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Chris Luxon is not National’s messiah

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, December 2nd, 2021 - 245 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, national, nicola willis, same old national - Tags:

Two days into Chris Luxon’s reign as National leader and my initial impression is an overwhelming Meh.

This the make or break time.  The chance when the media spotlight is firmly on you for you to make an impression.  So what impression has he made?

His first action had strong hints of born to rule and out of control wealth about it.

To deliver him to the steps of Parliament so he could be all powerful on it the Party hired a black limousine to drive him from his apartment, across the road to Parliament’s forecourt, a total of 200 metres.  One wonders why he could not have walked.  Nicola Willis was also delivered by Black Mercedes.  Obviously the visuals of being ferried around in expensive cars is more important to National than the climate and health benefits of walking.

Then he displayed that his understanding of how it was for ordinary people is completely lacking.  He was asked what the unemployment rate was and guessed it is 3.9 percent. It is currently 3.4 percent. He guessed the living wage is $28. It is $22.75.  He earlier expressed concern about an increase in the minimum wage because it made his coffee more expensive.  Understanding how the 99% live is not one of his strong points.

Then he expressed surprise that one of his seven houses has increased in value by $2.3 million this year.  But the overall figure is even worse.  The combined portfolio is worth $21.2 million and has increased in value this year by $4.3 million which is $90,000 per week and all tax free.  And in a perfect example of the utility of a public private partnership two of his properties, the building that houses his electorate office and his Wellington apartment, are subsidised by Central Government funding.

He is busily walking back the party’s proposal to allow further housing intensification in a joint approach with the Government.  The leafy suburbs of Remuera have spoken.

And he is not going to back away from his abortion views, and has not disagreed with a suggestion that abortion is murder.

When John Key became leader he seized the middle ground, visited McGehan Close and took Aroha Nathan with him to Waitangi, and talked about the underclass and the urgent need to help the poor.  Aroha’s mother subsequently described Key as an asshole but his foray deep into Labour territory had a profound effect.

I can confidently say that Luxon will not be capable of a similar symbolic activity.  And he is not National’s messiah.

245 comments on “Chris Luxon is not National’s messiah ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    We know about these people – Ted Cruz comes to mind! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_theology

  2. dv 2

    I liked the answer to the question "when and where were you last on a farm?"

    "about 3 mths ago in the south island" I think

    Now was he unsure about the time or the island (or both)?

  3. Pete 3

    Chris Luxon is not National’s messiah? Is he anybody's?

  4. Ffloyd 4

    MEH ….Mediocre Egg Head.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Gone by Easter.

      • Gezza 4.1.1

        Would you bet your house on that?

        I don’t think he will be. They can’t afford the embarrassment of tosding out another leader.

        But I also don’t see him saying much to attract fled former National voters back to the fold yet. His pronouncements & interviews are still in the area of fluffy noise.

        His spokesperson allocations may give us the first decent clues where he’s likely to go with policies. Otherwise he’s been pretty bland.

        • Robert Guyton 4.1.1.1

          They couldn't afford the embarrassment of tossing the last one out either.

          Nor the one before that.

          Nor the one before that.

          This'll barely cause a ripple; they're used to it.

          • Gezza 4.1.1.1.1

            They couldn't afford the embarrassment of tossing the last one out either.

            Yes they could. It had been anticipated & even openly called for by media commentators for months. The only question was whether it would happen before or after the Xmas break. Still far enuf away from the next election to be plenty of time for a new leader to rebuild a new team, if that's possible with that infighting rabble.

            *Nor the one before that.*

            That was Muller. Again, they could afford the embarrassment of his tossing in the job becos even further away from the next election & they figured they could pick someone stronger next time. (Picking a strong *idiot* didn't pan out, but that's not the same thing. They could afford the embarrassment if Collins worked out ok.)

            *Nor the one before that.*

            There wasn't any need for embarrassment about that. Bridges obviously had to go. He was tanking them in the polls (the same way Little did with Labour prior to their decision to push him out of the way & pick & sell Ardern at the last minute).

            *This'll barely cause a ripple; they're used to it.*

            BS. If they now dump Luxon they'd likely be finished as a serious political party. They've got every incentive to run with him & Willis until the next election & they'll do so. This guy isn't going to grate on the ear loyke Brugiz, fold into a messy heap under pressure like Muller, or open his mouth only to change which foot he sticks in it like Collins.

            Go back to sleep, Robert.

            • georgecom 4.1.1.1.1.1

              if National toss Luxon they have no where else to go. This guy is the great white hope. beyond him they have to go back and look at Bridges again.

        • Chris 4.1.1.2

          I think he'll bring nat voters back, not because he's Luxon but because he's not Bridges and he's not Collins. Otherwise-nat voters have been searching for an excuse to go home. All this post-lockdown palaver, even perceived palaver, will be further excuse.

      • roblogic 4.1.2

        But then back from the dead 3 days later?

    • Kevin Warburton 4.2

      Nah, he's not that smart.

  5. Blazer 5

    From Amazon-

    Inspiration for the Netflix Documentary Series

    “Of all the important studies of the American right, The Family is undoubtedly the most eloquent. It is also quite possibly the most terrifying.” — Thomas Frank, New York Times bestselling author of What's the Matter with Kansas?

    They insist they're just a group of friends, yet they funnel millions of dollars through tax-free corporations. They claim to disdain politics, but congressmen of both parties describe them as the most influential religious organization in Washington. They say they're not Christians, but simply believers.

    Behind the scenes at every National Prayer Breakfast since 1953 has been the Family, an elite network dedicated to a religion of power for the powerful. Their goal is "Jesus plus nothing." Their method is backroom diplomacy. The Family is the startling story of how their faith—part free-market fundamentalism, part imperial ambition—has come to be interwoven with the affairs of nations around the world.'

    The Upper Room is supposedly the NZ arm of 'The Family'.

    Wikipedia has some 'interesting' information too.

    • aj 5.1

      The Family is worth watching. Get through the slightly tedious first episode, after that it's quite chilling.

  6. Anne 6

    To deliver him to the steps of Parliament so he could be all powerful on it the Party hired a black limousine to drive him from his apartment, across the road to Parliament’s forecourt, a total of 200 metres. One wonders why he could not have walked. Nicola Willis was also delivered by Black Mercedes. Obviously the visuals of being ferried around in expensive cars is more important to National than the climate and health benefits of walking.

    Wow! I didn't know that. It says it all. The Nats have not changed one iota since neoliberalism began. It's all about image… image… image. Image does nothing for ordinary folk. It doesn't help put food in their mouths, a roof over their heads, a decent education or any feeling of optimism. Luxon will pay lip service to all of these things but in the end it will mean precisely nothing.

    Now we wait for the nay-sayers to accuse the Labour Govt. of “doing nothing” when it is patently untrue. You can’t turn around 35 years of neoliberal policies in a few years – my estimation is morel like 10 years.

    • Gezza 6.1

      If they had a suite of competent Ministers they could do it in 5-6 years. Covid’s complicated matters tho.

    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      C'mon, Anne, give the guy a break! Wellington's relentless sun beating down on that exposed pate? Skin cancer's a serious issue for those who rarely venture outside of the office and he couldn't wear a hat for fear of looking like Rawiri Waititi.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    he expressed surprise that one of his seven houses has increased in value by $2.3 million this year. But the overall figure is even worse. The combined portfolio is worth $21.2 million and has increased in value this year by $4.3 million which is $90,000 per week and all tax free. And in a perfect example of the utility of a public private partnership two of his properties, the building that houses his electorate office and his Wellington apartment, are subsidised by Central Government funding.

    But he failed to thank the Labour Party for their role in this. Graceless. Politically inept. Obviously it would never have happened if the current govt governed via market regulation to eliminate the escalating inequality trend!

    Not to give credit where it's due is seen as a character flaw by most kiwis. He ought to have credited Jacinda & Grant for enriching him with their neoliberalism!

    • Jimmy 7.1

      Yes I thought that too. His properties have increased significantly thanks to Grant and Jacinda.

    • I loved it when Susie Ferguson questioned him over his 7 houses and said he wasn't exactly helping the housing crisis by having 7 houses. Luxon was nonplussed in a "what's the problem" kind of way.

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        smiley I would have had the same reaction. When you have established a track record as a winner in a game you'd be baffled by anyone implying a problem with the game.

        My natural attitude to the non-game of housing equity is everyone ought to have a fair share. I suspect that's a genuinely socialist view & derives from growing up in a world where that ethos got promoted in culture here.

        However we now live in a world where left & right believe the market rules societal outcomes. He grew up with that norm.

  8. Cliff Allen 8

    The most concerning thing so far has been the six NZ flags lined up behind him at his press conference immediately after the limo ride. Some countries might do jingoistic bullshit displays but not here

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    he is not going to back away from his abortion views

    Already has. See here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/abortion-u-turn-housing-pivot-chris-luxons-first-day-as-national-party-leader/KG33RT33WLKKSGIN6INBFKALKQ/

    Luxon decided to reverse a previous vote on abortion law reform. He was one of just 15 MPs to vote against a bill banning protest in "safe areas" outside abortion clinics. He's now said, following changes to that bill, he'll vote for it at second reading.

    • Enough is Enough 9.1

      Absolutely. He's a populist. He will not allow his personal values to get in the way of his ambition.

      How can he try to deflate the abortion issue? By simply changing his vote.

  10. Trotter asks a salient question in his profile piece of Luxon's faith:

    Fast-forward to the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, and Christianity is still a religion bitterly divided between those caught up in the struggle to determine what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God; and those who, heretically, have come to regard the purposes of God and the purposes of Caesar as one and the same.

    The former see God’s marching-orders in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount: and in God’s preferential option for the poor. The latter believe that God exercises his authority through those he chooses to lead a lost and the sinful world. Crucially, these need not be good men. Was the murderer and adulterer, King David, a good man? God loved him, nevertheless. All that matters is that such men rise to positions from which the will of God can be made manifest. The American Christian Right understood immediately that Donald Trump wasn’t a good man. But, they believed with all their heart that he was God’s man.

    Which of these two groups does Christopher Luxon belong to?

    It's increasingly clear that, despite his good work in other areas, Luxon is firmly in the "Christian Right" camp, which puts him at odds with the core mission of Jesus, telling his disciples to love one another.

    • Obtrectator 10.2

      So: Old Testament rather than New. Like the Afrikaners. (And mods please note: that emphatically doesn’t mean I think he shares other aspects of their thinking.)

      • roblogic 10.2.1

        Nahh, more like the American religious right… Chris Hedges gave a very interesting talk about how the Christian churches in America, once voices for social and economic justice, were subverted and colonised by the capitalist class.

        The Gospel was perverted into a self-help get-rich scheme, social solidarity was eroded and transmuted into tribal flag waving militarism, Bible study was twisted into fundamentalist anti-science fuckwittery

  11. Chris 11

    I wouldn't be giving Luxon guidance on how to get cut-through with middle New Zealand. Let him use limos to travel 50 feet, bungle basic questions about poverty and perhaps he'll be called an arsehole sooner than Key was.

    • Gezza 11.1

      Shane Reti. They should have gone for Reti. At the moment, Luxon looks & sounds like yesterday’s man, someone devoid of a real suite of worthwhile principles while seeming to espouse them.

      • Alan 11.1.1

        Reti did not want the Leadership, he knows his own strengths and weaknesses. He can contribute much more as spokesperson on health

      • Patricia Bremner 11.1.2

        Gezza he would have nothing in common with you or me, because we fundamentally like people and enjoyed our work without hankering for the trappings of power and wealth to make us happy.

        I think he is a salesman. "We have a talented team" He is talking about Judith Collins Simeon Bridges Michael Woodhouse et al as if they have changed overnight. The only impressive thing is "choosing" Nicola Willis who was part of the Tod Muller debacle. She, I think is the political chess player, always in the picture close to the new leader. What do you think?

        He also thinks we should "open up" to vaccinated people overseas and let them home isolate. What do you think of that idea?

        I did not hear him asked about carbon emissions or vaccinations .. will he do anything.?

        • woodart 11.1.2.1

          good post patricia. nicola willis is the one to watch. my opinion(that and $4 will get you a coffee), is that luxton will lead national to an honourable second place next election, and the liberal part of nat will slide willis into the big chair. luton will spend huge energy pretending he's not minikey, but fail to pretend, sorry, portray who he really is .

        • Gezza 11.1.2.2

          [Willis], I think is the political chess player, always in the picture close to the new leader. What do you think?

          Very ambitious, imo. Has an eye on the top job already. Is now in the training role. Cool, calm & collected, so far. Articulate. Careful with words. If she performs well in her spokesperson & Deputy Leader jobs she’s quite possibly the next National leadership candidate.

          He also thinks we should “open up” to vaccinated people overseas and let them home isolate. What do you think of that idea?

          I don’t like it. So if that becomes their policy, I wouldn’t vote for his party.

          I did not hear him asked about carbon emissions or vaccinations .. will he do anything.?

          Carbon emissions … with Willis as as his Deputy & her interest in climate change, yes.

          Vaccinations? Not sure what you mean. I’m sure he will continue to order vaccinations, boosters etc, as recommended by his Health Authorities if he was elected PM. But, you’re right, journos should be boring in on those questions to him. They probably will. It’s only been 2 days.

        • Obtrectator 11.1.2.3

          "She, I think is the political chess player, always in the picture close to the new leader."

          As a chess-player myself, I don't understand that allusion to the game, not at any rate where keeping yourself close to the leader is concerned.

          • Patricia Bremner 11.1.2.3.1

            Obtrectator, Within supporting distance of the King. Being a knight rather than a pawn. Being able to move into and out of formations, She has now moved to become a queen to replace the previous queen. ok?

            In terms of chess she has played a multi level game. Cheers.

            • Patricia Bremner 11.1.2.3.1.1

              Rereading that, I forgot to say the game is to protect your own King and capture the opposition's King. She did a brilliant job. Amy and Nikki are not there after Muller's failure, which Nicola was involved in, and she worked with Judith and Megan Woods on Housing. Now she has seen her good friend John key's man into the King position and she is Queen protecting him and aiming to remove Jacinda. There it is.. clever moves.

          • newsense 11.1.2.3.2

            It’s all in Alice in Wonderland or the Looking Glass

      • bwaghorn 11.1.3

        Reti is nationals version of Little ,probably the right man for the job but not sparkly enough for the average barely politically conscious voter.

  12. Dennis Frank 12

    It was an untypical christian who

    envisioned a devotional aid that was not doctrinal but inclusive, centered not on differences but on beliefs that Christians hold in common. Attending a church conference in Richmond, Virginia, Grover Emmons heard Reverend John W. Smith speak about the power of God descending on Jesus’ disciples as they prayed in an upper room. Dr. Emmons was inspired: the magazine would be called The Upper Room. In early 1935, 100,000 copies of the first issue (April-May-June 1935) sold out quickly.

    https://www.upperroom.org/about/history

    Normal praxis for christians is bitching over details. This habit had built the total number of christian sects to over 40,000 at last count. So the nonconformist christian with a focus on common ground is a powerfully positive role model. If Luxon uses that consensus-building praxis, he will grow into the job substantially.

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    Gordon Campbell does unusually acute political analysis here:

    When RNZ’s Lisa Owen asked Luxon to name his favourite animal, he surprisingly replied ”guinea pig.” Given all the wonders of Creation, what can explain the sense of kinship that the new leader of the National Party evidently feels with the humble guinea pig? Both of them do have rather large heads relative to their body size.

    Disappointing that Luxon didn't go for this option… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamster

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    Simplistically labelling Mr Luxon as a “sky pilot” or “religious nutter” will not suffice in understanding where his creepy right wing plans emanate from. And I would call any male politician that deigns to interfere in women’s reproductive health “creepy”.

    His Upper Room involvement should be investigated and explained as much as possible to voters in my view. He seems the sneaky type suited to Opus Dei, the personal prelature within the Roman Catholic organisation.

    Perhaps secular people, women, and younger new gen voters in particular, will assess him on his policies and actions rather than his world view and organisational associations. Think about how the fornicator, usurer, and mob associate Trump came to gain the allegiance and support of the US Christian Right. They knew our orange friend was not a good man, but they knew he would advance “Gods work” as they understand it. Not so many of that lot in NZ fortunately but there are certainly enough for a rapture supporter to align with.

    But nonetheless Mr Luxon is an enemy of the working class for those that live the reality that gets discussed most days on The Standard. The seven property owner says he does not want property values to fall dramatically–surprise, sur–effing-prise! He talked about property in the abstract as such people do–just another transaction. He did not say everyone has a right to shelter, and that he would be making that happen forthwith–as a social justice Christian might just be expected to.

    Julie Anne Genter cycles to deliver her baby, and baldric limos it to cross the road! way to go natzos…

    • tc 14.1

      Good points TM, look across the ditch as scumo and ‘brother stuey’ come under the spotlight. Blind trusts, policy influenced by religious beliefs…. manufacturing culture wars.

      Meh is about right mickey…..use him now before he joins the skeleton club that Collins is a life member of.

      Eventually with all those dead rats around national he'll gain baggage as he can't sack anyone.

      Reti appears too decent to do what's expected and isn't this why he was gifted botany after all.

  15. Adrian 15

    “ We are going to fix the housing market” pretty much sums up how much the Nat’s know about anything. By the time the next election comes around we may well be over supplied with houses at the rate they are being built and drawn up under Labour. From Sleepyheads new town ( think Bourneville that Cadbury built ) to more aged laagers on greenfield sites on the outskirts of every town I’ve passed through lately, those houses the tired retired are abandoning for their no maintenance- no mowing nirvanas have got to go to somebody.
    The carpers will say it had nothing to do with Labour but all those little levers that Grant has been levering away on have definitely had quite an effect, imagine what NZ would look like already without the enormous effort that has been directed at bloody Covid.

    • Patricia Bremner 15.1

      You are right Adrian. I remember the many articles Henry Cooke wrote on housing, this term hardly a murmur.

      I hear from Christopher Luxon about how educational levels have dropped. They began to drop under National's structured top down model. The most successful were the Maori emersion groups who educated from children's experiences, grew their confidence and sense of belonging.

      Money grudgingly given, pay levels squeezed and no real recognition for Educators. Turning that "make money out of the worlds rich" to providing quality classrooms and New Zealand teachers will take a while.

  16. Maurice 16

    There is only room for one messianic leader at a time ….

  17. Mike B 17

    The fact that this post was even put up is an indication that the left are worried. I think they need to be very worried.

    • weka 17.1

      you’ve been asked before to pick one name and stick to it. I’ve changed your name today. Please use it going forward. If you want to change it, let me know but otherwise changes will probably result in posts going to Trash.

  18. Macro 18

    To deliver him to the steps of Parliament so he could be all powerful on it the Party hired a black limousine to drive him from his apartment, across the road to Parliament’s forecourt, a total of 200 metres.

    Just following on the principles imbued in Air NZ culture..

    The Elite and Business class get the full works, Cattle class get the crumbs. We can all see where this is heading.

    • Anne 18.1

      In the lead up to the National Caucus selection it was reported the two front runners disagreed over the venue for the new leader reveal. One wanted the usual Beehive venue for such occasions and the other wanted the larger and more opulent Banquet Hall. We were not told which candidate wanted which venue.

      The Banquet Hall won.

      Another sign of an over-rated self assessment and elitism – not to mention image requirements.

  19. coge 19

    Luxon has characteristics required for success. Those characters allowed him to become National's new leader. As such, successful folk usually don't live in a tent wearing sackcloth. Are large bloc of Kiwis understand this. Ongoing shrill narratives of victimhood, are not going to help Labour at this stage of the political cycle. There seems nothing useful or logical on offer for the aspirational from Labour. The public are gravitating towards positive messages, and Luxon knows this. I recall Labour took the low road leading up to the 2008 election. Thus the ultimate result became a foregone conclusion.

    • Robert Guyton 19.1

      Yeah! You too can ride the Black Mercedes!

      If only you BELIEVE!

      • Stuart Munro 19.1.1

        You can't think Bliss, without thinking Barry Otto. … and the Devil himself drives a big Cadillac Limousine right down Fifth Avenue.

    • Blazer 19.2

      Yes ,regurgitating the Key govts unfulfilled ambitions is truly inspiring.

      Luxon can't fake sincerity the way Key did.

      9 years of Natz govt and the productive sector was…stagnant.

      Tax cuts for the rich and austerity for the…rest.Brilliant.

  20. Ad 20

    Ok I'm predicting National's next poll will start with a 3.

    The next election in Jan 2024 is Labour's to lose. All Labour can slogan on is: It Could Have Been Worse. Who votes for that? Outside of pandemic responses, $60b of new public debt, and a minimum wage increase, has Labour achieved anything memorable?

    Luxon has given National's Pakeha 40+ base exactly what they needed. They want money, and they want success. That's him in a man.

    Willis should not have her pulling power underestimated either among Pakeha women under 50.

    If Labour had half the union support that evangelicals are capable of organising for National, we'd be fine. Underestimating and downplaying National's capacity to fund electoral organising power is a very, very bad idea. We are about to be surprised by the bounce.

    • Dennis Frank 20.1

      National's next poll will start with a 3

      You bet. Just a question of mid-30s or not, and where the refugees come from. I'll go for 5% from Act, 2% from Labour, just to be conservative.

      Honeymoon factor could pull more, say 4% from Labour & 7% from Act. Then National would hit the upper 30s. That's feasible.

      • Gypsy 20.1.1

        Interesting! The sense I get is that Labour's vote is softer than Act's, so for national to get into the mid 30's I'd pick the numbers coming 2:1 Labour:Act.

        • Dennis Frank 20.1.1.1

          Well, it all hinges on whether those who deserted National for Act did so for ideological reasons or not. I think it was just tribal drift, done to signal National that clueless leaders are unacceptable. A sheeple thing, if you like.

          Naturally Seymour believes it is his superior grasp of rightism that's pulled them away. But too many people know elections get won in the middle of the road. So National must not abandon centrists to Labour.

          Therefore Luxon seeming to have the x factor like Ardern is an equaliser. Those who went to Act will mostly see no reason to stay there. Some will stay, being sufficiently intelligent to grasp that Act must play a support role (like the Greens on the left). If Luxon proves to lack the x factor this scenario will evaporate…

          • Gypsy 20.1.1.1.1

            Once again, interesting comments.

            " I think it was just tribal drift, done to signal National that clueless leaders are unacceptable."

            Some will be tribal, however most ex Labour voters I know who have switched to ACT have done so for ideological reasons. They are looking beyond the 'old party' paradigm for something new. Still, time will tell.

    • RedLogix 20.2

      And to give you full credit Ad, you have been totally consistent in pointing to those areas where Labour have talked a big game, but failed to deliver. And handed Luxon the perfect weapon.

      Robertson's solid work aside – most of the existing Cabinet have failed to impress.

    • Tiger Mountain 20.3

      Sirkey had pulling power too!–particularly in relation to young women’s hair…

    • Patricia Bremner 20.4

      No we all realise he is appealing to our innate greed.

      Sadly New Zealanders have gone for so called "strong leaders" Muldoon, Lange, Bolger. They did great harm to NZ and New Zealanders.

      • Ad 20.4.1

        Helen Clark was a strong leader. Unsmiling and humourless.

        Who also delivered massively.

        • Poission 20.4.1.1

          Massive was the current account deficit under Clark indeed.Excluding Kiwisaver it was a failure gvt for antifragile policy initiatives.

          https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key-graphs/key-graph-current-account

        • RedLogix 20.4.1.2

          In private or unguarded moments she was perfectly capable of being funny.

          I had a very late Sunday night encounter with her once that still makes for a good story. laugh (Strictly safe for work I must add.)

        • Patricia Bremner 20.4.1.3

          She stole the Leadership from Mike Moore. Her handling of the challenge from Cullen was her best moment. She kept him close and used his strengths well.

          • Ad 20.4.1.3.1

            Moore would have been just weird.

            • Gezza 20.4.1.3.1.1

              I watched Mike Moore count to five using just three fingers, on a tv interview, once. It was quite jarring, the way he did it. As though he didn’t know how to count off five fingers one after the other. He would have been an awkward PM.

              I got into a lift in our work building one day, & he was in there. I was struck by the fact that he was a really big, i.e. tall, imposing sort of guy. TV made him seem average height to quite small.

              • Patricia Bremner

                At a function I ended up in a lift with Muldoon. He was quite short and always had the cameras up close on TV. TV is misleading.

        • Robert Guyton 20.4.1.4

          She was laughing on the inside.

        • Stuart Munro 20.4.1.5

          Who also delivered massively.

          But not to those impoverished by the black decade. Labour cut itself off from its natural supporters, then cried when they acted on the rejection.

      • weston 20.4.2

        Why lump lange in with muldoon for hevens sake i dont consider he harmed nz or nzders douglas was the culprit surely ? .Wouldnt call bolger strong either can never think of him without thinking sausages !!

        • Patricia Bremner 20.4.2.1

          Lange introduced School Boards, and teachers and Head Staff spent every year after training them in what Governance meant. Most were dumbfounded to discover schools were million dollar or more entities.

          Most lacked experience and skills, especially in low decile areas where expertise was needed.

          Many thought they were coming "To straighten this place up"devil

          After their first month they would admit they did not know how we did it all and on a shoe string. Most were shocked to find teachers fund raised for sports equipment, school camps and many other activities. It was years before the Ministry offered Training. ‘

          Lange was a showman and an orator who did not grasp what was happening until his famous "Cup of tea."

          Weston look up Ruth Richardson’s Mother of all budgets. That was under Bolger.

          • weston 20.4.2.1.1

            Whatever pat i think DL could see what was happening under douglas and his mates long before the cup of tea but by then was pretty powerless to do much about it dont forget how much money was being made etc .Regardless imo he doesnt come under the heading "strong"and wouldnt have wanted to.Fundamentally he was a decent humble man as was his father.

    • DS 20.5

      The next election in Jan 2024 is Labour's to lose.

      January 2024 is the latest an election can be held, and would be highly unlikely as a date, given that that implies electioneering over Christmas and New Years.

      A much more likely date would be October or (more likely) November 2023.

  21. Robert Guyton 21

    The Left/Labour might ask itself, "Did we learn how to counter Key or someone like him?" or will we have to wait till Luxon, like Key, swans-off coz he's bored?

    • Tiger Mountain 21.2

      New gen voters are the area to watch in 2023 and 2026.

      The Boomer group will have a long tail, but no longer outright numerical superiority in General Elections. Parliament remains only one form of politics anyway, and in the Climate Disaster era of tipping points, there will likely be a resurgence of community organising and rediscovery of collectivism on a large scale.

      • Patricia Bremner 21.2.1

        However, we need a Government focused on supporting collective efforts, not making rich compete with poor for a "Pot".

    • Gezza 21.3

      I don’t think the left learned how to counter Key.

      You’re right that he swanned off when he got bored, imo. He’d made statements before going into politics that he wanted PM on his CV. He’d ticked that off.

      He was likely also aware that a fourth term was a hard ask, that many early promises were left unfulfilled, & that the media honeymoon was probably going to be over.

      I don’t think Key was ever in for the country. He was in it for the ego. And probably the business opportunities afterward.

      • Barfly 21.3.1

        I disagree I believe Key swanned off because he was unable to risk a fair chance of losing – the shine was getting tarnished – booed soundly at a big gay out and a league test chose to retire "undefeated"

      • Obtrectator 21.3.2

        He also wanted a "legacy", hence the flag debacle (the result of which I think may have been the beginning of his end), and a knighthood to prove conclusively that the former poor little state-house boy had really arrived (which was why he reinstated them).

      • newsense 21.3.3

        I like to think that the openly aethiest Key left because his wife told him to. It’s the romantic in me, but also the picture of him at his bach with his family seemed an honest one. He could be a nasty guy in the house and was known as the smiling assassin, but was also a boy from a state house who appreciated what he had IMO.

  22. AB 22

    Luxon:

    • Shallow right-wing business guy who overestimates his ability and relevance
    • Burbles away interminably in the most excruciating business cliches that most of us have spent our working lives rolling our eyes over and then ignoring in order to get real work done
    • A man totally inadequate for his historical moment – the besetting problems of our times (climate change & social/economic inequality) cannot be resolved with the gadgets in his mental toolbox, and arguably, have been caused by exactly those same gadgets
    • Represents National's dangerous capture by the very wealthy (the Luxon/Willis 11-house duo) while David Seymour's right wing populism steals their lunch

    So all up, he'll do pretty well – because these limitations are not too much of a problem in a political and media environment characterised by triviality.

    • Patricia Bremner 22.1

      Don't forget the better drinks supplied to the journos and better places, but the placings are Christopher Luxon and Nicola Willis above the audience of journalists.
      ” Impressions of power matter”
      1. Limo Photo op.
      2. Podium Photo op.
      3 Suit
      4. Bland encompassing platitudes with broad brush strokes.

    • Gezza 22.2

      I quite like that short analysis. Can’t fault it at the moment.

  23. Hanswurst 23

    Two days into Chris Luxon’s reign as National leader and my initial impression is an overwhelming Meh.

    That's how I've felt about John Key for over fifteen years. Political reality disagreed with me, unfortunately.

  24. Alan 24

    Yes, but you are not the target audience

    [lprent: Just a warning.

    Quit with the one line aphorisms in the first few comments of posts – expand it to what you mean rather than chasing the top comment (I seem to see you doing this frequently).

    It is a on-line behaviour that I dislike because as far as I am concerned repetition of the tactic is designed to control the first comments and diverge them to stiupidity.

    I added 6 hours to your comment this time. Next time I just send it to OpenMike. And eventually I will simply ban for attempting to stifle intelligent debate – read replies to you comment to see what I mean. ]

    • Enough is Enough 24.1

      Agreed. He is targetting the 400,000 former National voters that have gone elsewhere. Not the couple of hundered folk who hang out here.

      To underestimate his potential would be a large mistake.

      • Alan 24.1.1

        Under estimating Nicola Willis is also dangerous

        • Blazer 24.1.1.1

          More impressed by her than…him.

          They say he will grow into the job….maybe by the time the next election rolls around he will reach her….height!laugh

        • Enough is Enough 24.1.1.2

          Yep – and anyone who thinks Luxon's conservative values will rub off and dictate National's policies, need to meet Nicola Willis.

          Luxon is essentially a populist. He wants to be PM and will ignore his values if that is what it takes to be PM. I think policy will be driven more by Nicola (and that is probably a good thing).

        • Robert Guyton 24.1.1.3

          Underestimating Luxon is dangerous?

          For whom?

          Everybody?

          Is he that appalling?

      • Gypsy 24.1.2

        MS isn't underestimating Luxon. This post makes that clear.

        • mickysavage 24.1.2.1

          Please tell me where I am wrong.

          • Gypsy 24.1.2.1.1

            I didn't say you were wrong. I said you weren't underestimating Luxon. You highlight Luxon's financial success and his consistent opposition to abortion. If those are criticisms, you’re heart just doesn't seem to be in it. From that I figure you actually see him as a legitimate threat to the government?

            • Robert Guyton 24.1.2.1.1.1

              More a threat to society, given those 2 characteristics.

              • Gypsy

                Being wealthy is really not a threat to society. Although perhaps Nicolas Maduro might be an exception?

                • mac1

                  Jim Bolger would disagree.

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/former-prime-minister-jim-bolger-denounces-capitalism-says-national-party-disappointing/TV74HMMZ6INGQP22Z4QSUFHWBM/

                  Bolger is aware of the destabilising effects of too wide a gap in society of wealth and income.

                  • Gypsy
                    1. Where does Jim Bolger say being wealthy is a threat to society?

                    2. How is Luxon's personal wealth a threat to society?

                    • mac1
                      1. You're kidding. The clue is the phrase 'social inequality", used four times and used in an economic context. that is "pushing countries towards revolution".

                      2. Bolger says nothing about Luxon specifically, though how much wealth is 'obscene' alongside 'others going to food kitchens'?

                  • Patricia Bremner

                    Jim Bolger let Ruth Richardson loose, that is what he regrets, as he realised he did not actively listen to advice from others.

                  • Gypsy
                    1. Are you, or Bolger, seriously suggesting NZ is being pushed towards revolution by wealth inequality?

                    2. I asked you how Luxon's wealth is a threat to society. Luxon's wealth is irrelevant to people struggling financially. Other than his taxes contribute to paying their benefits.

                    • mac1
                      1. I believe he is saying that. How far are we down that road? With a Labour government, not so far nor would it allow us to get that far; except maybe some mad insurrectionists such as the US just had.
                      1. My first answer stands. I listened to an older, intelligent well-off woman in the supermarket today as she got very angry at the price of raspberries, so high it's denied to many shoppers at $43 kg in a province that grows them. She was also angry at Luxon's inability to see that kind of injustice, that kind of reality for the poor.

                      Then we read he has $21 million in houses alone, that the return on that investment is more than what he earned as a CEO of a major company.

                      Some would say that's the politics of envy. I'd say it's the politics of social justice.

                      I was in Kobe in Japan visiting my daughter. She took us to a little restaurant where they served simmered dishes. I asked whether what we were eating was Kobe beef. The Japanese men eating there, working men, were highly amused. It wasn’t. Kobe beef was $200 a kg.

                      What does it take to change laughter to tears, desperation, anger? What Jim Bolger understood. Social inequality.

                      How many nations in this world have not suffered insurrection because of social inequality- poverty and repression?

                  • Gypsy
                    1. There is no indication that NZ is being pushed toward a revolution because of wealth inequality. None.

                    2. So now you're invoking the cost of raspberries. And the opinion of someone who has presented no evidence Luxon can't see injustice.

                    Yes, you're exercising the politics of envy. Luxon has taken a massive pay cut to enter politics to make a difference. Let's judge him when we see what that looks like.

                    • Blazer

                      Keep up…we have seen the evidence that he has made more while in Parliament than his annual salary at Air!

                    • mac1

                      I'm not envious of Luxon or the rich. I have enough.

                      You'll have to accept that. My friend by the way was not expressing an opinion. She was expressing a strong emotion of anger, outrage, fueled by observed inequality.

                      Emotions drive social movements. Look even at the insanity of the anti-vax conspiracy continuum. Fueled not by logic. By emotion. Anger. Frustration. Perceived loss of freedom. Fear.

                      My concern is with justice for all. Enough for all. Equality and opportunity for all, be it racial, economic, gender, age, education. Social equality is usually associated mostly with economics but it's wider than that, and the effects of racism, sexism, bigotry in all its forms, tends to be reflected in economic terms as well.

                  • Gypsy

                    "She was expressing a strong emotion of anger, outrage, fueled by observed inequality."
                    You wrote "She was also angry at Luxon's inability to see that kind of injustice,". She has no idea whether Luxon can see that. There are many examples of wealthy people who have or had great empathy with those less well off.

                    • mac1

                      Perhaps, Gypsy, she had read what a wealthy person had to say about increasing the minimum wage.

                      "National MP Chris Luxon complained earlier this year that an increase in the minimum wage would put up the price of his takeaway coffee. A quick look at the statistics shows he’s right. The average price of a takeaway coffee goes up every April after the minimum wage rise like clockwork… by about six cents, or about 1.5%, which is less than the general rate of inflation in the economy."

                      Now where is the empathy of a view that would deny something closer to a living wage for 6 cents per cup of coffee extra?

                      https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/11-10-2021/theres-no-downside-to-raising-the-minimum-wage

                  • Gypsy

                    "Perhaps, Gypsy, she had read what a wealthy person had to say about increasing the minimum wage."
                    Or perhaps she'd read that Stuff article and realised Luxon wasn't talking about his coffee at all, but about businesses having to pass on rising the cost to customers.
                    ““It illustrates the reality for small businesses of the recently implemented minimum wage increase from $18.90 to $20.00,” he said in a Facebook post.”

                    • mac1

                      Funnily, the article and other references to Luxon's position then was understanding of that point. It was rather pointing to the fact there was no consideration from Luxon as to the effect of a less than adequate wage upon the worker. That is lack of empathy. As a politician purportedly standing for a 'national' party, he showed an understanding of one point of view as an employer, but no understanding of the point of view of a worker. That detail points not to empathy but towards ignoring the worker's POV and ignorance both.

                      What ignorance? Let's get Luxon's ignorance of the worker's POV out centre stage.

                      He did not know when questioned what the minimum wage was, nor did he know what the unemployment rate was.

                      Sometimes what we don't know, and why we don't know, is very revealing of our nature, beliefs and concerns.

                      The last, 'concerns', is what drives empathy.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Funnily, the article and other references to Luxon's position then was understanding of that point."

                    That would be the op piece in the SPin Off. The original article you referenced was from Stuff, and made it clear what Luxon was talking about. The lesson for you is not to rely on someone's 'reckons', rather than what was actually said by the person you're accusing.

                    ” It was rather pointing to the fact there was no consideration from Luxon as to the effect of a less than adequate wage upon the worker.”
                    The Stuff article wasn’t pointing to anything of the sort. Luxon was commenting on the impact of minimum wage rises on prices. It’s a simple fact. Your criticisms are sounding more and more desperate.

                    • mac1

                      Gypsy, I know what Luxon did say.

                      My point is what he did not say.

                      Yes, he took the employer's view. None other.

                      Point me to a Luxon statement saying a rise in the minimum wage is justified, wise, needed.

                      Tuesday will be an interesting and testing day, in Parliament, when we will hear the new Leader of the Opposition's concerns in his questions, and on Wednesday his views in the general debate, and judge on that evidence his empathy levels.

                      Maybe he will even try and force a debate on something like whether Auckland should have gone green.

                      Until then, I suggest we can wait, in desperation. 🙂

                  • Gypsy

                    "Yes, he took the employer's view. "
                    NO HE DIDN'T.

                    He said that a rise in the minimum wage had led to a price increase. That is taking the customers view. In a time of rising inflation, I'd day that may win him some kudos.

                    • mac1

                      That view is correct. The end result is a rise in the price of a cup of coffee by six cents. But, is that what Luxon was really concerned about?

                      Or was it the cost to all employers of a rise in real wages. As you yourself quoted, ""It illustrates the reality for small businesses of the recently implemented minimum wage increase from $18.90 to $20.00,” he said in a Facebook post.”

                      That's an employer 's view of wage costs.

                      Not about six cents extra for a coffee but a $1.10 an hour, or $44 a week.

                      Next round after Wednesday?

                  • Gypsy

                    "But, is that what Luxon was really concerned about?"

                    I can only base that answer on what he said. AT this stage I'm taking him at face value. But yes, interesting times ahead.

              • Gezza

                Putting his anti-abortion views to one side for now, how is his being financially successful a threat to society?

                Not saying you’re wrong. Just asking for your rationale.

                • A few filthy rich people own more than half the world's entire population, and you naively ask 'how is his being financially successful a threat to society?'

                  The greatest threat to society (apart from climate change, which the rich massively contribute to) is the glaring inequality of neoliberal society.

                  Put simply, so you can understand: we cannot afford the rich.

                  • Gezza

                    No, you’ve actually put that simply because you’re (seemingly) rather simple.

                    We’ve always had the rich & at times they’ve been very useful to societies as whole.

                    What we have to ensure is that the rich do not capture the political process & bend it to primarily meeting their needs at the expense of the rest of society.

                    Your solution to this problem is?

                    • Alan

                      very well said Gezza

                    • My solution (and a simple one at that) would be to put all the rich up against a wall. Or' more acceptably, tax the hell out of them. Can you remember when the top tax rate in NZ was 70%? And, strangely enough, society thrived!

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "What we have to ensure is that the rich do not capture the political process & bend it to primarily meeting their needs at the expense of the rest of society."

                      Too late, mate.

                    • Blazer

                      'What we have to ensure is that the rich do not capture the political process & bend it to primarily meeting their needs at the expense of the rest of society.'

                      The rich have already achieved this in the U.S and Great Britain.

                      As they are the major players in international finance ,their power and influence is unavoidable.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Robert & Blazer

                      So … what do you think we should do about that? Politically, I mean. Do you think there’s a simple solution, like Tony, who apparently favours increasing the tax rate for the rich to 70%, very likely inducing capital flight without a simultaneous ban on exporting capital?

                      (If Tony is serious about putting the rich up against a wall let me aplogise to him now for letting him waste my time.)

                      The only solution I can see is for a party to arise & get mass support that is going to do things like introduce caps on CEO Pay & benefits, increase taxes beyond current limits for high income earners, luxury item taxes, higher minimum wages, a whole raft of income-levelling policies, as well as greater investment in health, education, training (tradies are worth their weight in gold to our wider society, lawyers not so much) financial education, public infrastructure building…

                      It it time for another MInistry Of Works – or do we now not have sufficient intelligent & efficient capacity left in the Public Service to manage the roading & huge infrastructure projects they once did?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I like reading your posts, you can spell things out in a way muttonheads like myself can understand and you do it without resorting to tricks like using big, fancy words when smaller words suffice

                    • Blazer

                      The greatest period of prosperity in the U.S.A was in the 50's when tax rates were 80% and more.

                      As for 'capital flight'….foreign capital is always unreliable .

                      It comes and goes to chase the best returns.

                      I would be interested to see exactly how foreign investments stack up re their net gain to our country.

                      Mainly see foreign capital buying up property and businesses that export profits.

                      If the rich don't like paying their share of tax,they can fuck off.Who cares.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Blazer

                      I would be interested to see exactly how foreign investments stack up re their net gain to our country.

                      Me too. Why not see what you can find?

                      Mainly see foreign capital buying up property and businesses that export profits.

                      Yeah, I think that’s the basic idea of investment tho. But if they’re generating jobs for locals & income tax & gst that flow from them to the govt coffers, why would you chuck those away?

                      If the rich don’t like paying their share of tax,they can fuck off.Who cares.

                      It usually comes down to whether they think they are paying their share of tax already – altho I think most have accountants & lawyers looking for ways for them to avoid some taxes, including most of our politicians, I imagine.

                      If the rich in NZ all fuck off taking their money with them where we get business investment capital from?

                    • Blazer

                      Example-Foodtown/Progressive Enterprises is bought out/taken over by Woolworths Australia.

                      The takeover price paid to shareholders is a premium on the traded price.

                      It is B.A.U until name changes and consolidation are introduced.

                      Same employees ,apart from senior management.

                      Profits from the enterprise are repatriated to Woolworths Australia.

                      So we now have a supermarket duopoly .How has NZ benefited from this foreign capital investment?

                    • alwyn

                      TonyVeitch said, at 11.49am

                      "Can you remember when the top tax rate in NZ was 70%? And, strangely enough, society thrived!"

                      Well I can. The only period when we had a maximum tax bracket at 70% or higher was between about 1940 and 1950. Were we thriving? Well no. For most of the period we were at war or desperately trying to pay off the cost of the war. Do you really want us back in a world war?

                    • Gezza

                      I don’t know. What was the view of the OIC, I presume they approved the deal?

                      What would you ideally like Robertson, say, to do about the situation? Ban or reverse foreign takeovers? (I wouldn’t object, but I haven’t studied economics so I don’t know what the overall economic impacts of such policies would be.)

                    • Blazer

                      I gave you an example that destroys this argument…

                      'Yeah, I think that’s the basic idea of investment tho. But if they’re generating jobs for locals & income tax & gst that flow from them to the govt coffers, why would you chuck those away?'

                      No net gain for NZ when foreign investment bought out Foodtown/Progressive enterprises.

                      I am interested in you providing an example that shows the benefits to our country of foreign investment.

                    • Gezza

                      You misunderstood my point. But I should have explained it better. All I was saying there was thar the basic idea of investment is to make a profit & provide a return to the investors – ie the shareholders. So when a foreign-owned company exports its profits back home it’s simply following that model.

                      As to your: I am interested in you providing an example that shows the benefits to our country of foreign investment.

                      Any foreign company that opens a business outlet (or several outlets) here that create jobs for locals (& suppliers, & tradies, & ancilliary services like cafés catering to workers) for example, & that consequentially produce income tax & gst that flow from all these to the govt coffers, is benefitting our country.

                    • Blazer

                      @Gezza…I spent some time in a town in Queensland called Gatton.

                      McDonalds (foreign investment)set up a 24 hr restaurant there.

                      They crushed multiple small businesses-takeaways,lunch bars,pie shops…

                      Yes they employed people and sourced alot of product in Australia.

                      Is it a net benefit to Gatton?Need some convincing.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Blazer

                      No. In that scenario (or in a similar one here) if Maccas displaced more workers overall than they employed – and those (& their own) displaced workers ended up in other jobs working for lower wages – or if now unemployed, on benefits – then there’s clearly a disbenefit to the country.

                      I had a quick look last night to see what NZ’s Overseas Investment Commission (now rebranded the Overseas Investment Office) does, assuming it has a role in ensuring there is a clear benefit to NZ from FDI & foreign takeovers.

                      Easy to get buried in the blurb there:
                      https://www.linz.govt.nz/overseas-investment/discover/overseas-investment-tests/benefit-new-zealand-test

                      There’s no CLEAR statement on exactly WHAT benefits qualify – & what disbenefits disqualify – a foreign investment applicant.

                      Wikipedia was instructive:
                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Investment_Office

                      The agency has been accused by groups like the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa as being a ‘rubber-stamping’ body doing nothing against increasing foreign control over New Zealand assets.

                      In 2016 further concerns were raised when it was revealed the OIO failed to vet two overseas buyers, Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, who bought a farm in Onetai for $6 million. The sale was approved by the OIO in 2014 but the agency was unaware the brothers who bought the property were convicted of polluting a river in Argentina in 2012. The pollution was caused by toxic chemicals from a tannery company the brothers owned.

                      In response to these revelations, John Key announced the OIO would increase its fees, allowing it to increase its staffing by 25% so that it could perform its checks on applicants more effectively. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters commented: “It’s a disgrace – this is 2016 and we’ve had a rubber stamp operation going back almost two decades.”
                      … … … …

                      Dunno whether this Labour govt has done anything to prevent them rubber stamping applications where their arrival in NZ may displace Kiwi workers, but I saw nothing on the OIO site suggesting they have. In my view, that should be a priority.

                    • Gezza

                      I might add, I saw nothing on the OIO website that said they should decline takeovers if the profits from an existing business were going to be exported to another country & the govt’s current tax on profits will be reduced.

                      But I don’t know what the NZ tax rules are, & whether or not Ozzer-owned NZ Operations DO have to pay tax on profits made here.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "Putting his anti-abortion views to one side…"

                  Why on earth would you do that?

                  Giving Chris/Christopher the benefit of the doubt?

                  Luxon's anti-abortion views leaves no room for doubt.

                  He's a threat alright!

                  • Enough is Enough

                    He's a populist and wants to be PM. He will not allow his personal values to get in the way of his ambition.

                  • Gezza

                    “Putting his anti-abortion views to one side…” Why on earth would you do that?

                    To discuss the seaparate & specific claim of the rich being a threat to society.

                    Giving Chris/Christopher the benefit of the doubt?

                    You are a SHIT mind-reader, Robert. We’ve discussed how terrible you are at mind-reading before. My suggestion is don’t even attempt it. I’m not even certain you know your own mind mind.

                    Luxon’s anti-abortion views leaves no room for doubt.

                    Well, I don’t agree with what I know of his views, I think it’s the business of the pregnant woman alone, but he’s entitled to hold views opposed to it on religious orvother grounds & others are too. Have you ever looked into what’s involved?

                    He’s a threat alright!

                    To be honest, you often seem like a threat to anyone who holds a different view to you. You try & sell yourself as some cuddly, harmless, bearded, eco-friendly old guy, but reading some of your comments & seeing your slavish support for some radical bad ass types here, I shudder to think of what it would be like if you were in control of this country.

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      Well Gezza we are really accepting of difference here, but also aware you are able to present complicated ideas in lay terms.

                      When we take your comments to have a meaning we are accused of "mind reading".

                      As your confidence has grown you have called people names, or said they are simple or indeed possibly devious.

                      Perhaps we are simple, but we want better for those who are poor. We do see growing problems made worse by covid.

                      You said you did not like Key, but you are an admirer of Bill English. What did you think of them supporting Peter Dunne with his artificial cannabis with the resulting harm?

                      What did you really think about the tax cuts?

                      What do you think of Industrial Farming?

                      Tell us what made you admire Bill English?

                      What did you think of the drafter of the Contracts Act, Bill Birch?

                      As an interesting contributor here you still are a mystery in your real political positions.

                      Your last paragraph. Read it carefully Gezza. Some of us have struggled through the slavish belief of others.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Patricia

                      Well Gezza we are really accepting of difference here, but also aware you are able to present complicated ideas in lay terms.

                      That’s only because I’m not really very bright, but I’m not stupid, Patricia. Plus I had a 34 year career of writing & a good chunk of that involved rewriting complicated stuff & rendering it down to make it readily intelligible to ordinary folk with an average English language reading age of 12.

                      When we take your comments to have a meaning we are accused of “mind reading”.

                      You are not speaking for some kind of Hive Mind here, Patricia. I what you write. You write what YOU think. And you write clearly & well. I don’t think I have seen you foolishly attempt to tell me what I really mean. I say what I mean, & I mean what I say. No more; no less.

                      As your confidence has grown you have called people names, or said they are simple or indeed possibly devious.

                      I’d like you to show me where I said someone was devious. You are mistaking a comment by someone else yesterday I think. I recall accusing no one of being devious. I don’t call people names. Plonker is just a descriptor I use when I think someone is being daft or childish.

                      Go and re-read the comment I was replying to when I called Tony “simple”. Even then, I qualified it with “(seemingly)”. If someone wants to get as insulting as that plonker did to me in that comment, I’m more than happy to return their serve in kind & see if they can work out what just happened.

                      Perhaps we are simple, but we want better for those who are poor. We do see growing problems made worse by covid.

                      YOU are far from simple. I like and respect you & your comments.

                      You said you did not like Key, but you are an admirer of Bill English. What did you think of them supporting Peter Dunne with his artificial cannabis with the resulting harm?

                      Not much. I didn’t like it then, I didn’t like Dunne. But then there are things Labour administrations have done that I didn’t like or support. Politics & coalitions are about trade offs & compromises.

                      What did you really think about the tax cuts?

                      Pathetic. Benefited the Top End of Town; did nothing for the bottom end & beneficiaries.

                      What do you think of Industrial Farming?

                      I think it’s a bad thing, overall, because of the pollution & climate change impacts & drain on precious water supplies. However it MAY BE what helps makes us competitive on world markets.

                      Tell us what made you admire Bill English?

                      Another time. I need to think about that. I’ve never said I admire him, btw. That may be a failed mind-reading attempt. Don’t do that with me, please. 🤔

                      What did you think of the drafter of the Contracts Act, Bill Birch?

                      A very competent & experienced Minister; always got given a job & carried it out to completion. Doesn’t mean I liked the Act.

                      As an interesting contributor here you still are a mystery in your real political positions. Your last paragraph. Read it carefully Gezza. Some of us have struggled through the slavish belief of others.

                      Robert comes across to me as narrow-minded, or at least narrow-viewed. And many of his comments are just petty insults, or seemingly mindless support for someone else’s, seemingly because he perceives them to have a similar view. Black & White thinkers are always a worry.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "We’ve discussed how terrible you are at mind-reading before."

                      No, we haven't.

                      You've levelled the charge.

                      I've ignored your nonsense.

                      As to your fear that I might "rule the country":

                      be afraid; be very afraid!

                    • Gezza

                      @ Guyton

                      I’ve ignored your nonsense.

                      That’s generally been my policy with your brain farts, but when you reply to my comments I sometimes see a need to remonstrate with you over the more obvious BS you sometimes toss into them.

                      I’m stopping this interaction wiv ya now Robert. Waste of my time that could be spent reading inteilligent contributors’ comms.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Sensible call, Gezza.

                      It's a great relief to have you off my back 🙂

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      Thank you for your full reply. I look forward to your thoughts on Bill English.. I will re-read what you said previously, as you say I may have misinterpreted.

                      I agree Bill Birch was a hard worker, but he did real harm with the Contracts Act in my opinion. It caused a competitive spiral to the lowest bid for contracts. That had many in penury, as they did not price in all their cost to win contracts. We ended up with poorly serviced trucks vans, and skimpy jobs poorly done. Not what we need.

                      I would just add, all comments are valuable. This is a left blog, and Robert has contributed for years. His forest garden visitors have been heavily impacted by the closed borders, so we all have our burdens to bear.

                      We don't all agree at times, but we all lean heavily on universal truths. Society shapes us and All people want to be treated well.

                      Mine, on here "Talk to the subject matter' not "About the poster" Well I try!!devil

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      You try & sell yourself as some cuddly, harmless, bearded, eco-friendly old guy…

                      sad
                      Been enjoying your harmless backyard vids of cute pooks and fascinating eels Gezza, so your comments today implying that Robert is less than "inteilligent", and a phony to boot, were disappointing.

                      Still, such differences are inevitable on a blog apparently ‘littered’ with “radical bad ass types” (?) We all have our bugbears – that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

                    • Gezza

                      @ Drowsy

                      Been enjoying your harmless backyard vids of cute pooks and fascinating eels Gezza, so your comments today implying that Robert is less than “inteilligent”, and a phony to boot, were disappointing.

                      I didn’t imply Robert is a phony, Drowsy. Robert’s inclined to put words into people’a mouths (hence, ‘mind-reading’). I find that irritating. One has to waste precious time & energy demolishing the straw men he sets up. Just becos he’s never been challenged for doing so is no reason for me to let him keep on doing it when replying to MY comments.

                      I’ve seen Robert make considered & thoughtful comments on numerous topics & he’s particularly worth paying attention to on ecological & climate change matters. But Robert’s comments today seem to have been mostly blithering & brain farts. Look at that ridiculous exchange with alwayn where he asserts alwyn knows about ACT. It’s not correct & appears to be just nonsensical blather: a brain fart. Then he closes like a pigeon that’s just knocked over the chess pieces & shat on the chessboard, and thinks it won the game.

                      Bizarre.

                      Still, such differences are inevitable on a blog apparently ‘littered’ with “radical bad ass types” (?) We all have our bugbears – that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

                      Yes, these things happen on blogs. Robert & you and others are long-term commenters here. You build up a social community – a whanau of sorts – when you’ve become regulars, so I understand why you & Patricia feel compelled to jump in & defend Robert from my remonstrations. But Robert’s an adult. He can sure level criticism at various individuals, so I’m sure he can handle criticism without needing to be rescued.

                      I need to learn how to handle it too. My usual way is explaining.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I didn’t imply Robert is a phony, Drowsy.

                      If you say so Gezza, and yet you did write:

                      You [Robert] try & sell yourself as some cuddly, harmless, bearded, eco-friendly old guy…

                      which suggests (to me) that you believe Robert is misleading people; if not a phony, then at the very least guilty of 'false advertising'?

                      If you've watched even one minute of Robert's video, then I hope we could agree that he is a bearded, eco-friendly old (sorry Robert) guy, but then what of it? So am I – for all I know so are you.

                      As to whether he's trying to sell himself as cuddly and harmless, that strikes me as an attack on Robert's integrity – perhaps you could clarify the intent of your comment if not to imply that Robert is (somehow) concealing his true nature?

                      Pleased that you value Robert's opinions on "ecological & climate change matters". As for:

                      Robert’s comments today seem to have been mostly blithering & brain farts. Look at that ridiculous exchange with alwayn where he asserts alwyn knows about ACT. It’s not correct & appears to be just nonsensical blather: a brain fart. Then he closes like a pigeon that’s just knocked over the chess pieces & shat on the chessboard, and thinks it won the game.

                      That's a bit too scatalogical for me. Fwiw I enjoyed his quips – these 'comments' not so much: "Go back to sleep, Robert." "You are a SHIT mind-reader, Robert. … I’m not even certain you know your own mind mind."

                      You are correct in your observation that some of the commenting on The Standard is tribal in nature – don't know if it's better or worse than other blogs, because this is the only one I frequent.

                      As you say, Robert doesn’t need rescuing – that’s not what I’m doing.

                    • Gezza

                      I’m sorry for the repeated mind. Posting on an older iPad, makes it hard to proof-read properly becos is occasionally hangs.

                      When someone like Robert INSISTS that Luxon’s a “threat to society” because he’s financially successful & reportedly has religously-based anti-abortion views – but studiously avoids explaining EXACTLY HOW either of these factors make him a “threat to society” – you have to wonder whether that makes them the kind of person who blindly follows murderous leaders whose political views they like who get into eliminating their rivals or pet hate groups by murdering them.

                      You’ll notice he never criticised Tony who said he wants to put rich people up against a wall (a cwell-known euphemism for executing them by firing squad). These types of people are among the real threats to society, imo. Their view is that the ends justify the means.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      you have to wonder whether that makes them [Robert] the kind of person who blindly follows murderous leaders

                      Gezza, you will have your own reasons for this extraordinary and quite inflammatory 'wondering'. Others can judge for themselves how wide of the mark your wondering is – well wide, imho.

                  • Gypsy

                    Being against abortion is actually a benefit to society. Any society that is permissive when it comes to the destruction of human life is in serious trouble.

                  • Gypsy

                    "That's very "Upper Room" of you, Gypsy."

                    It's actually a secular perspective. If we treat some human life as of lesser value, we devalue all human life. It's one of the reasons I oppose capital punishment.

                  • DS

                    Abortion is a conscience vote, and as such is irrelevant to whether he's Leader or not – he's not going to whip his MPs to vote a particular way.

                    I'd also suggest a sizeable population of Labour voters (particularly religious ones) would not actually be enthusiastic about further liberalisation of abortion. Both big parties have their share of social liberals and social conservatives.

    • Robert Guyton 24.3

      Good call, lprent.

  25. heather 25

    Just another John Key mark 2, no idea of of what is happening among working folk and the struggles they are having. No interest either. When you closed your eyes you could hear Key speaking, (well we are good friends you know)!

    The Upstairs Room Church holds very conservative views and will be most interesting how he separates them from his public life. Will he excuse himself from the vote?

  26. Macro 26

    Just to remind readers. The Messiah rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, to the adoring crowds. One week later he was crucified.

    Luxon rode in, in a black limo to the fawning group of followers. We await with interest his fate.

  27. DukeEll 27

    It's a rather unfair comparison to Jacinda you are making, and probably highlights the capture of the left wing bias of the traditional media that you are feeling underwhelmed by Luxon and the reaction to him.

    I seem to recall that John Key was treated with similar disdain at the time of his anointment to the worst Job in Politics. Back when balls to the wall authors like Tane and Steve pierson dominated The Standard and set the tone for it's Denutoish discourse.

    Look at the threat he became, the bete noir of the progressive left in New Zealand.

    That said, nobody in New Zealand minded that he was wealthy and had earned his fortune by punching up out of state housing. Luxons problem is that when he's faced with a quandry, who does he turn to for advice? his cabinet, or his "Cabinet"

  28. Ross 28

    And he is not National’s messiah.

    He’s not Judith Collins either. 🙂

    Of course he doesn’t need to be a messiah to get National over the line. In other words, just don’t be as bad as the Government! Key was underestimated by some on the Left for a long time – how did that work out?

  29. alwyn 29

    "Two days into Chris Luxon’s reign as National leader and my initial impression is an overwhelming Meh."

    I was thinking of taking this post seriously. That is as something from a person who was a good judge of such things. An Oracle in fact.

    Then I remembered the oracle's previous record. He believed that someone named Cunliffe was going to be the future of the Labour Party. The great white hope and the person who would destroy John Key.

    What ever happened? How could Micky's judgement have been so bad? Well I guess it is because it often is and this opinion of Luxon is merely another of his wild flights of fancy. So sad. Too bad. Never mind.

    I anticipate that by the beginning of March both National and Labour will be in the low to mid 30's. Those parties will be neck and neck but Labour will be sinking and National rising. And the oracle's views will be like that Cunliffe fellow. Forgotten.

    • Robert Guyton 29.1

      Micky's judgement, bad?

      Alwyn's judgement…good?

      ACT – a powerful force in New Zealand politics!

      Labour?

      Also-rans.

      Yes?

      • alwyn 29.1.1

        Not all of that Robert. Not all of it.

        • Robert Guyton 29.1.1.1

          You selective-reading, alwyn?

          Luxon's ACT's worst nightmare, yes?

          • alwyn 29.1.1.1.1

            I don't know about ACT. I would certainly say that he is the Labour Parties' worst nightmare nowadays though.

            • Robert Guyton 29.1.1.1.1.1

              I thought you did know about ACT??

              • Dennis Frank

                Alwyn's postponing agreement on that point until the next poll…

                • alwyn

                  I made a comment on what I thought would happen to the Polls if Luxon became leader on 25 November

                  .https://thestandard.org.nz/how-many-centrist-votes-go-to-labour/#comment-1836375

                  I said "The first poll in the new year will have a swing from National to Labour and this will be at least 10% by March 1st. ACT will stay where it is."

                  I said this would happen if Luxon became leader, Reti was deputy and Bridges was number 3 and Finance spokesman. That is pretty close and I'm not changing my view. Roll on March.

                  I have no idea on why Robert thinks I should know something about ACT. To repeat my standard comment. I am not, never have been and never will be a member of a Political Party. What part of that does Robert not understand?

                  • Robert Guyton

                    You know nothing of ACT?

                    I accept your claim.

                  • Tricledrown

                    No way after bombshell anti science open all of NZ pledge.

                    Who are his advisors Simon Bridges let conehead fail then I can come through.

                    • alwyn

                      You mean the pledge that Auckland residents would be able to leave the city on 15 December so that they could go away for Christmas?

                      Just how are we supposed to be checking that enormous numbers of cars leaving the city only contain people with vaccinations?

                      Or that the people who have been vaccinated aren't infected anyway?

                      Do we really have the police or Armed Forces personnel to man all the barricades?

                    • Tricledrown []

                      Getting rid of traffic light system all going green is what luxon is calling for.

                      People leaving Auckland without being double vaxxed face a fine of $14,000 plus where can they go needing a passport to go to anything other than a supermarket servo or chemist.

                      Now we have single digit numbers in Auckland it could be close to Auckland going down to orange.

                      But pubs and restaurants want more so Conehead makes a call he can't keep to garner support.

            • Stuart Munro 29.1.1.1.1.2

              Labour's worst nightmare is a local version of Jeremy Corbyn – all those self-serving and ineffectual neolibs kicked to the curb and reviled by the masses they betrayed, party out of contention for decades as stumblers like Starmer mumble their way through excuses that fool nobody. We are many – they are few.

  30. observer 30

    The problem with the Luxon/Key comparison is that we're bound to be influenced by 8 years of Key as PM far more than recalling Key in 2006, when he became leader, with 2 years to the election.

    So let's do a quick rewind: within days/weeks of getting the job in 2006, Key dumped a lot of policy baggage from Brash's leadership, including –

    • nuclear-free policy (Brash was angling to get rid, with "referendum" as his escape-clause, but Key simply signed up to the current law and a major problem disappeared overnight, and never returned)
    • Maori seats (it remained official Nat policy to scrap them, but Key made it clear he wouldn't, which in turn led to a thaw with the Maori Party)
    • WFF (no longer "communism by stealth", it stayed)
    • interest-free student loans (Key said he would leave them in place)
    • the Political Correctness Eradicator (anyone remember that? Wayne Mapp had the job for 5 minutes, Key knew it was silly and scrapped it)
    • superannuation pledge (many Nats very unhappy with that, but it helped kill off Winston)

    And that's just off the top of my head, there's more no doubt.

    Point being, Key was ruthless in dumping the past. Brash disappeared from the Politburo photos shortly after, and was never mentioned again, an impressively brutal assassination which any coup general would be proud of.

    Again, inserting ourselves into the past … the "smacking debate" was HUGE, it dominated the media for months. Key could have ridden the populist wave, but he did the opposite. He signed up to the bi-partisan deal and the issue disappeared from the headlines.

    Is Luxon as smart as Key? or as ruthless? So far, not much evidence of it. Some shifting (abortion) but mostly waffle to minimise internal dissent.

    Because the essential point is that Key's position was much stronger. He was an easy choice for leader, his closest rival was Bill English who understood the importance of loyalty.

    Whereas Luxon has Bridges and Collins. And Seymour.

    In short … Luxon will get a poll boost, guaranteed. But he gets that for being Not-Collins, and better on TV than any of the last 3 leaders. To make it last, he needs much more than a makeover. He needs to be internally ruthless (Judith, adios). No sign of that yet.

  31. peter sim 31

    Luxon is a very wealthy person who is only interested in acquiring even more wealth with the least effort. Does he have any christian compassion for those who are homeless and hungry?

    He is a rich lister doing what rich listers do.

    The voting demographic of nz has changed, an is still changing.

    If national had a problem I am nt sure Luxon is the answer.

    This is BIG BUSINESS calling the shots.

  32. TheDreadnaught 32

    I guess my only comment here is that it doesn't matter what we (a church that more left than National) think; if the journalists want to support Luxon, he'll have a lifeline. I guess we'll see soon enough whether he is a journalist target for ridicule or is handled with kid gloves.

    I fondly remember flatting in Northcote Point in 2007-2010, and getting to watch Key's assendency through the billboard lens of Jonathon Coleman. Comically, Coleman "digitally dyed" his red/auburn hair brown like Key's hair. If we start to see shadow portfolio holders shaving their heads bald, then maybe Luxon is the Messiah…?

    • Maurice 32.1

      Perhaps the biggest 'tell' would be Tova and Jessica shaving their heads … or tearing their hair out?

      Some would pay to see that occur!

  33. Blade 33

    ''One wonders why he could not have walked. Nicola Willis was also delivered by Black Mercedes. Obviously the visuals of being ferried around in expensive cars is more important to National than the climate and health benefits of walking.''

    But of course, Luxon is a Tory. If he'd walked, that would imply he wastes precious time. If he had turned up in Jap import, that would imply he's a prentender. A quad bike would imply he (gulp) is going to support farmers. Maybe he should have riden a bike like Julie Anne Genter. She rode hers to hospital to give birth. That's visuals for you.

    As for Aroha Nathan ? I see Labour hasn't enticed Aroha back.

    I fear Mickey Savage may be wrong in his assement of Luxon. As someone to the right of politics, I'm not a Luxon fan. But so far he's gaining traction. The next political poll will be a RIPPER. Chances are either ACT or Labour could be worried.

    • Gypsy 33.1

      Luxon would not have been my pick for the natz leader either, but the merc thing is part of a left wing effort to channel Cullen's 'rich prick' meme. From the social media reaction, it isn't working. As or gaining traction, he will. I sensed it when he took the questions about his wealth on the chin by saying basically 'I'm well off, so what?'.

      • Tricledrown 33.1.1

        He struggled and continues while making a super dumb comment in the Collins mode saying the whole of the country should be at Green Including Auckland.

        After 18 months of stupid ideas coming from National to get some traction.

        Conehead f's it up good and proper.fallen into the nag at everything and get it wrong. Collins wanted to open everything up and lost her job the next day.

        Luxon will be gone before you know luxoff.

        • Gypsy 33.1.1.1

          I enjoy politics for the show. I'm enjoying the theatre of people invoking Luxon's looks in a way they would never allow for other politicians. Somethings changed, and it's making for far better entertainment.

          • Robert Guyton 33.1.1.1.1

            Other than noting the absence of hair (hard not to see), Gypsy, what "invoking" are people indulging in?

            • Gypsy 33.1.1.1.1.1

              You know they are more than 'noting' it Robert. It's like people who 'note' the PM's teeth. It's a pejorative, and indicates a shallow approach to critique.

              • Robert Guyton

                D'ya think? "Baldy" might be pejorative, but "bald" is merely descriptive, imo.

                "The meaning of pejorative is a word or phrase that has negative connotations or that is intended to disparage or belittle".

      • observer 33.1.2

        Of course he'll get traction. The next polls will be very good for National. Could soar up to 38% … as they were under New Leader Todd Muller. Then reality hit.

        Check out the polls in Key's 2nd term: Shearer got a bounce, even Cunliffe got one. Lab/Greens were ahead at various times. Then they lost another election. (See also Brash in Clark's 2nd term, same thing – rise fast, fall slow).

        The classic mistake is to think that a bounce is a tide. Incumbent governments have many cards to play in response (Budgets, bribes, etc). The New Leader is a card that the opposition can only play once. And everyone knew Collins would be replaced before the next election, it was only a question of when the card would be played.

        Luxon will be much more popular than Clark when she became LOTO. She took years to be liked. But in the end, substance beats soundbites.

        • woodart 33.1.2.1

          very good post observer.

        • Gypsy 33.1.2.2

          Totally agree. It's why Labour could be in trouble.

          • Patricia Bremner 33.1.2.2.1

            Serious question, what do you hope he can do?

            • Gypsy 33.1.2.2.1.1

              Take National back to it's core principles. Both major parties have lost sight of those at times in recent years. I want to see an opposition that genuinely holds the government to account. The state of National today is as bad for our democracy as was the Labour opposition during the Key years.

              • Blazer

                If you don't like National's core principles….they do have others.

                Nuclear ban…gone by lunchtime-

                We oppose the Maori seats-

                2 quick examples.

                • RedLogix

                  Nuclear ban…gone by lunchtime-

                  Now if only the Greens cared enough about the climate to do the same.

                  • felix

                    Sorry but the climate will have to wait until everyone's pronouns are in order.

                    • Gypsy

                      The greens are on record as supporting the removal of nearly 3,000 mature trees across Auckland because a co-governance entity says so. They are 'Green' in name only.

                • Gypsy

                  I looked but can't find those in nationals core principles. Perhaps you could provide a link.

        • swordfish 33.1.2.3

          .

          Check out the polls in Key's 2nd term: Shearer got a bounce, even Cunliffe got one … rise fast, fall slow

          Shearer really didn't enjoy much of a bounce until 5 or so months into his leadership [varies slightly depending on Pollster, virtually no immediate bounce in the Colmar Brunton, was an immediate bounce in the Reid Research & Roy Morgan but only because they had Labour at unrealistically low levels in their final pre-Election polls] … & even then Labour's ratings by early-mid 2012 – five or six months after Shearer took over – were roughly only back to their numbers under Goff during the first half of 2011. If anything, it was a slow rise back to Goff levels.

          Virtually no bounce for Cunliffe in the Colmar Brunton & Reid Research (up 1 solitary point in both cases … MoE territory) … but certainly a bounce in the Roy Morgan … though by no means huge (up 4.5) & a very mild bounce in the UMR.

      • Blade 33.1.3

        Very good post, Gypsy. What many on this blog may not realise is they won't be able to rely on MSM to set the narrative should Luxon gain and hold support. Society is changing rapidly and the ''rich prick'' meme has grown tired and irrelevant as youngsters flood the internet hoping to become ''influencers and rich pricks themselves.'' Only diehards, the media and unmotivated still stew over wealth. Voters will set the narrative this time around.

        Katie Bradford's great Freudian slip during the Key reign ( ''we have tried everything') has me wondering if she's up for a possible Round 2 with Luxon The Great?

        • Gypsy 33.1.3.1

          Then the PM would have to say "Tova, then Jessica then Katie".smiley

        • Blazer 33.1.3.2

          Here's me thinking the 'rising tide lifts all boats', was a stale and discredited meme….but here it comes…again!

  34. Patricia Bremner 34

    I noticed Barry Soper in the 'fawning group'. (On the outer edgesdevil) Forgetting to put his mask up.

  35. He isn't anybodys messiah. hahaha.

  36. jacinda ardern will flick him off like a bit ofnavel lint.

  37. peter sim 37

    Now.now. I heard (on NaRad) that he reckons the whole country should be on covid traffic liight green. He is an epedemioligist. The natz are so lucky.

  38. Adrian Thornton 38

    After watching/hearing Luxton handle his first few press conferences, going back and reviewing some of his previous ones, My pick is that he could very easily be next NZ PM, one thing is for sure, Labour are in very serious trouble now IMO.

    His biggest problem it is the optics of having a ridiculous blockhead in the shape of Bridges as Finance Minister…very hard for anyone to take that seriously, but I guess that was the deal he had to make for Bridges to step aside…but it's hard to see how Luxton can make that one work?

    • Gezza 38.1

      The guy’s name is Luxon – no “t”. Just saying.

      • Anne 38.1.1

        When commenters can't get a top politician's name correct ( eg. Jacinta) then I have doubts about the quality of their reckons.

    • Blazer 38.2

      He said Bridges has a big brain and is a good friend.

      Goes back to when Christopher was 'turning around' Air NZ and Bridges was transport minister.

    • Gezza 38.3

      I have the impression that most of the hard yards with Budgets are done by Treasury boffins, so all Bridges possibly has to do is front for their work.

      Whether Bridges has the same level of very good comms skills as Grant Robertson has to talk intelligently about Budget-related matters remains to be seen.

      Robertson may well run rings around his criticisms in The House. Bridges never struck me as a quick thinker, able to think on his feet & adapt his questions to the answers just given.

      • Robert Guyton 38.3.1

        Cunning as a rat though.

        • Gezza 38.3.1.1

          How do you mean, in terms of what that alleged quality means for his holding the Finance spokesperson role?

          • Robert Guyton 38.3.1.1.1

            Thinking back to his cunning, rat-like behaviour at the time the Speaker of the House was being chosen.

            Low, sneaky, rat-like.

            Untrustworthy.

            • Gezza 38.3.1.1.1.1

              Hmm. He might somehow get a copy of the next govt Budget & leak it, I guess. 🤔
              But we’ll have to see. 😐

              He’d need a compliant & unprincipled media contact. Shouldn’t be THAT difficult finding one of those.

    • felix 38.4

      Agree, Labour are in trouble. Luxon communicates big ideas clearly and knows how to put an effective team together, but his greatest strength will be the arrogance of the left underestimating him.

      • Blazer 38.4.1

        What are these 'big ideas'….do tell!

      • Robert Guyton 38.4.2

        Labour aren't in trouble. They can see that Christopher is going to go the same way as Judith, Todd and Simon.

        Nowhere fast.

        • Gezza 38.4.2.1

          If he carries on flip flopping & opposing everything on principle next week like he did in his first few days in the job, he ain’t gonna bring anything new to the table for swing voters.

          He seems a bit plasticky to me at the present time, like he’s trying to figure out what his persona & policies should be.

          • Robert Guyton 38.4.2.1.1

            If someone his age is still trying to figure out what his persona should be, there's something very wrong.

            His handlers will see that plasticity as an opportunity to mould him to their preferred shape.

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    4 days ago
  • Awapuni on track for regional racing boost
    A new synthetic track surface at Awapuni Racecourse has set the course for a regional economic boost with a great summer of events now on the cards at the Palmerston North racing centre. “Upgrading regional and sporting facilities is an important part of supporting communities to sustain their economies and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa puts preparedness to the test
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty will be joining students at Waimea Intermediate School in Nelson this morning to practice what to do when an earthquake or tsunami hits, as part of ShakeOut. “ShakeOut is New Zealand’s annual earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi and is a chance to put your ...
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    4 days ago
  • O Tātou Ngahere Conference Speech
    It is an honour to be here today, sharing the stage with some of our country’s leading thinkers and experts on climate change and indigenous forest. As Minister of Forestry and an advocate for our native forests, it’s fantastic to see people from across New Zealand come together to talk ...
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    4 days ago
  • Backing communities to drive social cohesion
    The Government is supporting more opportunities for communities to come together and build on the values we share, strengthening New Zealand’s social cohesion. Today Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion has been released, including a community fund supporting initiatives that bring out the best of our communities. “We are delivering on ...
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    4 days ago
  • Historic day for everyday workers as Fair Pay Agreements Bill passes third reading
    The Government has delivered on its election promise to support the lifting of incomes and working conditions of everyday kiwis with the passing of the Fair Pay Agreements Bill through Parliament, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “At the heart of the Government’s economic recovery plan is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Acting PM congratulates new United Kingdom PM
    Acting Prime Minister Grant Robertson has congratulated Rishi Sunak on his appointment as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. “New Zealand’s relationship with the UK is very strong, based on shared values, history and people-to-people connections,” Grant Robertson said. “I’ve had the opportunity to speak with ...
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    5 days ago
  • Julia Steenson resigns as Commissioner of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in S...
    Julia Steenson, Commissioner of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care, resigned from her role on 17 October 2022. Ms Steenson was appointed to the Royal Commission on 17 June 2020 by the then Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy. The Royal Commission of Historical Abuse in State ...
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    5 days ago
  • Assessing chemical substances now more efficient
    The Government has reformed the approval process for the use of chemicals in New Zealand, making their assessment more efficient without compromising the safety of New Zealanders or the environment. Amendments to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO Act), passed by Parliament today, enable the Environmental Protection Authority ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt delivers boost for Rainbow wellbeing initiatives
    Another 15 organisations providing Rainbow wellbeing support will receive funding to advance their work with Rainbow young people and communities, thanks to the Government’s Rainbow mental wellbeing investment. Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement at the International Initiative for Mental Health Leaders conference in Christchurch today and said the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Updated travel advice for Iran
    The Government has updated travel warnings for Iran and is urging New Zealanders currently in that country to depart. “The new advice for Iran reiterates the existing “Do Not Travel” warning, and adds that due to the potential for violent civil unrest, the risk of arrest or detention and the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Medicines budget boost protecting more people
    Plans to protect thousands more people against meningococcal disease and shingles shows how the Government’s big boost to health spending is helping New Zealanders, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “We inherited a mess. When we came into Government, the health system – including the medicines budget – had been starved ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government takes pay equity action for Social Workers
    The Government has agreed to address a long-standing pay gap for community social workers, boosting the wages of almost 500 employees. The pay equity claim means people working for organisation such as iwi social services, kaupapa Māori services and NGOs who perform social work tasks out in the community will ...
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    6 days ago
  • Bill modernises fisheries management
    The Fisheries Amendment Bill that passed its final reading today will strengthen and modernise the management of New Zealand's fisheries. “In New Zealand, oceans define our way of life – they contribute to our climate and shape this country culturally, recreationally, and economically,” Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker said. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Statement to the WHO Western Pacific Regional Committee – Manila
    Chair, Director-General, Dr Jakab, fellow Ministers and colleagues – Greetings, Tēnā koutou katoa and Warm Pacific Greetings It is a pleasure to reconnect kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face), at this important Regional Committee Meeting - the first Aotearoa New Zealand has attended in-person since the onset of the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Statement to the WHO Western Pacific RCM, Manila, Philippines
    Chair, Director-General, Dr Jakab, fellow Ministers and colleagues – Greetings, Tēnā koutou katoa and Warm Pacific Greetings It is a pleasure to reconnect kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face), at this important Regional Committee Meeting - the first Aotearoa New Zealand has attended in-person since the onset of ...
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    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Statement to the WHO Western Pacific RCM 
      Aotearoa New Zealand Statement to the WHO Western Pacific RCM    I’m sorry that’s a bit long?   Location: World Health Organisation Western Pacific Regional Committee Meeting; Manila, Philippines  ...
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    6 days ago
  • Celebrating fairer work this Labour Day
    New Zealanders can be proud this Labour Day, as working conditions and pay continue to improve across the country, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has reflected. “Over the last year, our Government has continued to support and improve working conditions for everyday New Zealanders, despite global economic uncertainty,” ...
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    1 week ago
  • Understanding the past helps Gagana Tokelau
    The past will be the key to building and sustaining  Gagana Tokelau, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  This year’s theme for Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau – Tokelau Language Week 2022 focuses on Halahala ki vavau, kae ke mau ki pale o Tokelau or translated to English, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ngāti Hāua and Crown sign Agreement in Principle – Ka waitohu a Ngāti Hāua me te Karauna i...
    Kua oti i a Ngāti Hāua me te Karauna tētahi Whakaaetanga ā-Mātāpono te waitohu ki Taumarunui, ki Ngāpūwaiwaha Marae i te rā nei, he tohu o te ekenga o tētahi taumata nunui o te whakataunga o ngā kerēme Tiriti o Waitangi hītori a Ngāti Hāua. “Ko te waitohunga nei he ...
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    1 week ago
  • Progress continues on Homelessness Action Plan
    The latest progress report for the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan shows milestones continue to be met as the Government works hard to address homelessness. This is the fifth progress report on the plan which first launched in February 2020. “The last six months has seen solid progress against ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pūhoro STEMM expansion for Te Tai Tokerau
    Associate Education (Māori Education) Minister Kelvin Davis has welcomed the expansion of Pūhoro Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Mātauranga (STEMM) Academy in Te Tai Tokerau. Pūhoro was established in response to low engagement of Māori in STEMM related career pathways. It supports rangatahi Māori with a pathway into high-value careers, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu receive Treaty Settlement adjustment
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements. The payments have been guided by the awards of previous arbitrations, and have reduced the number of future arbitration hearings required to resolve remaining disputes. Waikato-Tainui ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister Sio to attend WHO Western Pacific Regional Committee meeting
    Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio will travel to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Committee meeting in Manila to represent Aotearoa New Zealand. This is the first time Aotearoa New Zealand will be at the meeting in person since the pandemic. Minister Sio will take the ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Seoul announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Dawn Bennett as New Zealand’s next ambassador to Seoul, South Korea. “Aotearoa New Zealand and the Republic of Korea share a close, wide-ranging relationship that dates back to our shared sacrifice during the Korean War,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “As we celebrate 60 ...
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    1 week ago