web analytics

First days on the job disappoint

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, December 2nd, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

The journos don’t seem to have been very impressed by Key now that he has returned to take up the reins of government.

Several journos criticised his performance at his first post-Cabinet press conference. There is growing criticism of Key’s response to the situation in Thailand. Certainly both both his lack of urgency and his loose lips regarding contingency plans he had planned to keep confidential haven’t instilled confidence.

Tracey Watkins reckons that, by dithering on the financial crisis, National is risking its honeymoon ending sooner, rather than later:

The rest of the world, in other words, has decided to “go defcon” while on our side of the globe, despite the “whatever it takes” promises from Prime Minister John Key and Mr English, there has only been cautious talk about bringing forward small infrastructure projects, and a whiff of “awaiting developments” in the air. Even the much- touted December economic stimulus package has had to borrow heavily from Labour’s October 1 tax cuts, which have already been banked, to arrive at the $7 billion figure that is being tossed around as a sign of willing on the Government’s part to join the “fiscal stimulation” party…

But National’s talk so far of curbing government spending has been cautious and while it seems increasingly likely that some hard decisions will have to be made in light of the deteriorating position, it has ruled out the sort of upheaval that a harsh prescription like ACT’s would incur. The other option, to throw a far bigger package at the recession than the one National entered the election campaign with, would be in line with the current international fashion but it comes with no guarantee of success either.

With Mr Key out of the country for Apec in his first week on the job, today when he leads his first Cabinet meeting is the first real day of the new Government getting down to business.

Events on the international stage, including the Air New Zealand disaster, may overshadow it and the report card for the new Government, to date, on its response to those disasters in its first week is mixed. After a slow response earlier in the week to events in India (again, we can blame the fact that ministers’ offices are still only on skeleton staff) it had stepped up a gear by the end of the week in responding to the Air New Zealand disaster.

But those are matters beyond the Government’s control; it is on how it responds over the next few weeks to the more pressing matters within its control that will decide whether the honeymoon is a long one or cut short prematurely.

Colin James is also critical of Key’s continued unwillingness to be firm on anything, although his concern is more that National should try to sneak things through while the honeymoon is on:

if John Key is to make good his vaunted “ambition” and enrich us, he must improve infrastructure and hone institutional settings.

Key has promised additions to Labour’s infrastructure and human capital programmes. But on institutional settings he was bland pre-election and post-election. He has taken to not ruling things out, even a carbon tax. Prime ministers have to rule things out – and in. A good time to start is on the honeymoon, when voters are still smoochy. A bad time to start is in a second term when electoral leeway is tighter.

I guess we are all used to the Prime Minister being firm and clear but, in fact, that was Helen Clark’s personality and abilities, not a consequence of the position. I think, now, what we’re discovering is that people don’t change just because their job changes. In opposition, Key was unwilling to say anything that might offend, was vacillating, and had a tendency to mis-speak. Now he is PM, he is still indecisive and vague, and he seems to lack a sense of the gravity of the decisions he must make.

18 comments on “First days on the job disappoint ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Well so much for this blogs position that the mass-media were somehow immune to National and completely bias against Labour.

    I like Colin Jame’s piece but Tracey Watkins piece is terrible. Her rhetoric is saying do something but either way both are likely to fail.

    [lprent: The blog doesn’t have a position (it is a machine with some software). However you could look at the bloggers who are human and do have positions. Read the Policy]

  2. ianmac 2

    I would expect that the then Opposition but now the Govt, would be decisive and have a good grasp of every positive and every negative aspect affecting NZ. That is what the country apparently voted for. Milly Molly Mandy is not good enough!

  3. Look Steve, just be patient, National will release their plans closer to the election…

  4. bobo 4

    Key just looks like a typical corporate to me, not willing to make a fast decision almost stuck in the pre-election ” Wait we have some policy coming out next week” mode, maybe he should act a bit more like the head of AirNZ he seems to be showing some compassion which is rare for heads of big companies.

  5. gingercrush 5

    bobo you are a nice person aren’t you. Oh wait a minute an Air NZ plane just crashed killing seven people. What is Fyfe meant to do say, “Oh its only seven lives”. And what are you asking John Key to be compassionate about? Since I do remember him being compassionate in terms of the Air NZ crash.

  6. Hostie 6

    Rob Fyfe is all PR. He does it well (pays enough for it!) but that’s all it is.

  7. Phil 7

    Key just looks like a typical corporate to me, not willing to make a fast decision

    Interestingly, I’ve heard the complete opposite in private; The ‘trader’ in him wants to make the decision and enact the trade five minutes ago…

  8. Daveski 8

    I’m tempted to do the Tui billboard thing but I know LP hates that more than a smelly right wing troll … but seriously, did we ever expect SP to write anything positive about Key?

    Moreover, seeing that most of the offices are still being shifted around, Govt hasn’t even kicked off, isn’t it a little early to make these types of calls?

    At least we now know if journos say good things about Key they can be trusted now.

    As a final comment, how many of the governments that Key/NZ is being compared with for taking such decisive action have just been through an election? The US is a little different because it’s still business as unusual until January but it’s a valid issue – other countries haven’t had the disruption of an election.

  9. bobo 9

    Gingercrush , and I thought I was the cynic on here…
    Fyfe could have always handled it like Fontera I guess .. (can’t one ever say something positive about a head of a company? maybe it is all PR maybe I’m thick and gullible, was just an observation that heads of companies are usually more stand off-ish.)

    The only so called maverick thing Key did was not to deal with Winston after the election,,, hardcore….. He certainly doesn’t come over nowadays as the 5 minutes act kind of guy…

    John Key has never struck me as overly compassionate …, he makes a point to state he never cried, hard man.. no idea what the big deal about that is..

    And why the bitching that 2 jets were in service when they have a perfectly good Hercules which could have been dispatched days ago? I get the feeling the only reason its flying out tonight is because the media gave him a hard time this lunchtime….

  10. bobo 10

    Just one other point is Thailand has been dodgy for months now with mass public demonstration sit ins and political unrest.. Maybe Kiwi’s should think a little bit more about than just if the hotel has an on suite bathroom or free mini bar drinks when they book their cheap holidays. You see the tourists on TV say how dare these people protest and disrupt their travel plans as if they have some special badge of immunity… count themselves lucky the situation hasn’t turned into all out riots yet..

  11. insider 11

    The Govt has no reason trying to ‘rescue’ stranded holidaymakers when they are in no direct danger. Let their insurers/travel agents sort it out. Jeez -nanny state or what?

  12. bobo 12

    Scary thought part of me agrees with insider hehe… Surely travel insurance could organize a coach trip a few hundred miles to nearest working airport.. It looks so easy on those VISA card commercials 🙂

  13. sweeetdisorder 13

    Well all, I am booked to fly out to Bangkok on the 26th December and looking forward to it. I think it should be all sorted out by then. If not, anyone who wants to get my daily on the spot blog is welcome.

  14. Kerry 14

    I dont buy the argument that öffice’s are skeleton staffed” i mean someone should have told those protesters in Thailand that they had to call off any sort of protest as its not convenient for New Zealand as they have a new government!!!

    Come on guys pull finger and show some leadership.

    Insider:- your comments go to prove all right wingers are pigs! Hope you get caught in a foreign country one day…..you would be banging down the Embassy door! HELP HELP

  15. Camryn 15

    Kerry – Yeah, Insider is a pig for suggesting that people use their travel insurance to arrange alternative flights through neighbouring countries since the situation is one of inconvenience rather than danger. So heartless! In any case, by your logic I should be able to claim that all lefties share your flaws, whatever they may be. I can guess at a few if you think your logic is valid!

  16. mike 16

    “Rob Fyfe is all PR. He does it well (pays enough for it!) but that’s all it is.”

    Sums up you bitter lefties perfectly – attack the man not doing it – attack the man as he’s only doing it to look good.

    Very sad to see Fyfe criticised on this topic but par for the course for you guys.

    Captcha: immoral debats – exactly

  17. Mr Magoo 17

    “Rob Fyfe is all PR. He does it well (pays enough for it!) but that’s all it is.’

    Sums up you bitter lefties perfectly – attack the man not doing it – attack the man as he’s only doing it to look good.

    I think you both are as gulty as one another of a very common fallicy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy
    More specifically, “Ad hominem circumstantial”

    Statements stand in of themselves and the person who made them and their motivations are not grounds to conclude they are incorrect. (they are certainly grounds to scutinise them for truth!)

    I am sure Hitler, Stalin and Bush made the occasionally correct and agreeable statement!
    (yes, I am using an associative PR trick to associate Bush with certain people…very funny..)

  18. randal 18

    keys has always been in a position where to tell the truth means losing customers
    you cant teach an old dog new tricks

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau champions language and culture
    COVID-19 continues to be a powerful reminder of the importance of language and culture to the wellbeing of our Pacific communities, said the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “Our Tokelau community in Aotearoa has responded strongly to the challenges of the global pandemic by getting vaccinated and supporting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Festival drug-checking services get a boost
    The Government is financially supporting drug-checking services to help keep young people safe at this summer’s large festivals and events, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This is not about condoning drug use, but about keeping people safe,” Andrew Little said. “There is clear evidence that having drug-checking services at festivals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Expanded vaccination order for health and disability, education and prison workers
    A newly-signed Order means most people working in three key sectors will very soon need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the sake of themselves, their workmates and their communities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed. The extended COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021 comes into effect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC finance ministers focus on inclusive, sustainable COVID recovery
    APEC finance ministers will continue to work together to respond to the effects of COVID-19 and ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery while capitalising on the opportunity to build a more resilient future. The New Zealand Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson chaired the virtual APEC Finance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital on track
    Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital are well underway, and the next stage of the project will begin next month. Health Minister Andrew Little visited Timaru Hospital today to view progress onsite. “The improvements are part of South Canterbury DHB’s four-year refurbishment project and will create a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt responds to independent review into WorkSafe
    The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says. The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) today released the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prevention funding to reduce tamariki in care
    A new iwi-led prevention programme will receive funding from Oranga Tamariki to help reduce the number of tamariki and rangatahi coming into state care, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has announced. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) will receive $25.9m of Oranga Tamariki funding over three years to improve outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Transforming New Zealand’s mental health legislation
    Public consultation is now open for Aotearoa New Zealand to have a say on the repeal and replacement of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. “’He Ara Oranga, the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction’ made it clear that we needed to replace ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework
    Kia ora koutou katoa Today I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders to share a plan that will help us stay safe from COVID-19 into the future. A future where we want to continue to protect people’s lives, but also to live our lives – as safely as possible. Our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business boost to transition to new COVID framework
    We know that over the last twenty months the approach New Zealand has taken to COVID and Delta has saved lives and livelihoods. Along with one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, we have also had strong economic growth, low unemployment and one of the lower levels of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 funding boost to protect maōri communities
    Tēnā koutou katoa As you have heard from the Prime Minister, the new protection framework will support us to keep people safe especially our vulnerable communities and minimize the impact COVID-19 has on business and our day to day lives. If you want to protect yourself, your whanau and your ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New COVID-19 Protection Framework delivers greater freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders
    New COVID-19 Protection Framework provides pathway out of lockdown and ability for businesses and events to re-open to vaccinated New Zealanders Simpler framework to minimise cases and hospitalisations without use of widespread lockdowns Auckland to move into the new framework when 90 percent of eligible population in each of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New fund to accelerate Māori vaccinations
    The Government has established a $120 million fund to accelerate Māori vaccination rates and support communities to prepare for the implementation of the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. The new Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund will directly fund Māori, Iwi, community organisations and providers to deliver local vaccination initiatives for whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government extends hardship assistance for low income workers
    Income limits for Hardship Support through the Ministry of Social Development have been temporarily lifted so more people can recieve assistance. “Cabinet has agreed to make it easier for low income workers to recieve assistance for items such as food and other emergency costs,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “We know the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More support for learners with highest needs
    Students most in need of extra help in the classroom are the focus of a new review that gets under way today, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti says. About 50,000-80,000 children and young people are expected to benefit from a Ministry of Education review into Highest Need Learners that will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato to stay at Alert Level 3 for next six days
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 will remain at that alert level till Wednesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Based on the latest public health information, maintaining level 3 in those parts of the Waikato continues to be the most prudent course of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hon Peeni Henare September 2021 Proactive Diary Release
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ passes world-first climate reporting legislation
    New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass a law that will ensure financial organisations disclose and ultimately act on climate-related risks and opportunities, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced today. The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister NZ UK FTA opening remarks
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I am delighted to announce today that following a conversation with Prime Minister Johnson last night, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have Agreed in Principle a historic high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement. I’m joined today by the Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand secures historic free trade deal with the United Kingdom
    A boost of almost $1 billion to New Zealand GDP, unprecedented access for New Zealand exporters to the UK market UK to eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with over 97% being removed the day the FTA comes into force NZ exporters to save approx. $37.8 million per year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show more people in work
    Benefit figures released today show a year on year fall of 9,807 people receiving a Main Benefit in the September Quarter.  “The Government is working hard to tackle COVID-19 and it is clear our strong response to the initial outbreak has created a resilient labour market which is providing opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health reforms bill introduced to Parliament
    Legislation central to fixing the health system has been introduced into Parliament by Health Minister Andrew Little. “Rebuilding the public health system is critical to laying the foundations for a better future for all New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said. “We need a system that works for everybody, no matter who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams to proceed
    NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Limited change to onsite learning – for senior secondary students – in Level 3 regions
    Onsite learning at schools in Level 3 regions will start from next week for senior secondary school students to prepare for end of year exams, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Secondary schools in these regions will start onsite learning for years 11 to 13 on Tuesday 26 October,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers
    The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector. “Our world-class workforce is vital in rebuilding the health system and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Little said. “Whether it’s bringing doctors or nurses in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities
    Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said. The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago