Behind every strong woman leader are more strong women leaders

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, January 22nd, 2023 - 59 comments
Categories: Carmel Sepuloni, chris hipkins, election 2023, jacinda ardern, labour - Tags:

Everyone in politics has a used by date and no one can expect to last for ever.

The really best go out on their own terms.  They achieve what they can and then they make space for the next volunteer.

Ardern has clearly done this.  When Helen Clark bowed out I wondered if it was too soon and I wonder the same about Ardern.  But they deserve respect for leaving on their terms.

This afternoon the country’s leadership was confirmed.  Chris Hipkins will be the new Prime Minister and Carmel Sepuloni will be deputy.

I can’t say that I know Hipkins personally but I know Carmel very well.

I first met Carmel in 2008 when she was a list candidate.  Along with other list candidates she came to our Campaign Launch in West Auckland and spoke.  She was streets ahead of the rest and I thought then that she was someone with a great future.

I helped with her campaign in 2011 to try and win back the Waitakere seat from pseudo westie Paula Bennett.

The campaign was extraordinarily well run and managed.  Election day saw a huge effort put in by a number of volunteers.

In a year when Labour’s support was declining she almost achieved the impossible.  On election night she was slightly behind but after the counting of specials she was ahead by 11 votes.  A judicial recount saw the majority reversed and Carmel eventually lost by 9 votes.  I attended the last couple of days of the recount and they were two of the more depressing days of my life.  Getting so close to an extraordinary win but falling short by such a small margin was deeply frustrating.

One thing that always stood out for me in that campaign is that Carmel ran a solid two tick campaign.  Her performance in relation to the Party Vote was very good, much better than others.

She took the loss gracefully and spent time working for a Health NGO.

She was then selected as the Labour candidate for Kelston and won the seat with a huge majority in 2014.  She has retained this seat ever since.

In Government she has held senior portfolios, particularly Social Development.

She has quietly and carefully gone about her job.  She has changed the ethos of Welfare offices.  Nowadays they are welcoming and helpful places.  They were anything but this when National was in power.

During her tenure 66,500 children have been lifted out of poverty.  My preference is that all children are lifted out of poverty.  Greater speed is vital but the general direction is good.

And from 2018 to March 2022 benefits have increased by 40% above the rate of inflation.  Complaints that Labour is not doing enough for the poor are misguided.

Carmel is the first Pacifica Deputy Prime Minister.  This is something for us all to celebrate.

She is of the compassionate left side of politics.

Go well Carmel.  We will all be cheering for you.

59 comments on “Behind every strong woman leader are more strong women leaders ”

  1. observer 1

    Carmel was asked about her background and diverse family in the press conference (just finished) and it was delightful, she was refreshingly open and "normal" about it all.

    • alwyn 1.1

      I listened to her on Morning Report and was pleased to hear her say that she was part-Tongan, part-Samoan and part-European. It was such a pleasant change from so many of the Maori MPs who will tell you what the various Maori groups they have among their ancestors but will totally ignore the fact that they are often largely descended from European ancestors. They will never mention that they are descended from those dreadful colonialists who are the cause of all the problems in New Zealand, at least in their telling.

  2. fender 2

    A good strong team with substance and ability. Certainly will make it harder for the opposition to sleepwalk their way into power like they thought they were going to do.

  3. Chess Player 3

    How do you feel about her abolishing the independent oversight of the child protection system?

  4. Ad 4

    This weekend is Labour's first domination of the media cycle since October.

    Smoothest transition of power I've ever seen.

    We are back to not giving a fuck about Luxon.

    Great start Labour keep it up.

    • fender 4.1

      Just heard Luxon on the radio saying that the new leadership were just "more of the same" because they were from the previous team.

      So his team must be more of the same too because he was from the Bridges and Collins cabal.

    • Belladonna 4.2

      While it's pretty smooth – the transition from Little to Ardern was even more streamlined. Although, obviously, in that case, transfer of party leadership, rather than Prime Ministerial power.

  5. Joe90 5

    Marty's channeling the colonel.

    For her spite in Welfare and removal of oversight of the most vulnerable children, Carmel should be ruled out as the Deputy, but Labour have diversity box ticking to do here and so the Minister who didn’t implement the reforms from the Welfare Advisory Group and who made oversight of vulnerable children more difficult is now getting rewarded with Deputy Prime Minister status.

    This is when meritocracy should be rewarded, not the empty gestures of diversity virtue signalling

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Yeah he has always had a thing about Carmel. He shows the same sensitivity to her that he showed to female bloggers who pointed out he was an idiot and worse some time ago.

      This is why I put the stats about child poverty and benefit increases in my post. It does not matter how many words you throw at it these are significant improvements that have helped many struggling kiwis cope better.

      • Mike the Lefty 5.1.1

        Bradbury thinks that anyone who doesn't promote a hard socialist regime is selling out to the right, as does his chief backer John Minto. If you disagree with him you are immediately labelled as "woke", although he doesn't appear to know what that term really means.

        I got tired of his schizophrenic tirades long ago and came to The Standard, where there is a lot more intelligent rational discussion.

        • roy cartland

          I'm glad to read I'm not alone in having trouble parsing his stuff. Much of the time I suspect he's trying to make a worthy point, but it's so littered with poor attempts at simile, exclamation marks and the word 'woke', it's exhausting to understand.

      • mickysavage 5.2.1

        He has a real thing about NZ on Air funding, basically because they turned him down.

        • tinderdry6

          Ah, thanks, I wasn't aware of that.

        • lprent

          Don't know why he is seeking funding anyway.

          Blog sites don't cost a lot to run these days. This one runs on the small of an oily rag on hardware that I purchased in 2017 and upgrade occasionally. The most recent was replacing 5x 3-7 year old RAID 120GB SSDs, with 3x 1Tb SSDs. Two SSDs I'd replaced in my own systems with faster NVME and been using as scratch. I just brought a spare for the array, so the nett cost was about $130. It also took some of my time – which would have been expensive if I charged for it 🙂

          It uses a basic commercial fibre link, which also provides our TV, browsing, and remote work links.

          It runs mostly on free open source software – the exceptions being some cheap annual plugins for security, caching and offsite backup storage. Plus monthly remote caching that costs about a tenth of what it did in 2017.

          Basically this site is paid for unforced donations (ie no advertisements), by-products of my work, plus our authors. It is a place for people to write their opinions and slants on facts – just like TDB.

          The only real cost difference is that TBD pays some of their writers for their opinions. They use the Newsroom builder which is pretty expensive to keep upgraded. My partner uses that (amongst other builders) on some of the sites that she supports. I find it clumsy and prone to break during wordpress upgrades. As well as its relatively high purchase and support subscription costs, the rework expense makes it expensive to operate.

          Podcasts aren't much more. If I wanted to, I could grab the 4k camera that my partner used for various docos. It is currently stored because she is focusing on writing at present. The adobe suite and other tools for editing and do some seriously flashy podcasts are also all there. Taking over the edit costs are annoying, but really don't cost that much. The only real issue is time and space.

          I might look at playing with a video medium after we finally move to a larger space. It'd be a interesting diversion to try technically, and in terms of developing audience. Quite different after writing code for decades.

          There is certainly a market for it that doesn't require NZ on Air support. I seem to watch a lot of semi-professional quite long form docos on youtube and other online media these days. That includes some of the NZ on air supported docos from The Spinoff. Which isn't bad considering that they're targeted towards an audience at least 30 years younger than I am.

          Generally The Spinoff docos and shows are of a pretty high standard. They are aimed at a much wider audience than simply listening to Bomber rant or have a few talking heads just giving opinions that are usually quite refutable. I've watched them and I virtually don't watch much local stuff these days because they talk about things that I don't already know. They're not the poor quality Bomber one-track that I have heard repeatably since his BFM days.

  6. weka 6

    I have no problem with Sepuloni being DPM, but she shouldn't be the Minister for welfare. Even without the full WEAG recommendations, while some things have changed for the better, many haven't that could have.

    She has changed the ethos of Welfare offices. Nowadays they are welcoming and helpful places.

    What's the evidence for this micky?

    And from 2018 to March 2022 benefits have increased by 40% above the rate of inflation. Complaints that Labour is not doing enough for the poor are misguided.

    Each time core benefits are raised say by $20, some of the most vulnerable people, those that require TAS, don't get the $20 in their bank account. I got about half the increase last April. I don't count myself among the most vulnerable, but I can easily see the impact of getting $1 instead of $20.

    Also, to be clear, base benefits didn't increase by 40%.

    Labour under CS has continued to treat beneficiaries as a demographic rather than as people. They've done some smart things eg the WEP is a grant not a benefit increase so it is a full cash payment rather than getting caught in the complicated TAS etc calculation that claw back core benefit increases and it is non-taxable. But what they haven't done is the fundamental changes that would start to move Labour out of the position of work will sort you out, we'll lift some people out of poverty, but ignore those we are leaving behind.

    SLP, the main benefit for people who cannot work due to disability/illness, has increased $96 since Labour have been power. This sounds great, and it's not nothing by any means. But for many this means they keep getting to tread water, or they backslide more slowly, because much of that will be sucked up in rent and COL increases or the compounding costs of being disabled and not having enough income over time. Remember how Labour gave cash to people at the start of the pandemic but excluded beneficiaries? Is this really the party that Labour wants to be?

    • mickysavage 6.1

      She has changed the ethos of Welfare offices. Nowadays they are welcoming and helpful places.

      What's the evidence for this micky?

      I have visited the Henderson MSD office pretty well weekly for a number of years. The vibe is entirely different now.

      SLP, the main benefit for people who cannot work due to disability/illness, has increased $96 since Labour have been power. This sounds great, and it's not nothing by any means. But for many this means they keep getting to tread water, or they backslide more slowly, because much of that will be sucked up in rent and COL increases or the compounding costs of being disabled and not having enough income over time. Remember how Labour gave cash to people at the start of the pandemic but excluded beneficiaries? Is this really the party that Labour wants to be?

      Accepted. Are we there yet? No. Are we closer? Yes. Will National make it better? No they will chuck MSD into reverse gear and press hard down on the accelerator.

      • weka 6.1.1

        Is Henderson in Sepuloni's electorate? Might that have something to do with it? I'd be listening to AAAP, and beneficiaries and their orgs in each area in NZ.

        Obviously Nat would be an utter disaster. Everyone with a conscience should be voting on the left. But I think Labour can do better with the portfolio, and there's an underlying attitudinal/ideological issue currently that's not explained by real politik or economic constraint issues.

        • Chris

          It's pretty much a given that MSD offices in areas where beneficiary advocates are active are far more careful about what they do. It's the offices in many smaller towns where it's business as usual, people being shafted on a regular basis. These are the places where nothing's changed.

          • weka

            Indeed. Or even the cities where there aren't enough advocates to go around.

            I seem to remember AAAP did a lot of work highlighting the problems with the Auckland offices they were engaging with. I hope those issues have been resolved.

            Mostly I want a Minister who stands beside and with the beneficiaries and Sepuloni hasn't done that.

      • Chess Player 6.1.2

        The vibe?

        The vibe?

        Wonderful rationale lol

        • Muttonbird

          When were you last in a MSD office?


        • mickysavage

          Fcuk you. I was very aware of what Bennett did to Winz offices so each time I went into them I made a mental note of what was happening. Things are entirely different now.

          • woodart

            yes. even their letters are better. all winz correspondence used to end with a threat. that has disappeared.

          • adam

            Not so much in the far north, some changes yes, but still a torment for the poorest and weakest.

            Still a lot of security being their usual thugish selves. And WINZ are still the masters of unclear communication, draconian threats, and bullying.

            I think a lot of people saw what National had done, and were rightly disgusted by it. When it was so bloody disgusting, I understand for some the veneer of hate been rub off was enough. The problem is WINZ has not changed enough, and has remained a nightmare for the weakest and poorest.

            With a lot of the same people who ran the place under Bennett's tenure still in power. I personally would like to have seen many of the managers who preformed Bennett's reforms, removed. That is very least that could of happened.

        • Chris

          Don't forget Denuto ended up winning.

  7. mosa 7

    " Yeah he has always had a thing about Carmel "

    C'mon Greg …um Mickey Savage.

    None of the 42 key recommendations made by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) in February 2019 have been fully implemented, according to a stocktake released today [MONDAY 30 NOV] by the Child Poverty Action Group. Of the 126 detailed recommendations, only 4 (3%) have been found to be fully implemented.

    " For her spite in Welfare and removal of oversight of the most vulnerable children, Carmel should be ruled out as the Deputy, but Labour have diversity box ticking to do here and so the Minister who didn’t implement the reforms from the Welfare Advisory Group and who made oversight of vulnerable children more difficult is now getting rewarded with Deputy Prime Minister status.

    Children’s Commissioner Frances Eivers accuses select committee of ignoring advice

    Children’s Commissioner Frances Eivers has slammed Parliament’s social services select committee for failing to reverse a bill effectively dismantling the position of Children’s Commissioner.

    After the horror of the Royal Inquiry into historic state abuse, the Ministry of Social Development removed the Children’s Commissioner as oversight of Oranga Tamariki and instead moved monitoring into the Education Review Office.

    " She has quietly and carefully gone about her job. She has changed the ethos of Welfare offices. Nowadays they are welcoming and helpful places. They were anything but this when National was in power "

    Mickey -Greg have you actually been inside a WINZ office in five years without your rose tinted glases on ? I work in mental health and with many people who are dependent on welfare and I can tell you that you are out of touch Mr Savage or Mickey.
    Henderson must be the exception !

    Yes the Nasty Natz were bad but your heroes are cut from the same cloth… Neoliberal conservatism and I can assure you nothing has changed.

    It must be wonderful to live in the world of ignorance and the monied class.

    A true neoliberal pretend Labourite.

    • weka 7.1

      Did you miss this moderation from lprent the other day where he said if you smeared one of the authors again you'd be banned until after the election?


      Your comment could have been made without the last two lines. Is there something you don't understand about the rules here?

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        After that Mod warning by Lynn Mosa did it again a day later here:

        I was waiting for Lynn to see it and act but he might have been too busy and I didn’t feel it was my place to hand out a ban. But I was very tempted!

        • mosa

          I thought Mickey's real name was Greg ?

          Apologies for any hurt or sensitivity breached.

          Weka I was not ” smearing ” … ” slandering “or vilifying Mickey just correcting his grasp of the facts.

          [lprent: It isn’t a question of “hurt or sensitivity”.

          It is a question about you being a stupid hypocritical arsehole who clearly hasn’t taken the time to read the About or Policy that govern this site, me, authors, and commentators. You have assumed the right to comment here without assuming any of the responsibility. You also haven’t been listening to moderators.

          Have you read the explanation about pseudonyms and our attitudes to them here about pseudonyms and privacy? You’re using a pseudonym, and even if you were using a ‘real name’ there is no way for us to check that it isn’t a pseudonym. Yet you’re trying to turn a privilege into a weapon to attack someone else.

          It puts you in repeated violation of this ruling for hypocrisy in the policy under Banning – self-martyrdom offences.

          The Gosman (hypocrisy) ruling. People using a pseudonym to comment who then claim that other people commenting/posting anonymously (or any words construed to mean that) will have their own comments treated as being anonymous. Since this site does not allow anonymous comments, they will receive an immediate long ban.

          We also have some quite severe rules about privacy that not only affect the site, they also affect all users of the site. The rationale is specified in the About – Why don’t you say who you are?. That links to 2008 example of another obnoxious stalker just like you. Their target was John Minto. I suspect that you, Steady Eddie and the whole of the Whaleoil dirty politics crew are and were less interested in debating what people said, and more intereted in trying to hurt opponents.

          Also check out
          Explicit or implied consent on privacy

          Just imagine what it’d be like if I didn’t follow those rules myself in your case. I’m a computer programmer with a deep knowledge of the net, the real world, and deep pockets when I get annoyed. I really don’t like people who abuse the net. If they wind up attacking enough… well there have been examples of the way I defend.

          Outing someone on this site isn’t something that you may do with impunity. Ignoring moderation isn’t either. Not reading the site rules is even worse.

          Banned until October 30th under any name. Go and annoy people elsewhere. Learn a lesson. Even Gosman eventually did – that is why I don’t notice him except when I’m arguing about his weird world-view. ]

          • Incognito

            You blatantly ignore this site’s rules and your commenting privileges are hanging by a thread only because Lprent hasn’t seen your second offending comment (most likely) or not acted on it (least likely). Regardless, you’ll continue your attacks over at TDB anyway.

            FWIW, you can present ‘facts’ and ‘corrections’ as you see fit, but you cannot ‘correct’ another person’s interpretation of said facts, which is their prerogative, least of all by insulting them. Attacking TS Authors is begging for self-martyrdom as per this site’s Policy (

          • lprent

            See my mod note above.

        • weka

          ta, I hadn't seen that.

        • lprent

          I have been busy. Thanks for the assist.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      Here is the information. Have a read. Knock your socks off.

      Claiming that Sepuloni is a sell out to the right because she has not implemented every single recommendation in full is such a strange take I wonder why I have to reply.

      Are we there yet? No. Is she a sell out to the right because every single recommendation has not been implemented in full by now. Why do I have to ask this question?

      • Chris 7.2.1

        Sepuloni's going to have to address basic concerns about ACC, too. So far she's managed to bury many of the very real complaints about the scheme, but claimants and their representatives won't be stopping any time soon, not until Norman Kirk stops spinning in his grave.

  8. mosa 8

    " Are we there yet? No. Is she a sell out to the right because every single recommendation has not been implemented in full by now. Why do I have to ask this question?

    No Mickey you are deluded , she is in no way a sell out to the right just like you she has sold out her own people. And the statistics are always designed to shield government inaction.

    Are we there yet ? That question of yours should not have been needed to be asked after five years of a Labour government !

    Here you go Savage.

    There you go Mickey Savage some answers to your question and why you need to ask it.

    [Having reread this the only response I have is you are an idiot. I am the most permissive author here but accusing me of selling out is freaking stupid. Enjoy yourself at the fact free cesspits that the internet has plenty of. Banned. MS]

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Holy feck can you stop using the daily blog as a source of information? Try the MSD release and tell me where it is wrong.

  9. Thinker 9

    We can't forget, though, that Judith Collins was also a leader with pacifica links.

    As she herself said "My husband is Samoan, so Talofa"….


    • Chris 9.1

      Bringing Collins in at number 10 suggests Luxon's worried she'll cause him trouble. Hopefully number 10'll be both too high for the public to stomach, and too low to keep Collins in her place.

      • woodart 9.1.1

        yes, maybe luxon is thinking that throwing judith a bone will keep her quiet..from crusher to chewy.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    The issues with welfare delivery will tend to be fraught – those close to them probably have cause to be concerned about the new DPM. Just as I found the succession of fisheries and immigration ministers rubber stamping the illegal slave ships alarming.

    It was never entirely clear whether NZ Labour leaned too strongly towards the revolting Starmer, or if they could be relied on for genuine, albeit not rapid, change. The auspices are not especially promising, opposition uselessness notwithstanding.

    Housing remains a significant issue – a deadweight imposition on the economy upon which the economic commentariat are unwontedly silent. It is perhaps a decent litmus test of the current government and its new leadership – can they come up with policies that produce a decent effect size in terms of housing affordability? Or it might be, can they, from their position of relative privilege, recognize that it should be a priority?

  11. Corey Humm 11

    Helen Clark didn't go out on her own terms though, she resigned as leader of the labour party the night she lost an election by 15 seats.

    Carmel is a nice person, I remember meeting her while on queen street when I was in town doing a show for a comedy fest in 2020, she was nice.

    However, she has been pretty crap as a welfare minister, her one achievement in five years is your anecdotal evidence based on Henderson that they treat beneficiaries a wee bit more like human beings. Treating vulnerable people better than excrement is apparently a huge achievement for NZ labour.

    What a weak, unimaginative, visionless labour party this country has if treating people better than excrement is the best we can do.

    As for the disputable af labour party approved cherry picked data about 65 k kids being "lifted out of poverty" Unless it's by changing the method they measure poverty or chucking people off dole and into low paid work then imo BS cos it's certainly not through labours meager benefit increases which after cost of living, cost of rent and cost of power and other inflationary costs account to bugger all. 31 years after the mother of all budgets labour finally did the bare minimum for the country's most vulnerable. Whoopie. That just makes Clarks govt look heartless.

    Things are worse for beneficiaries economically than they were five years ago, prices are out of control, rents are impossible to find and totally unaffordable, it's just imo morally wrong to pretend that this govt is doing all these great things for beneficiaries when things are bleaker than ever.

    Not to mention she got rid of childrens commissioner which as a victim of sexual abuse enrages me to know end and that pic she posted that was shared on this blog where she praised the toughest msd case managers in NZ for being the toughest cases managers in NZ. Ick.

    Caramel is a nice person, you know who else was a nice person when I met them, Paula Bennet and to be totally honest with you … I don't see a hell of a lot of a difference between the two of them apart from good vibes.

    I hope labour wins the next election, not because I want a labour govt, I simply don't want a national act govt. Labours not going to do a damn thing between today and election day or after election day to make beneficiaries or the ever growing ranks of the working poor's living standards better because every suggestion, every recommendation every idea is dismissed by labour mps and labour party faithful.

    But at least labour won't actively make things worse. That's it. That's the selling point for 2023 "let's not make shit worse"

    • weka 11.1

      Caramel is a nice person, you know who else was a nice person when I met them, Paula Bennet and to be totally honest with you … I don't see a hell of a lot of a difference between the two of them apart from good vibes.

      The whole Labour aren't that different from National thing doesn't stack up when we look at policy though. Bennet oversaw some of the worst punitive welfare reforms we've seen. Sepuloni patently didn't do that, and even reverse some of them, while increasing benefits and making some moves in the right direction. They're not even close to being the same (and I say that despite my criticism of Sepuloni).

      I agree with your general gist, but it doesn't help to fudge the differences.

    • SPC 11.2

      That was basically “misrepresentation”.

    • Incognito 11.3

      Not to mention she got rid of childrens commissioner …

      AFAIK, the original Bill has been split into two Bills and it has not yet had its third reading in the House and has not been passed by Parliament.

    • Louis 11.4

      Carmel didn't get rid of the Children's commissioner.

    • Chris 11.5

      "But at least labour won't actively make things worse."

      Well, we can only hope, because even on the "making things worse" front Labour does have form. Helen Clark's governments did some really horrendous things to beneficiaries throughout the whole of her 9 year term. Labour also supported a number of the Key / Bennett "reforms" in 2013/14. Then in 2018 Labour passed the new Social Security Act, prepared by a National government, who said it was both a simplification of the previous Act and "policy neutral", neither being the case but which Labour naively 'believed' and passed in its own name.

      Hipkins isn't on the left of the party. The question will be whether or not he thinks it's necessary to sacrifice a few beneficiaries to get the votes he needs.

      Of course I hope you're correct, but I don't think it's a given Labour under Hipkins won't make things worse for beneficiaries to try to win the election.

      • observer 11.5.1

        But Hipkins can only win the election by forming a Labour/Green government. So whatever rhetoric there might be in the coming months, there's little time to go beyond words to any substantive legislation – even if Hipkins wants to (and I doubt he does, that's not the major election issue now).

        We can always debate what Ardern could/should have done, especially with a single-party majority post-Winston, but now it's time to look forward, not back.

        The next government will either be the most right wing ever under MMP, or (potentially) significantly to the left.

        • Chris

          Legislation isn't needed to get votes to win an election. All a party needs to do is declare what they'll do if elected. I was responding to a claim that Labour won't make things worse for beneficiaries. I say that's not necessarily the case because 1. they've got form and 2. Hipkins isn't on the left of the party. I don't think you can call this looking to the past instead of the future because consideration of what might happen in the future is kind of difficult if you ignore the past – in fact, ignoring past form tends to invite accusations of 'wild speculation' or 'no evidence to back up your claims'.

          Who's trying to debate what Ardern could or should've done?

          I don't think there's anything useful in saying the next government will either be the most right wing in MMP history or potentially the most left wing. It kind of leaves open the potential for a middle of the road / centrist government, as well, which I'm assuming you mean could happen under a Labour/Hipkins-led coalition. The only question I have about this is the evidence to support your claim. Are you looking at past behaviour?

          • observer

            There has never been a Lab/Green government (with no other parties to muddy the waters).

            There has never been a Nat/ACT government where ACT is a strong presence, not just an Epsom add-on.

            So the two parties on the "flanks", the Greens and ACT, would be in a more influential position than they have ever been. Hence … most left or right ever.

            (in theory NZF could make a comeback yet again and be a support party, but that's a long shot).

            • Belladonna

              I absolutely agree with you. The strength of both ACT and the Greens (10%+ steadily for more than a year) – means that either will have significant strength in negotiations with their respective 'main' parties.

              Just how 'left' or 'right' the government will be, will largely be down to how effectively the minor parties negotiate – and how gutsy they are if it comes to refusing to sign (sitting on the cross-benches – and negotiating legislation on a case-by-case basis).

              This is the first MMP election where I think that's been the case. Each major party has (effectively) just one, quite substantial and well-organised, minor party to negotiate with. [I know that TPM is almost certainly going to have a couple of seats, but would be surprised if they are in a power-broking position – and, in any case, IMO their policies would tend to align more with the Greens than with Labour – so on the further left. In any case, I see them as almost certainly remaining on the cross-benches as a highly vocal watch-dog]

              That places Centrist voters in a difficult position – either choice is likely to be more radical than they feel comfortable with.

              I'll be interested to see if the 'main' parties (Labour/National) – start to do some pre-election negotiation over bottom lines in order to 'reassure' Centrist voters that Armageddon isn't nigh. If one does, the other pretty much has to follow suit – or risk the whole Centre bloc shifting.

              I wonder if the election of Hipkins – who has been linked to the more centre/right of Labour – [Yes, Yes, I know not right wing – but it's a continuum] – is a step in this direction.


              I know that Bryce Edwards as a source seems to push buttons here – but I don't think that anyone has commented that Hipkins is on the left wing of the Labour Party (unlike Wood, who was one of the other possible contenders)

  12. SPC 12

    Things are worse for beneficiaries economically than they were five years ago

    4.7 to 3.3% unemployed

    chucking people off dole and into low paid work

    The MW increased from $15.75 in 2017 to $21.20 an hour in 2022.

    The extent of increase (34%) is greater than that for increases in power and rent and power over the same period.

    Benefits went up 33% – $237 to $315 for the Job Seeker Benefit also greater than the increases in power, rent and power in the same period

    And remember the Winter Power Income Supplement is extra.

    A significant increase in the amount that beneficiaries could earn before abatement applied was increased – from $90 to $160 for singles and $115 to $160 for those with children.

    There was the Accommodation Supplement increases in 2018, the first since 2005 (a further increase is currently under review).


    indexed main benefits are now linked to average wage growth for the first time in New Zealand’s history, to give those most in need a fair go.

    (that they were not is why benefits increased at a slower pace than super payments)

    free school lunches to more than 220,000 students

    funded the removal of school donations to ease the pressure on Kiwi families

    permanently halved the price of public transport for Community Service Cardholders

    Is there more yet to do?

    Yeah sure

    1. ending debt repayments to W and I until a person gains employment

    2. increasing disability payment levels to that of Super

    should have already happened

    One should note that changes sought by WEAG have not been ruled out.

    A report released today shows Government support has lifted incomes for Beneficiaries by 40 percent over and above inflation since 2018.

    The report takes into account inflation data from up to March 2022 and reports a 43 percent rise in After Housing Cost incomes. When adjusted for recent changes to inflation the increase in total incomes in real terms is 40 percent. This figure does not take into account the Winter Energy Payment which is currently being received by 1.1m New Zealanders.

    In general you seem to be conflating the difficulties faced by those in work who have not secured wage increases and who faced higher rents and or mortgage payments with the circumstance of those on benefits.

    Yet you have said elsewhere that you want across the board tax cuts rather than targeted help to those in families (WFF tax credits), your concern seems to be singles who have jobs and no children getting a better deal.

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Thanks SPC. Might use this as the basis of a post. Good to have the details out there.

  13. Yet you have said elsewhere that you want across the board tax cuts rather than targeted help to those in families (WFF tax credits), your concern seems to be singles who have jobs and no children getting a better deal.

    I am a bit that way too. I would rather that people on low incomes were able to keep a bit more of their income for themselves as would happen if the tax rates on low incomes were adjusted. I would rather this than have people have to tackle a very complicated mess of additional $$$$ they might be eligible for from some other Govt jar of money. Though being able to access support while the need is dire is essential.

    Accommodation supplements could be looked at to see if rents/mortgage could/should be adjusted/frozen.

    I am also keen on singles being looked at especially single superannuitants not in relationships.

  14. adam 14

    Whilst Carmel Sepuloni is no Nicky Wagner in the sphere of disability, she has had the depressing tendency to act in a belittling way towards disabled and their concerns. And acted with complete disregard for a desire for disabled leadership in the new ministry.

    I'd argue this is a cultural thing by kiwis to think anybody in a wheelchair, or using crutches, or having some other disability makes them stupid. Or less than capable to lead.

    The appointment of MSD bureaucrats to control the new disabled ministry has been for many in the disabled community, a bit of a sad joke. As MSD has been there every step of the way to make disabled lives hell. This has generally been via WINZ – a truly revolting experience for most disabled and their families.

    WINZ has not improved very much in the last 5 years for disabled. Many are still to scared to go into offices, in fear of coming out with less each week than they went in with. A still all to common occurrence. Many have sudden and unexpected cuts to payments, then have things restored sometime down the line, without apology, nor explanation. Just the added stress. I personally know many disabled who just won't use WINZ at all, they are homeless, beg, borrow and steal to survive.

    I'm glad Carmel Sepuloni is deputy, so now we can talk about how shit it is for disabled in this country. No matter how much a new ministry may look on paper or indeed a website – the reality it is still a hell of a struggled for the weakest and poorest in our society.

    And before you go off half cocked, the other reality we have to face is that the national party is in bed with a theology which regards the poor and weakest in society as vermin who deserve their lowly place. Disabled make up the majority of those poor and weak.

  15. And before you go off half cocked, the other reality we have to face is that the national party is in bed with a theology which regards the poor and weakest in society as vermin who deserve their lowly place. Disabled make up the majority of those poor and weak.

    Yes I totally agree that Luxon and his religion needs more prominence/analysis.

    His answers about SM & attacks on women leaders bears the imprint of either being out of touch or religious breeding and neither are a good look.

    • adam 15.1

      Yes I totally agree that Luxon and his religion needs more prominence/analysis

      His theology is the issue I have. I'd argue anyone who is going to lead a political party and says they are a Christian, should embrace a broadly acceptable theology within Christianity, rather than a fringe one. A fringe theological system which promotes greed and avarice as a Good, is at odds with the basics in the Gospels.

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    Cats, with their independent spirit and beguiling purrs, have captured the hearts of humans for millennia. In New Zealand, felines are no exception, boasting the highest national cat ownership rate globally [definition cat nz cat foundation]. An estimated 1.134 million pet cats grace Kiwi households, compared to 683,000 dogs ...

    5 days ago
  • Or is that just they want us to think?
    Nice guy, that Peter Williams. Amiable, a calm air of no-nonsense capability, a winning smile. Everything you look for in a TV presenter and newsreader.I used to see him sometimes when I went to TVNZ to be a talking head or a panellist and we would yarn. Nice guy, that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Did global warming stop in 1998?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from our Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Did global warming stop in ...
    6 days ago
  • Arguing over a moot point.
    I have been following recent debates in the corporate and social media about whether it is a good idea for NZ to join what is known as “AUKUS Pillar Two.” AUKUS is the Australian-UK-US nuclear submarine building agreement in which … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • No Longer Trusted: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Turning Point: What has turned me away from the mainstream news media is the very strong message that its been sending out for the last few years.” “And what message might that be?” “That the people who own it, the people who run it, and the people who provide its content, really don’t ...
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates at 10% anyone?
    No – nothing about that in PM Luxon’s nine-point plan to improve the lives of New Zealanders. But beyond our shores Jamie Dimon, the long-serving head of global bank J.P. Morgan Chase, reckons that the chances of a goldilocks soft landing for the economy are “a lot lower” than the ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Sad tales from the left
    Michael Bassett writes –  Have you noticed the odd way in which the media are handling the government’s crackdown on surplus employees in the Public Service? Very few reporters mention the crazy way in which State Service numbers rocketed ahead by more than 16,000 during Labour’s six years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • In Whose Best Interests?
    On The Spot: The question Q+A host, Jack Tame, put to the Workplace & Safety Minister, Act’s Brooke van Velden, was disarmingly simple: “Are income tax cuts right now in the best interests of lowering inflation?”JACK TAME has tested another MP on his Sunday morning current affairs show, Q+A. Minister for Workplace ...
    6 days ago
  • Don’t Question, Don’t Complain.
    It has to start somewhereIt has to start sometimeWhat better place than here?What better time than now?So it turns out that I owe you all an apology.It seems that all of the terrible things this government is doing, impacting the lives of many, aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ per se. Those things ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago

  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    1 hour ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    12 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    18 hours ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    19 hours ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    21 hours ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    22 hours ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    1 day ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    1 day ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    2 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    3 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    3 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    4 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    7 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    7 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    7 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    7 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    1 week ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    1 week ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    1 week ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    1 week ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    1 week ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    1 week ago

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