web analytics

Armstrong on National’s conference

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, August 10th, 2013 - 33 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , ,

Labour has an open and active policy process – with all its democratic advantages and political risks. National is run by money from the top down. It makes National conferences dull affairs. Here’s The Herald’s Armstrong on National’s current Conference in the context of a discussion of Key’s “pragmatism”:

Key those are my principles

Pragmatism rules in Tiwai Pt handout

Just when you think the Prime Minister’s pragmatic streak has surely drunk for too long at the well of political convenience, John Key promptly undertakes an even more audacious departure from the ideological ethos supposedly guiding his party.

Labour could only stare in goggle-eyed wonder at the $30 million “sweetener” handed to Rio Tinto-controlled Pacific Aluminium in shameless fashion to keep the Tiwai Point smelter operating for at least another three years.

“Pragmatism” is the word we all use to describe a party, when it is our own party, selling out its values. Yeah, Key is pretty pragmatic all right. On to the conference…

The announcement of the smelter deal has certainly given any such purists within National’s ranks plenty to ponder at the party’s annual conference in Nelson this weekend. Note the word “ponder”. They will not likely get any opportunity to voice an opinion on this Great Leap Backwards.

Going on recent years, the two-day gathering is likely to be another over-choreographed affair during which Key will feed the news media with some new policy, while proceedings have any spontaneity sucked out of them by a procession of Cabinet ministers detailing (and thus glorifying) their many achievements in their portfolios.

There is unlikely to be any serious grizzling on the floor of the conference. Nothing succeeds like success.

National’s staggeringly high poll ratings will have silenced dissent in the unlikely event that there is any dissent to silence.

Key would anyway rebut any criticism by telling the party that at times, outrageous pragmatism is justified to keep National’s support at a sufficient level where a third term in power is still within the party’s grasp.

Perhaps if those with powerful voices in the media were to focus a bit less on games and personalities, and more on dull stuff like facts and policies, we would see “National’s staggeringly high poll ratings” take a bit of a tumble. Just a thought.

33 comments on “Armstrong on National’s conference ”

  1. BM 1

    National is run along the same lines as a business.
    It sells a particular product.
    You either like the product or not.
    Like the product, vote National
    Dislike the product, vote for some one else.

    Good thing about this system is you don’t get hamstrung and tripped over by infighting and man-ban weirdness.

    • Saarbo 1.1

      “National is run along the same lines as a business.”

      With half a dozen majority shareholders running the show…that’ll be right.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      The selling of policy to overseas big corporates has become so blatant, while they thumb their noses to the voters.

      • BM 1.2.1

        No ones been forced to vote National.

        As I wrote above, don’t like what they’re doing vote for some other party.

        • geoff 1.2.1.1

          That’s correct, they’ve been tricked into thinking it was a good idea even though it was a completely shit idea.

          • BM 1.2.1.1.1

            Really?, not the old dumb voters tricked into voting National line, again.

            Fucking hell, the size of the egos on the left are so massive, they could cause a solar eclipse.

            • Paul 1.2.1.1.1.1

              So do you really think that selling assets using the term ‘mum and dad investors’ when only 2% of the population bought shares was an honest policy?
              And do you really think that all those National votes who did not buy shares benefited from the sale of shares?
              Clearly those people were voting against their own interests.

              Now there are many theories as to why people vote against their own interests. And that would be a far more interesting discussion than a dull debate, where you try to explain how National’s policies really are in the interest of the majority of New Zealand’s citizens.

            • Treetop 1.2.1.1.1.2

              A solar eclipse in the name of the GCSB Bill, which when passed will be a dark day in the history of New Zealand.

    • pollywog 1.3

      National is run along the same lines as a cult or religion.

      • BM 1.3.1

        That’s the greens bud, I think you’re a bit confused.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.3.1.1

          Yes, because members of cults all get to vote on the leadership, don’t they BM? Remind me when National Party members voted for the leader again?

  2. chrissy 2

    key runs his party like an Amway convention. Rah Rah. I think I heard that little tolley lady say that they wouldn’t even be mentioning the GCSB Bill smirk smirk! Done and dusted apparently.

  3. Ad 3

    Can anyone think of a single policy area – other than housing – in which Key has not comprehensively outflanked and outplayed Shearer?

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Lying.

      Environmental degradation.

      Occupational safety (killing workers).

      Charter schools.

      Taxpayer money to business mates: SkyCity, oil drillers, mining, movie studios, roads we don’t need, etc.

      That’s without even checking my notes.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Cronyism
        Selling out to international corporates
        Gutting our civil rights

        Again, no notes required.

    • BrucetheMoose 3.2

      You have to give National full marks for doing an excellent job of selling the whole Christchurch rebuild/recovery to the rest of the country as something it is not.
      The Red Zone payouts as being very very fair.
      The CBD Blueprint as workable
      Progress of home repairs
      No housing/ rental problems
      EQC doing a great job
      Brownlee doing a great job
      etc etc

  4. Short Plank 4

    “Labour could only stare in goggle-eyed wonder at the $30 million “sweetener” handed to Rio Tinto-controlled Pacific Aluminium in shameless fashion to keep the Tiwai Point smelter operating for at least another three years.” – John Armstrong.

    The $30 million “sweetener” had nothing to do with keeping Tiwai Point smelter operating. It was to prevent a sudden large increase in available electricity supply with the resultant price drop for all New Zealanders undercutting the proposed sale of Meridian Energy. Had it not been for that National would have happily let Tiwai Point go under.

  5. North 5

    How Monty Pythonesque is this ?

    Tim Groser fresh from the National Party conference, earnestly warning us about “our enemies”.

    Yes we have enemies, without and within apparently. Presumably these enemies were around well before this government resolved to empower itself to spy on its people and make the fruits of their spying available to whomsoever. That it’s in this context that we first hear about “our enemies” is very suspicious.

    Makes one wonder whom the enemy actually is.

    • ropata 5.1

      Enemies! In the interests of National(tm) security the GCSB should keep an eye on opposition MPs

    • BM 5.2

      I’d say the greens need to be looked at

      I’ve read in a few places now that greenies are sending off press releases to media outlets world wide trying to make out that New Zealanders are environmental vandals and NZ is some polluted hole.

      Maybe the media needs to start digging around see how much truth there is to these allegations

      • JK 5.2.1

        Just go and have a look at the rivers and streams, and lakes, throughout New Zealand, BM.
        No need to dig around. They are so polluted no-one can safely swim in them, let alone drink the water without it being thoroughly cleaned/treated beforehand.

        • BM 5.2.1.1

          So you have no problem with environmental fanatics trying to destroy our economy?

          • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1.1

            You spelled ‘vandals’ wrong.

          • marty mars 5.2.1.1.2

            I certainly have a problem with economic fanatics trying to destroy our environment – don’t you BM?

            • BM 5.2.1.1.2.1

              I read in another post that said you work in the tourism sector.

              You don’t have a problem with the lies and exaggeration the greens are pushing.
              Lies and exaggeration that will have a direct result on the industry you work in.

              If certain Greens think fucking over our economy and putting 1000’s and 1000’s workers out of a job is a great idea they need to be rooted out and exposed as the destructive and dangerous religious zealots that they are.

              Bring on the new spying lies, lets find out who NZ real enemies are.

              • millsy

                If people like BM think putting thousands of liters of toxic chemicals into our rivers making them unsafe to swim in and making our children sick, and pumping thick smoke into the air, causing untold respirtory problems, is an acceptable way to make a few bucks, then it goes to show that they care more about money then our health.

                Why do you want to poison our rivers, BM, WHY?

                • BM

                  Who’s dumping thousands of liters of toxic chemicals into our rivers?
                  Who’s pumping thick smoke into the air, causing untold respiratory problems?

                  Name these NZ companies.

              • Well believe it or not tourism is based on an environment that people want to come and see and if the environment isn’t there or degraded they just don’t want to come and see it – doesn’t matter how much marketing spin you put on it, they will not come. So the economic benefits of tourism are based upon having an environment that people want to see not the other way round. The real enemies of this country are those that would sell it out by destroying the environment for short term gain, for themselves without considering or caring about the longterm effects of their greed. They are the ones that are making it unsafe for the kids to swim in the rivers and they are key and his exploitative mates, not the Greens – the Greens are one group of heroes that stand (hopefully) against them and good on them for that.

          • millsy 5.2.1.1.3

            So you have no problem with corporate fanatics trying to destroy our environment.

            BM. I am going to tell you this right now.

            The wilful discharge of toxic chemicals into our rivers and lakes and poisonous gases into our air for the sake of making a few bucks is nothing less than a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.

      • felix 5.2.2

        “I’ve read in a few places now that greenies are sending off press releases to media outlets world wide trying to make out that New Zealanders are environmental vandals and NZ is some polluted hole.”

        That’s not how you spell “written”.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand condemns Russia’s annexation attempts
    New Zealand condemns unequivocally Russia’s attempts to illegally annex Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “We do not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine’s borders or territorial sovereignty,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Russia’s sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are illegitimate, and have no legal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government provides confidence to those seeking an adventure
    With our borders opened and tourists returning, those seeking out adventurous activities can do so more safely due to the steps we’ve taken to improve the health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.  “We are seeing international visitor numbers begin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More single-use plastics banned from tomorrow
    Single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays are among single use plastics banned from sale or manufacture from tomorrow. “This is the first group of the most problematic plastic products to be banned in a progressive phase out over the next three years,” Environment Minister David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to NZDF Command and Staff College
    It’s a pleasure to join you today – and I extend a particular welcome to Marty Donoghue (a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control) and Athena Li-Watts (interning with me this week) who are also joining me today. On the face of it, some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone of half a million mental health sessions delivered
    The Government’s flagship primary mental health and addiction programme Access and Choice has hit the milestone of delivering more than 500,000 sessions to New Zealanders needing mental health support. Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement at ADL – Thrive Pae Ora in Cromwell which provides mental wellbeing support services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government continues to future-proof arts, culture and heritage sector
    The Government has announced further support for the recovery and resilience of the arts, culture and heritage sector as part of its COVID Recovery Programme’s Innovation Fund. “We’re continuing to secure the recovery of our arts, culture and heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand by supporting transformational initiatives across the motu,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government steps up kauri protection
    The Government is delivering on an election commitment to protect kauri in our northern forests through the new National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) for the forest giant and the allocation of $32 million of funding to back the coordinated effort, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister (Biodiversity) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Russia’s Ukraine referenda a sham
    Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results of the sham referenda in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.  “These so-called referenda were not free or fair, and they very clearly were not held in accordance with democratic principles,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Instead, they were hastily organised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt invests in New Zealand’s wine future
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially opened New Zealand Wine Centre–Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa in Blenheim today, saying that investments like these give us cause for optimism for the future. Funding of $3.79 million for the Marlborough Research Centre to build a national wine centre was announced in 2020, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Appointment of Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Colonel Craig Ruane, Commander Robyn Loversidge, and James Wilding KC as Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The Court Martial Appeal Court is a senior court of record established under the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953. It is summoned by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government strengthens measures to combat migrant worker exploitation
    Offence and penalty regime significantly strengthened New infringement offences for non-compliance Public register of individuals and businesses that are found guilty of migrant exploitation New community-led pilot to educate migrants workers and employers of employment rights Implemented reporting tools successfully brings exploitation out of the shadows Take-up of protective visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Livestock exports by sea to cease
    The passing of a Bill today to end the export of livestock by sea will protect New Zealand’s reputation for world-leading animal welfare standards, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. “The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill future-proofs our economic security amid increasing consumer scrutiny across the board on production practices," Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra measures to increase census turnout in 2023
    3500 census workers on the ground, twice as many as last census More forms to be delivered – 44% compared to 3% in 2018 Prioritisation of Māori and other groups and regions with lower response rates in 2018 Major work to ensure the delivery of a successful census in 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Shining the light on screen workers
    Improved working conditions for workers in the screen industry is now a reality with the Screen Industry Workers Bill passing its third reading today, announced Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood. “It’s fantastic to see the Screen Industry Workers Bill progress through Parliament. The new Act will strengthen protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mental health resources for young people and schools launched
    Associate Minister of Education (School Operations) Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis have today launched two new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of mental health education in schools and kura. “Students who are happy and healthy learn better. These resources ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Progress continues on future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the latest progress on Auckland’s two most transformational transport projects in a generation – Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have named preferred bidders to move each project to their next phase, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports local innovation in homelessness prevention
    Ten successful applicants in round two of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund (LIPF) Close to $6 million allocated as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) Māori, Pasefika and rangatahi a strong focus Round three opening later this year with up to $6.8 million available. Government is stepping up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More medicines for New Zealanders, thanks to Govt’s Budget boost
    Health Minister Andrew Little is welcoming news that two more important medicines are set to be funded, thanks to the Government’s big boost to the country’s medicines budget. “Since coming into Government in 2017, the Labour Government has increased Pharmac’s funding by 43 per cent, including a $71 million boost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers ACC change to support 28,000 parents
    The Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Bill passes Third Reading – the first amendment to ACC legislation of its kind From 1 October 2022, new ACC cover to benefit approximately 28,000 birthing parents Additional maternal birth injuries added alongside new review provision to ensure cover remains comprehensive Greater clarity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further cuts for East Coast tarakihi limits to rebuild numbers faster
    Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be reduced further to help the stock rebuild faster. “Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering. I have decided on further commercial catch reductions of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Colombia announced
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Nicci Stilwell as the next Ambassador to Colombia. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Colombia is fast growing with strong links across education, climate change and indigenous co-operation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Trade is a key part of our relationship with Colombia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 3000 more RSE workers to ease workforce pressures
    The Government continues to respond to global workforce shortages by announcing the largest increase in over a decade to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), providing 3000 additional places, Immigration Minister Michael Wood and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have announced. The new RSE cap will allow access to 19,000 workers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
    Further sanctions are being imposed on members of President Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite, as part of the Governments ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Principal Youth Court Judge appointed
    Judge Ida Malosi, District Court Judge of Wellington, has been appointed as the new Principal Youth Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Born and raised in Southland, Judge Malosi graduated from Victoria University of Wellington and spent her legal career in South Auckland.  She was a founding partner of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Visitor arrivals highest since pandemic began
    Overseas visitor arrivals exceeded 100,000 in July, for the first time since the borders closed in March 2020 Strong ski season lifts arrivals to Queenstown to at least 90% of the same period in 2019 Australia holiday recovery has continued to trend upwards New Zealand’s tourism recovery is on its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Language provides hope for Tuvalu
    Climate change continues to present a major risk for the island nation of Tuvalu, which means sustaining te gana Tuvalu, both on home soil and in New Zealand Aotearoa, has never been more important, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said. The Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust and wider Tuvalu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister Sio to attend Asian Development Bank meeting in Manila
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to the Philippines this weekend to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Manila. “The ADB Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to engage with other ADB member countries, including those ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • United Nations General Assembly National Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā kua huihui mai nei i tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa, mai i tōku Whenua o Aotearoa Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, ka Rongo to pō ka rongo te ao Nō reira, tēnā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New strategy unifies all-of-Government approach to help Pacific languages thrive
    A united approach across all-of-Government underpins the new Pacific Language Strategy, announced by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at Parliament today. “The cornerstone of our Pacific cultures, identities and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand are our Pacific languages. They are at the heart of our wellbeing,” Aupito ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrades for sporting facilities ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup
    Communities across the country will benefit from newly upgraded sporting facilities as a result of New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The Government is investing around $19 million to support upgrades at 30 of the 32 potential sporting facilities earmarked for the tournament, including pitch, lighting and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Partnership supports climate action in Latin America and Caribbean
    Aotearoa New Zealand is extending the reach of its support for climate action to a new agriculture initiative with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced a NZ$10 million contribution to build resilience, enhance food security and address the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Landmark agreement for Māori fisheries celebrates 30th year
    The 30th anniversary of the Fisheries Deed of Settlement is a time to celebrate a truly historic partnership that has helped transform communities, says Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Rino Tirikatene. “The agreement between the Crown and Māori righted past wrongs, delivered on the Crown’s treaty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backs initiatives to cut environmental impact of plastic waste
    The Government has today announced funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment. “Today I am announcing the first four investments to be made from the $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund, which was set last year and implemented a 2020 election promise,” Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Call for expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench
    Attorney-General David Parker today called for nominations and expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench.  This is a process conducted at least every three years and ensures the Attorney-General has up to date information from which to make High Court appointments.  “It is important that when appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Depositor compensation scheme protects Kiwis’ money
    New Zealanders will have up to $100,000 of their deposits in any eligible institution guaranteed in the event that institution fails, under legislation introduced in Parliament today. The Deposit Takers Bill is the third piece of legislation in a comprehensive review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New fund to help more Pacific aiga into their own homes
    The Government has launched a new housing fund that will help more Pacific aiga achieve the dream of home ownership. “The Pacific Building Affordable Homes Fund will help organisations, private developers, Māori/iwi, and NGOs build affordable housing for Pacific families and establish better pathways to home ownership within Pacific communities. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More than 100,000 new Kiwis as halfway point reached
    Over 100,000 new Kiwis can now call New Zealand ‘home’ after the 2021 Resident Visa reached the halfway point of approvals, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today. “This is another important milestone, highlighting the positive impact our responsive and streamlined immigration system is having by providing comfort to migrant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill passes third reading – He mea pāhi te Maniapoto Claims Settl...
    Nā te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, nā Andrew Little,  te iwi o Maniapoto i rāhiri i tēnei rā ki te mātakitaki i te pānuitanga tuatoru o te Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill - te pikinga whakamutunga o tā rātou whakataunga Tiriti o Waitangi o mua. "Me mihi ka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50,000 more kids to benefit from equity-based programmes next year
    Another 47,000 students will be able to access additional support through the school donations scheme, and a further 3,000 kids will be able to get free and healthy school lunches as a result of the Equity Index.  That’s on top of nearly 90% of schools that will also see a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Healthy Active Learning now in 40 percent of schools across New Zealand
    A total of 800 schools and kura nationwide are now benefitting from a physical activity and nutrition initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing of children and young people. Healthy Active Learning was funded for the first time in the inaugural Wellbeing Budget and was launched in 2020. It gets regional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago