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du Fresne: Stop bullshitting us, prime minister

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, December 5th, 2014 - 79 comments
Categories: accountability, articles, john key - Tags: , ,

This is a brutally honest piece by Karl du Fresne, first published in the Nelson Mail and Manawatu Standard, then on his blog. Please go read the whole piece, well worth it, but some extracts below:

Stop bullshitting us, prime minister

… Over the past few weeks, we have observed a National government that seems determined to live up to every stereotype about third terms. It has been arrogant, smug and incompetent. Worse than that, it appears to have undergone an integrity by-pass.

With very little warning, the government proposed radical changes to security laws and allowed practically no time for people to make submissions. It displayed utter contempt for the normal democratic process.

Now let’s look at the charge of incompetence. Consider the following.
■ Murderer and paedophile Phillip Smith, a man known to be clever and manipulative as well as evil, escaped to South America because of staggering naivety on the part of the Corrections Department;
■ The State Services Commission presided over an embarrassing sexual harassment fiasco in which it was seen as supporting the senior public servant whose behaviour was the subject of the complaint;
■ As already mentioned, the former head of the SIS allowed himself to be used in an underhand smear campaign aimed at discrediting a senior Labour politician.

In each case, incompetence and bad judgment on a grand scale. But did we see any of the responsible cabinet ministers, or even department heads, volunteering to fall on their swords?

Finally, there’s the issue of Key and his relationship with Cameron Slater, which brings us to the subject of integrity.

I now seriously wonder whether the prime minister has any, given his pathetic dissembling over whether he’d been in touch with Slater. That came on top of his preposterous claim recently that when he spoke to Slater, it wasn’t in his capacity as prime minister.

For heaven’s sake, give us a break. This is altogether too cute and too cocky. … what’s inexcusable is that he plays us for mugs by bullshitting us.

At the very least, he should show us a bit more respect.

Once again, well worth reading the whole thing. If only more opinion pieces were as honest and direct.

79 comments on “du Fresne: Stop bullshitting us, prime minister ”

  1. Peter 1

    Mr Smile & Wave has every reason to be smug and arrogant because he has pulled off the greatest electoral con in NZ politics with the help of his PR advisors and enough gullible voters.

    • batweka 1.1

      + a zillion.

    • tc 1.2

      and a compliant useless MSM who played a massive part

    • Clemgeopin 1.3

      This is a government of the crooks for the crooks voted in by the crooks and the gullible.

    • A Voter 1.4

      Yes he more like WAVE YOU SLAVES your so stupid I get you every time
      who are these NZers anyway Ive manage to fool them quite well got them glued like cage hens to the Greatest Show on Earth
      The John Key election just shove that carrot out Ehaw Ehaw
      Even when replying you can see HIS HEAD in working for WHALEOIL
      Going like a donkey

  2. vto 2

    du Fresne clearly states that Key has no integrity whatsoever, in diplomatic terms..

    and that Finlayson with his “no time for chit chat” arrogance/ignorance comment therein so eloquently confirms his self-appointment and continuing position as the country’s leading Q…. C…

    … however du Fresne gets it wrong in the last sentence in suggesting Key et all should show us more respect..

    Key gets no respect.
    Key is losing respect rapidly from the fawning masses

    We should want nothing more from Key but his resignation

    • A Voter 2.1

      Finlayson is the most accomplished lair of the govt almost gets you going along with it until a repeated question then you see the vacancy in the smile I really only practised the grammar no meaning whatsoever

  3. du Fresne has always been a few ants short of a picnic, so it’s no surprise that just now he realises what we have already known for years and assumes that somehow something has changed. Oh well, given that Armstrong’s struggling with the “but I never knew until now” argument to maintain some pretence of credibility, I suppose it’s a good indicator overall.

    • esoteric pineapples 3.1

      Yes, he’s quite the neo conservative really, with no time for the Left. He belongs to a generation of baby boomer journalists like Rosemary McLeod who were once sharp but have taken on a casual, wordly cynical “it’s all the same bollocks” air. McLeod, for instance, was demeaning Julliane Assange a few weeks ago as simply being on an ego trip.

      • rhinocrates 3.1.1

        I remember a column years ago by du Fresne berating astronomers for not providing him with a spectacular enough meteor shower.

        Anyway, the mediocre do tend to judge everyone on their own low terms. McLeod, that well-known expert on tea cosies, can’t think of anyone not being on an ego trip.

        The opinion columns of today’s papers seem to be sinecures or hospices for the creatively and intellectually dead and dying. Their purpose baffles me; what use are they? I expect analysis and special knowledge that I lack and instead they’re full of pompously self-aggrandising dribble about cafes in Ponsonby. Any idiot can have an opinion and unfortunately many get them published.

  4. Skinny 4

    Thumbs up to many of the provincial new papers for taking Crap Happy to task over his blatant lies. The Waikato Times Editor also gave Key a decent crack, the Dunedin rag did too. Crap Happy Key never fooled any of us on the Left with his slippery silver tongue excuses, the ones who voted for this mug are wakening up to being played for fools. Does he care? Obvious not if you watch parliament tv, the deceit keeps coming thick and fast. Even his own caucus sat in stunned silence as he lied through his teeth when answering Megan Woods questions earlier this week. Tricky is as tricky does!

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    At the very least, he should show us a bit more respect.

    Actually, I’m quite happy that he doesn’t – it’s the only honest thing he does.

  6. Galeandra 6

    Sort of agree with Rhino. Nothing to gain from the efforts of this self-styled ‘curmudgeon’ with his simplistic rightie-contrarian views to gloss a few of the more glaring misdeeds of National/Key. Maybe it’s an indicator of a tide turning, but the item itself wasn’t worth the trouble of linking to it.

  7. I can’t jump on the “praising Karl du Fresne” bandwagon. He’s written some pretty vile things and they don’t become less vile just because he’s criticising someone I dislike. Characterizing the Roger Sutton issue as an “embarrassing sexual harassment fiasco” completely downplays the seriousness of it, which reinforces all the problems of sexual harassment not being taken seriously and utter incompetence and old-boys’-club ass-covering on the part of Iain Rennie and other senior civil servants.

    • Tom Jackson 7.1

      The fact that you sometimes post things I think are clearly mistaken doesn’t stop me from thinking you’ve done a good job when you post something I think is clearly right. Maurice Williamson was right about gay marriage, and Du Fresne is right about this.

      • batweka 7.1.1

        Are there other things that De Fresne has written apart from this article that you think are right?

        • Tom Jackson 7.1.1.1

          Since I haven’t read everything he has written, I would not know. Do I think he’s a dick? Sure.

          You don’t have to like him as a person to believe that he is right in a particular case. It’s a pretty basic logical error to discount someone’s argument because of some other bad arguments they make or their character. The people who think this is OK usually subscribe to the George W Bush theory of political opposition.

          • batweka 7.1.1.1.1

            Nevertheless, Stephanie’s point was that Du Fresne predominantly writes right wing vileness. You tried to make a point by suggesting that sometimes Stephanie writes things you don’t like but that doesn’t mean you don’t like everything. It’s a false equivalence and distracts from what Stephanie was actually talking about. It’s not a matter of not being able to see the value in the content of this one post, it’s about putting that one post in context. I appreciate Stephanie and others doing that in this thread.

            • Tom Jackson 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The context doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference to the quality of this article or the issues raised by it. All she wanted to do was put the boot in because he opposes some of her favourite hobby horses. It’s a distraction and off topic.

            • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Nevertheless, Stephanie’s point was that Du Fresne predominantly writes right wing vileness.

              Stephanie’s point is that she sees Du Fresne as a vile person and therefore won’t give this piece he has written any credit, regardless of its points or its merits.

              • batweka

                Interesting, I didn’t read it like that.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  An alternative reading is – all his other writings are so vile that it taints everything else he might ever produce or touch, and rules him out of receiving credit for any good he might do in the future.

                  • batweka

                    lol.

                    How about,

                    Putting an intro to his post like this is promotion that I disagree with. His politics are vile so we need to understand what he writes in light of that. Part of this particular post is dubious in how it portrays sexual harrassment.

                    When I read his post I thought a few things. One was why is he writing this now as if this is new?

                    Another was, he doesn’t really want things to be different in a way that most people here want things to be different.

                    Also noted the insertion of this piece of bullshit,

                    Key has given new Labour leader Andrew Little a dream start, and Little has the ability to take full advantage of it. More by good luck than good management, Labour has found itself with a leader who could prove a real handful for National.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My critical interpretation is spot on, yours is a bit watered down, IMO.

                      For instance, she doesn’t ask us to evaluate the writing at all. It is dismissed. And Stephanie’s contention that the failure of SSC’s management of the Sutton incident was downplayed by Du Fresne’s wording is rubbish. How much more damning than “embarrassing fiasco” do you think the wording should have/could have been when describing the performance of the SSC and Rennie.

    • Karen 7.2

      +1 Stephanie
      Just because du Fresne is, for a change, criticizing this government is no reason to give him any credence or respect. His opinions are, generally speaking, shallow, authoritarian and very right wing.
      Have a look at this attack he made on the wonderful Giovanni Tiso. http://karldufresne.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/planet-tiso-continued.html

      • miravox 7.2.1

        Tough stuff when someone like du Fresne realises, finally, who and what they voted for.

      • batweka 7.2.2

        thanks Karen. Would’ve been good if the post had been put up in this context.

      • Tom Jackson 7.2.3

        Who’s saying we should fall at his feet? He’s just right in this particular case, and we should acknowledge he’s done a good job (as the author of the post did by linking it).

        I’m supposed to think badly of Du Fresne because he had a go at the Italian bore? Oh well…

        • Karen 7.2.3.1

          Tom, the article I linked to was just one example of the kind of nasty, lazy, right-wing dribble that du Fresne specializes in. Yes, it is interesting that one of Key’s greatest fans is now expressing doubts, but this post does not frame it in these terms.

          And while you may dismiss Giovanni Tiso an ‘Italian bore’, I think he is one of the most insightful, witty, moral and brilliant writers in this country. I happen to know that I am not alone in this view.

          • Tom Jackson 7.2.3.1.1

            Perhaps you should read more widely. 😉

            And while I’m at it, if Tiso posted something I found good, I would praise it and not attempt to change the subject.

            But here’s an example from his blog:

            The charge has both socio-technical and socio-political implications. As to the former, it feeds into a conservative discourse about the internet in general and social media in particular as degraded forms of being in the world.

            It appears to be a piece of pseudo intellectualism appealing to Heideggerian concepts to make what is in fact a simple and uncontroversial point that would be more accurately made without them. it would not be out of place in Private Eye’s Pseud’s Corner.

            • Colonial Rawshark 7.2.3.1.1.1

              Tiso knows the audience he is writing for. This is the kind of thing that is well regarded by that audience.

            • Karen 7.2.3.1.1.2

              I did not “attempt to change the subject” and I read very widely.

              There seems little point in responding to your rather pathetic and misguided attempt at literary criticism.

          • Karl du Fresne 7.2.3.1.2

            There are several comically erroneous statements and assumptions about me in this thread, but I would like to deal with this one in particular. I am not, and never have been, a “fan” of John Key. How could I be, when I don’t have a clue what his values are?

            • Manuka AOR 7.2.3.1.2.1

              Mate, Thanks! for what you wrote.

              There’s been a culture of timidity from the NZ press for a long, long time, imo, when covering politicians in power. Your op-ed is appreciated.

            • Paul 7.2.3.1.2.2

              Why do you support neo-liberal capitalism when it is clearly hostile to the earth’s environment?

            • Clemgeopin 7.2.3.1.2.3

              @Karl du fresne

              I had not read your blogs before. This was the first and I liked it! I very much agree with your views stated in this article.

              I have just read a few of your blogs from the month of September, before and after the election. You make some good points, but of course, I don’t agree with everything you state.

              I also read the nice blog from Nov 29, about Andrew Little:
              http://karldufresne.blogspot.co.nz/2014/11/labour-picked-right-leader.html

              While I agree with most of the things you say there, I do not agree with your lazy bandwagon RW untrue view that ‘even if he was elected by the skin of his teeth under a flawed process that gives too much power to the unions’…How so when Labour by definition and historically is a party sympathetic to the common people and the workers? The unions (affiliates) that represent the workers have only 20% (1/5 of the vote) compared to the caucus and the members that have 80% (4/5) of the vote? So, how can you honestly state that the unions have ‘too much’ power?

              You write well. Keep up the good work. Does your blog have a subscription button? I did not see one. Cheers!

            • Morrissey 7.2.3.1.2.4

              You’re a fan of John Howard, however, and you made a particularly foolish attempt to defend him after he had performed poorly in an interview on National Radio.

              If I were you, I’d pretend I was a John Key fan; he’s one of the good guys compared to some of the moral imbeciles and criminals you’ve endorsed.

        • batweka 7.2.3.2

          “Who’s saying we should fall at his feet?”

          Only you apparently.

          “He’s just right in this particular case, and we should acknowledge he’s done a good job (as the author of the post did by linking it).”

          Why not put it in context as well?

      • Murray Rawshark 7.2.4

        Du Fresne is a neoliberal prick. This makes me wonder what his motives are in telling part of the truth about Key. His heart will not be pure. Maybe he thinks Gusher or ACT need to step up and take over.

        • RedLogix 7.2.4.1

          Disagree with the label Murray. My reading of him is that he’s more an old-fashioned conservative than a neo-lib.

          The difference is that with a conservative you can usually agree on the destination – but not on how to get there. Whereas neo-libs have a whole other idea on where they want to finish up.

    • Tracey 7.3

      I agree. I feel the same way about Garth George.

  8. Tracey 8

    Does anyone have a list of the incidents involving helen clark which were deemed to be appalling judgment and/or dishonesty. They “they do/did it too thing intrigues me.

    A list like BLiPs or a list as above.

    I am most interested in how many of hers were in relation to running a country… For example painter gate was dishonest but in my opinion did not relate to running the country, whereas corngate did.

    • Chch_chiquita 8.1

      What intrigues me is why Key thinks this is a valid excuse. So, if Helen Clark did it does it make it right? Isn’t change in government suppose to be voting for a change in how things are done?

      • emergency mike 8.1.1

        Yep, schoolkids don’t get away with the old ‘but so-and-so did it too!’ line, but Key’s got it down.

  9. Lanthanide 9

    “Murderer and paedophile Phillip Smith, a man known to be clever and manipulative as well as evil, escaped to South America because of staggering naivety on the part of the Corrections Department;”

    The limited release programme actually seems very sensible. It just seems in this particular case, Phillip Smith shouldn’t have been in the programme, and they didn’t appropriately vet the person he was released to. But lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    The passport kerfluffle and the various scams he was running from prison are a separate, and much more embarrassing, issue.

    • Tracey 9.1

      Agree. Lets get tracking or limit the types of offenders who get it. Someone the parole board thinks is still manipulative was a dumb choice

  10. TheContrarian 10

    Wow, brutal.

  11. Tom Jackson 11

    I had a thought about the corrections minister. He’s clearly been promoted well beyond his abilities.

    For years the right have complained that affirmative action would led to people from minorities being promoted way beyond their competence. If you look at the opposition benches, this doesn’t make sense as the opposition have many female and ethnic minority members who are just as competent as the men (King, Mahuta, Turei, etc.).

    On the other hand, if you look at the National caucus women and minorities, it’s a parade of incompetence and unsuitability (Collins, Upston, Tolley, Lotu-Liga, Parata, Hauiti, Bennett). You have to wonder if they have a secret agenda to keep white dudes in charge by making people think that everyone else is useless. Or perhaps they just think that diversity means finding a few stuffed shirts of the appropriate gender and ethnicity.

    • BassGuy 11.1

      Affirmative action will lead to people from minorities being promoted beyond their competence?

      I’m astounded that this is even a thing.

      I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Peter Princicple, which is basically the same premise but looks only at the individual’s abilities.

      Almost everybody knows someone who was put in a position of authority but is absolutely unsuited for the role.

    • Tracey 11.2

      He was promted to a portfolio that had a major fuck up he could have had no influence over… Now who used to be corrections minister and presided over such imbecilea?!?

  12. ankerawshark 12

    Tom J @11. So you think Bridges, Brownlee and English are competent? Holy hell

    • tc 12.1

      Blingish is very competent at what’s required of him.

      He pillaged the various reserves labour left in SOE’s and punching about a 1.5B hole p.a. in crown revenue tax take with the PAYE tax/GST swap and successfully douple dipped for years with his accomodation allowances.

      • Lanthanide 12.1.1

        Yip, just like Key is very good at the job he was installed to do.

      • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.2

        Labour always leave shit lying around for the Tories to pillage and plunder, instead of spending it on the people, itself. Asset rich SOEs, a govt credit card with a massive credit limit, etc.

    • Tom Jackson 12.2

      I didn’t say that. I just claimed that their attempts to promote minorities seem to result in the installation of nincompoops. I made no claim that National was somehow nincompoop free once you eliminate the women and people of colour, nor would I make such a claim, as Bridges is clearly a moron of the highest order.

      Smith, English, Groser, Finlayson and Joyce aren’t stupid either (diabolically clever?).

  13. Blue 13

    At the very least, he should show us a bit more respect.

    What respect is due to someone who has been duped by Key for seven long years now? Key has good reason to think the majority of NZers are complete idiots and treat them accordingly.

    No one with half a brain would believe the crap he’s come out with and yet all of the media and most of the voting population just eat it up.

  14. Morrissey 14

    Yes, Karl du Fresne has written something that makes sense, finally. Key is in real trouble now that the likes of Armstrong, Hooton and du Fresne are unreservedly stating that he is a liar.

    However, I wouldn’t expect too much more from the Wairarapa’s grumpiest old oenophile. We Standardisti have been following du Fresne for some time now. He can be quite a decent human being….

    Open mike 12/06/2013

    But he can also be, sadly, a disgusting right wing git, and an apologist for the very worst people in the world—like John Howard. His admiration for Howard led him to what is perhaps his most unfortunate performance, when he insanely ranted against the far superior Kim Hill….
    http://karldufresne.blogspot.co.nz/2010/11/howard-deserved-more-balanced-treatment.html

    Unbelievably, after that demonstration of North Korean level adulation of a politician, the irony-free Du Fresne had the audacity to write an opinion piece criticising journalism schools for failing to produce journalists who are “willing to challenge authority”…..

    Open mike 07/08/2011

  15. Chooky 15

    +100…”Key is in real trouble now that the likes of Armstrong, Hooton and du Fresne are unreservedly stating that he is a liar.”

  16. mac1 16

    If I wrote a piece like Du Fresne has just written, (which I did read), and then read the comments here about it, then I’d be tempted to really despair about people’s objectivity.

    Put in into context, someone wrote. Fair enough, but what context? That he’s a right winger of a journo with some sort of right wing motive for criticising John Key in a very strong way? That this opinion piece is a parody? or a piss-take? or a dare?

    I say, let the piece stand for itself. Let the piece be commended for its views. May the author be encouraged to write more in that vein. Congratulate him for twigging what we on the left have been saying for years about Key’s dishonest actions.

    It is never too late this side of the grave to repent, change, comprehend better.

    Good on yer, Karl Du Fresne for this piece published, furthermore, in a provincial paper, far from the beltway.

    • Manuka AOR 16.1

      “let the piece stand for itself. Let the piece be commended for its views.”

      Yes. He called it right. Nothing namby pamby wishy washy here.

      “Good on yer, Karl Du Fresne for this piece published, furthermore, in a provincial paper, far from the beltway.”

      • batweka 16.1.1

        “Yes. He called it right.”

        Except for the bit that he’s talking about now and seems to think something really bad has just happened, as if this hasn’t been the norm that’s built up for the past 6 years with the big difference now being that Key and his mates are getting caught out more often and the MSM is less willing to buy the bullshit thanks to some very good work by people that have been speaking out against this for quite some time and are finally being listened to.

        • Manuka AOR 16.1.1.1

          Hi Weka,

          The thing is, many, many, many other people all around NZ have also seen nothing wrong for these last years, and will still choose to do so if at all possible. Each person, each journo or op-ed that finally says, “Enough!” and starts calling the B.S for what it is, is a big plus for waking up and turning around the wider population.

          • batweka 16.1.1.1.1

            I agree, and have no problem with the article being seen in the light of adding a right wing discomfit with Key angle to the ongoing critiques. Have a look at my comment down thread as to why I don’t think Du Fresne is making a rallying cry to stop Key’s govt from doing all the bad shit.

    • Chooky 16.2

      +100…and who hasnt changed their mind over political issues at one time or another? ..every person the oars …every rower helps

      • Manuka AOR 16.2.1

        Absolutely Chookster.

        When someone is holding your family hostage with a gun pointed at them, and someone else gives you a long stick to try and knock the gun from that hand, are you going to get in a debate with the helper about whether they have been nice to you in the past?

        For pity’s sake! WAKE UP!!!!!

        • batweka 16.2.1.1

          Nice analogy, but I would challenge the idea that Du Fresne is trying to knock the gun from the hand. Sounds to me like he wants some respect, so it’s more a case of please stop being so aggressive with that gun. He doesn’t actually want Key to put the gun down. Think about Hooton, who is unhappy with Key but still pretty much agrees with Key’s agenda just doesn’t like how far he’s taken some of his tactics.

          Du Fresne’s concerns,

          that Key is being arrogant and incompetent

          that he has lost his integrity recently

          that this might cost the right the next election

          he thinks the new security laws were passed too quickly and this undermines democracy, but does he think there is anything wrong with the laws?

          he things the new employment laws were also problematic, not because of how they affect workers so much as how they are symbolic of something, and that this reflects badly on National because it makes them look like they’re looking out for the bosses (see, the problem is how it makes National look)

          he thinks there should be better ministerial responsibilty for dept fuck ups

          he objects to Key’s relationship with Slater as having gone too far now, and it seems to be an issue for Du Fresne that he’s been taken for a ride and now he wants some respect at least.

          If Hooton had written all that I doubt that people here would be going fuckin A. They’d be looking at what he said in the context of him being a far righter and a consummate spinner.

          • mac1 16.2.1.1.1

            “in the context of him being a far righter and a consummate spinner.”

            As I asked above, this question of context has to be explained.

            How much spin can there be in the strong condemnation of John Key in du Fresne’s article? What advantage is there for ‘far righters’ and ‘consummate spinners’, because I can’t see it. Maybe I’m a political virgin and never been consummated. 😉

            • Nic the NZer 16.2.1.1.1.1

              That one is easy,

              We see now the main stream media criticizing Key for the obvious fact he is completely non-credible in what he has said to the media and parliament. What we don’t see is criticism of what he (his office) actually did. The criticism is for being caught doing it, not what he was doing. Its an open invitation to do it again, but just make sure you don’t get caught doing it again or somebody else will be found who can do it without being caught.

              • weka

                Yep that’s the one. Or even, Key’s gone too far, or is just using the wrong tactics, but his basic plan is still good.

              • mac1

                I’ve just reread du Fresne’s opinion piece again with your critique in mind, Nic, and I don’t see what you’re saying there. You are reading in more than is stated or implied.

                For heaven’s sake, there is criticism of what Key and his government and ministers are doing. What else does ‘pathetic dissembling’ mean? What is a man doing if he’s too cocky?

                And right at the end (as there is all through the piece of his government which means us to read Key’s government) more criticism of his actions -“he plays us for mugs by bullshitting us.”

                Now, please reread the piece as I have done, this time looking for criticism of Key, his government and ministers.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Yeah, why didn’t Du Fresne write that piece before the election, when it was clear that the PM was running a smear campaign out of his office. They are just telling him to stop looking like a non-credible idiot, not to stop running election screwing (as in screw the scrum) smear campaigns to get elected.

                  Its good to see criticism from the right as well, but its far from substantial. Actually Slater and Key have not been acting any differently before or after the election, so what’s changed? It actually seems almost mean to write off Slater as toxic just because he’s now become unpopular. He has not done anything horrific since the election at least. They are just telling Key he’s screwing up and might not get a fourth term (if he doesn’t hide it better), they are not telling Key he’s been rorting the democratic process to get elected.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yes, it is safely after the election. Mildly criticising Key and mildly criticising National over the next 12 months will be de riguer in the MSM. Especially since Key and co. have pissed off so many personalities in the media lately.

                    But 12 months out from the 2017 elections National worship will resume normal full broadcast strength.

                    • greywarshark

                      Colonial Viper R
                      I think that your concept of MSM behaviour sounds pretty right.

                      Karl du Fresne usually leans to the right, and it is good that he is applying some objective analysis to the post-election behaviours of Key and Finlayson. It is extraordinary to read criticism of Key and those who project the idea of thoughtful, balanced critiques have actually been forced to it by the unavoidable accumulation of disgraceful behaviours.

                      Karl du Fresne has not changed his usual scepticism of the left as shown in his words in the article:

                      Even before the appearance of the proposed new security laws, the government had shown signs of third-term arrogance.
                      Within weeks of winning the election, it had pushed through new employment laws that were widely criticised as eroding workers’ rights.

                      I’m not convinced that the new laws are quite as oppressive as the critics say, but it was the symbolism that struck me.

  17. mac1 17

    Nic, you’ve gone into “they” mode. I’m discussing du Fresne, where you should be in ‘he” mode.

    You are discussing something bigger than du Fresne’s offering, and I’m not saying you are wrong in your bigger picture that you draw.

    Du Fresne is cutting in his criticism. What can be worse than to doubt a government’s competence and especially its integrity?

    Man, I would hate to be receiving that criticism………………….

    • Nic the NZer 17.1

      “What can be worse than to doubt a government’s competence and especially its integrity?”

      Time to start questioning its right to govern. National has screwed the past 2 elections in some significant way. de Fresne will no doubt resume service to the National party in good time for the next one too. He certainly did before the election. I don’t care if the PM looks competent at his anti-democratic rorting or he looks like a bibbling idiot while doing it. It only matters if he is engaging in this kind of governance or not.

  18. Sacha 18

    Great to see the right calling out unethical behaviour. It’s not good enough no matter what political perspective we come from.

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  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
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    3 hours ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
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    6 hours ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    7 hours ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    12 hours ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    1 day ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    1 day ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    1 day ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    2 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    2 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    2 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    2 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    3 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    3 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    5 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
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    1 week ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
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    1 week ago