price of petrol rises, excise does not increase, it is a fixed amount, but the amount of petrol bought decreases, so the amount of excise raised falls.

    GST is 12.5% of the sale price of petrol so the GST raised from petrol increases when the price rises but remember that the extra money people are using to buy petrol would otherwise be spent on something else and GST would have been collected on that, people are not buying that something else, so no GST is collected. The total amount of GST collected does not change. (even if people are dipping into savings that does not change the amount of GST collected significantly and any increase is largely balanced out by lost tax on interest).

    So price of petrol goes up – amount of excise collected falls, amount of GST stays the same.

  12. ants 12

    Ancient Greek –

    They’ve had 9 years to build infrastructure, and have enjoyed enormous tax takes – there is no excuse for not sorting out the power situation when it became evident 7 years ago that we were going to be needing more generation capacity. Instead they sat on the boards of the state-owned power companies and siphoned off billions in dividends without bothering to reinvest it.

    Stop with the lame defense – they have had ample opportunity to do something about this and have sat on their hands.

  13. AncientGeek/RedLogix: “Any fool can tell that this is just another failure of 1990’s National govt market ideology.” and Labour have had nine years to fix the market and RMA issues that prevent development of new generation. Labour having policy that opposes new thermal plants supported by Greens who proudly oppose new hydro plants doesn’t inspire much confidence in this issue being rectified if we are unfortunate enough to end up with a Labour/Green coalition in December.

  14. Stephen 14

    Yeah, it’s the Greens-who-aren’t-even-in-government’s fault!

  15. r0b 15

    labour didn’t steal the money for that until the 2005 campaign.

    BB, like your confusion over dates, this old smear is just evidence of how desperate you are for something – anything – to attack Labour with.

    Clue time. After the 2005 election one of the two major parties lost their leader due to the public outrage over their despicable behaviour in the 2005 campaign. Hint – it wasn’t Labour.

  16. higherstandard 16


    Does excise encompass all of Crown Consolidated Fund, National Roads Fund, Accident Compensation Levy, Petroleum Funds Monitoring Levy, Local Authorities Petroleum Tax all of which have their pound of flesh.

  17. HS. see my coming post.

  18. Janet 18

    National doesn’t need specific policies. It is probably working on an approach to manipulating the overall message and framing the language using psychology and cognitive science, based on the premise voters are emotional not rational beings. That is a possible conclusion from reading a very interesting article in the latest New Scientist 31 May p. 48-9 ‘Neural pathway to the White House’, which is a review by Owen Flanagan, a professor of philosophy and neurobiology at Duke University, North Carolina, of a new book by George Lakoff called ‘The political mind: why you can’t understand 21st-century American politics with an 18th-century brain’ (Viking Penguin). E.g.’Should taxation be framed as theft of the fruits of my labour, or as membership dues to a club I want to be part of?’ and ‘The moral of the story is that successful politicians know how to use words to get people to vote against their own interests and values’.

  19. RedLogix 19

    and Labour have had nine years to fix the market and RMA issues that prevent development of new generation.

    The only way to fix it is to buy the whole damn thing back, an exercise that would make the recent buyback of rail look trivial. There is only so much govt can do.

    I repeat myself, selling the system was easy. Buying it back is much harder and given that during most non-LaNina years there is little public perception that the system is ‘broke’ there has been relatively thin political reward for acting sooner.

    Waiting to hear from you about National’s grand plan for dealing with this… apart from gutting the RMA. Any fool can build something cheap if the real costs are pushed onto the environment and future generations to clean up the mess.

  20. T-rex 20

    Thanks Red, I can’t even be bothered arguing.

  21. r0b 21

    Thanks Red, I can’t even be bothered arguing.

    Pace yourself T-rex, it’s going to be a long campaign!

  22. darryl p 22

    One good thing that has come from the EFA has been that there has been little or no electioneering advertising come out from any party. And to be honest I don’t think anybody really cares. I was against the EFA to start with and now I’m more inclined to think we’d be a lot better off if none of the parties got any money at all.

  23. gobsmacked 23

    Tillerman gives us a series of facts, clearly demonstrating that John Key has been dishonest, yet again.

    Cue the usual attempts to distract and divert. Not one single fact has been challenged.

    Enough said.

  24. ants 24

    What is pretty clear is that the majority of posters on this site are scared to death of John Key for some reason – hence the multiple topics posted every day trying to sling mud at him. You come across looking desperate and grubby.

    It must really annoy you that National are only going to announce policy running up to the election – the straw clutching around here is taking on epic proportions. You need something real to stick your teeth in to, and JK aint providing you with it.

    Compared to the current lot in power he smells like roses. Then again I imagine you guys can find excuses for every fopar that the current lot have done.

  25. RedLogix:”Buying it back is much harder” ? given that Genesis, Meridian & Mighty River are all SOE generators and the transmission grid is owned by Transpower another SOE I’m struggling to understand your point ?

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    r0b – Barnsley Bill also demonstrates the obvious. What was fine in 1999 and 2002 was interpreted otherwise in 2005…

    Bryan Spondre typifies the lazy attack-dog politics of the opposition and/or illustrates the media’s faithful mindless repetition of such dross (I say and/or because I don’t know whether “Nine years of Labour polices and we have…” is a line Bryan came up with himself, or if he’s emulating the msm and being a parrot).

    Nine years of Labour government and they haven’t solved every problem under the sun. Whoop-de-fucking-do Bryan, good spotting.

    Any evidence the opposition have given it any thought? Or would they be happy for the market at act as the market would – and we’d probably end up with another Huntly as Bryan seems to be advocating (fixing RMA issues is code for “screw the environment”). The best John Key can contribute is “National leader John Key said the Government had refused to admit that there was “a potentially large problem looming”.” Thanks John, the evidence shows otherwise, but your petty bullshit politicking is really useful.

    So, on a thread talking about National’s policy direction and lack thereof, Bryan jumps in with yet another classic example of National complaining about something, without a single useful idea. Inadvertantly useful, Bryan; even a (assumedly) National supporter can’t help but highlight the exact point Tillerman made!

  27. Matthew: “they haven’t solved every problem under the sun.”

    Sure there is only so much any government can do. Reliable electricity supply should however be a number one priority of any government. It is surely far more important than the myriad of social engineering policies the Labour/Green government has found time to implement ( from prostitution law reform to the abolition of the school sausage roll).

    It is interesting to reflect on the Auckland CBD electricity supply failure in 1997. Mercury (as it was then before splitting off the retail arm & becoming Vector) had a plan to reinforce & replace the existing sub-transmission cables but was held up by the RMA. Sound engineering subverted by an ideological bureaucracy.

    Labour has squandered a decade of economic good times on socialist ideological fripperey and ignored the sound engineering needed to create robust long term economic growth.

  28. r0b 28

    Labour has squandered a decade of economic good times on socialist ideological fripperey and ignored the sound engineering needed to create robust long term economic growth.

    Ahh no. Labour managed the economy prudently so that we are well placed to ride out the global financial crisis. They planned for long term economic growth with Cullen fund and KiwiSaver.

    National’s only attempt at long term planning was Think Big, an abysmal disaster. Nothing else they have ever done has even hinted at long term planning. Canceling the original universal super scheme – cheers – thanks for that guys.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    Bryan, in 1992 NZ was roughly 84% dependent on hydropower. Now, it is roughly 64%. Unless there is a severely dry winter, following on from a summer during which numerous areas experienced drought, there won’t be anything like power cuts. Seems to me NZ is equipped to weather the…lack of a storm, to butcher a cliche.

    While it was refreshing to read your comment “there is only so much a government can do”, just what is it here you wish to have seen? Changing the SOE charter so public entities could abandon this bloody useless business-driven model (the market fails again!) so they can reinvest all profits into future generation capabilities would be handy I suppose; I gather this isn’t the case at present – but I very much doubt a National government would do this either!

    Labour has squandered a decade of economic good times on socialist ideological fripperey and ignored the sound engineering needed to create robust long term economic growth.

    Bollocks to that – what on earth are you on about, man?! Lowering corporate taxes, WfF, massive infrastructure investment (as well as what r0b mentioned, two not insignificant investments) – but a hydro baseload-dependant nation having a power shortage in a drought year means what you said above. Right.

    Just to check – were you talking about New Zealand? I honestly can’t be sure.

    Because if it is, instead of spending billions on infractructure and savings plans for the future among other vital spending, the Labour government could have built a big coal power plant and you’d be happy…

  30. Ari 30

    Bryan- that “thermal moritorium” is so pathetic that when asked whether it actually prevented them from getting a thermal plant through, all the power companies with thermal plants said “no”.

    If you actually cared about a comprehensive energy plan, you’d be voting Green this election. The Greens have the only long-term viable energy strategy in Parliament at the moment- and they’re confident enough in it that they don’t need to gut the RMA to get it through.

    Social engineering is just National Party spin for critical policies like improving attitudes to child abuse or granting New Zealanders the rights they deserve and ought to be guarenteed under the Bill of Rights. Come back to me when you want a child but legally cannot adopt. Come back to me when you don’t get paid as much as your work is worth. Come back to me when you get hassled just for being who you are and not for behaving badly. Then we can talk about “social engineering”.

  31. Razorlight 31

    Just going back to the original post.

    You claim Labour was rolling out the Policy this far out from the 1999 election. “It had released the commitment card, with its seven core promises.”

    If National released a similar commitment card would that not be spending under the EFA. Labour were able to campaign 5 months out from the 1999 election because the restricted period was only 3 months, not the whole election year.

    Labour has now passed a law to stop National spending their own money and campaigning this far out from the election. They did not want a repeat of the succesful billboard campaigns of 2005.

    Isn’t it a bit rich to now be complaining about National failing to release details when to do so runs the risk of breaching the Act.

    [that’s a stupid argument. Announcing a policy is not a political advertisement. A political advertisement, like a pledge card (which, by the way, was a political ad under the old law too), might list such policies but policies are not political advertisements in themselves and don’t count towards the electoral spending cap. SP]

  32. r0b 32

    National failing to release details when to do so runs the risk of breaching the Act.

    Right up there with the dog ate my homework.

  33. Razorlight 33

    It may be right up there with that excuse r0b but really what else can they do.

    Spend there legal entitlement now when most people other than us political junkies are more concerned about whether Robbies boys can beat Grhams boys.

    Why not save your cash until the time when the electorate is actually listening. Spend it in the month long campaign. Not the year long campaign Labour has given us.

  34. Harpoon 34

    The Nats would not be breaching the EFA if they announced policy. They would be inviting voter backlash.

  35. Dean 35

    “National’s only attempt at long term planning was Think Big, an abysmal disaster.”

    r0b, if you really really want to talk about previous governments, the ’84 Labour government would like to have a word with you.

    You remember that one. The one Clark has rubbished?

  36. Lolbertarian 36

    “Sure there is only so much any government can do. Reliable electricity supply should however be a number one priority of any government.”




  37. Lolbertarian 37


  38. Lolbertarian 38


  39. Lolbertarian 39

    “r0b, if you really really want to talk about previous governments, the ?84 Labour government would like to have a word with you.

    You remember that one. The one Clark has rubbished?”







    [what the hell? I’m guessing this is satire but drop the all caps, please. SP]

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