Garner on Key vs Clark

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, March 26th, 2016 - 124 comments
Categories: helen clark, john key - Tags: , ,

Attracting a fair bit of comment this morning – Duncan Garner:

The flagging fortunes of a leader chasing a legacy

Key has no time for losing – runs a mile from political disasters, like they never actually happened. The flag result is a disaster for him. But it’s also not. He’ll say, ‘Oh well, we gave you a chance, we move on’. But this was his idea. It was his baby. It’s an entirely own goal. And the people said, No thanks John. The public’s given him a bloody nose, but that’s all he got.

So why did Key pursue a flag change in the first place? Because this was supposed to have been his legacy project – a lasting symbol of his lasting contribution to the country. … So what is it? Does he have one? Not really.

He brought in tax cuts and sold half our assets. That’s not creating a legacy. Perhaps borrowing money and being a happy-go-luck prime minister may end up being what we remember him for long-term. His Government has borrowed close to $60 billion for future generations to pay back. That’s $8.5b for every year they have been in office. … His legacy is that he could end up being the most popular prime minister of all time. A man with few economic options, so he traded on his personality.

On the other hand, Labour and its support partners had golden economic times while in power. They delivered interest-free student loans in the form of an election bribe that National criticised – then embraced – in office. Labour also gave us Kiwibank, paid parental leave, KiwiSaver, Working for Families, civil unions, a ban on smacking children, and legalising prostitution. Now that’s a legacy. The highest praise possible is that none of this has been dismantled by National.

For all the talk of nanny state and voters eventually turning toxic on Helen Clark she can look back on her time in power with pride. She set a clear path and used every inch of her formidable personality to make things happen.

John Key may still be swamped with selfie requests in shopping malls, but that’s not the definition of a great leader. Key has enjoyed a tonne of political capital and the disappointing thing is that he hasn’t used it for any meaningful, lasting project. Surely that’s not good enough for a man driven by a deep ambition.

Ouch. Read the full piece for plenty more.

124 comments on “Garner on Key vs Clark ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Key’s legacy will be attempting to remove the Union Jack from our flag, as a way to distance ourselves from our colonial past. At the same time, he brought back the Knights and Dames honours, in a step back towards out colonial past.

    • mosa 1.1

      A TONNE OF POLITICAL CAPITAL!!!!
      That sums up how Key and his cohorts have got away with appalling deceptions and other outrageous acts
      He more than ant other PM in recent memory has had a hell of a lot of political rope and the infamous Brand Key is still very much a potent force that wont easily give the game away
      I have been watching NZ politics scince 1984 and i cannot recall a PM that has had the inflated popularity that this man has had all re enforced by a compliant media that includes news on the net
      If he had used this amazing gift for the benefit of New Zealanders instead of behaving like a born to rule arrogant fool who engages in nasty character assinations of his opponets and blatantly deceives every time he opens his mouth and puts through policies that are paid for by massive money contributions on a promise that the status quo remains is not governing in the intrests of New Zealanders unless you are financially independent then you get a reward paid for by hard working kiwis and foreign banks who we will be paying back for decades and as for CHCH look at who got the contracts for the rebuild
      A lot of kiwis have been had big time and dont even know it and will vote for more next year and then for the female version after that.

      • Mosa 1.1.1

        Garner has had an awakening for reality how amazing
        Yet be was one of those agitating for tax cuts under Clark 2004-5 and later in her term
        He was accusing them of stealing from NZers and not cutting taxes
        Unlike National they re invested and funded public services and the pension fund
        Bit rich to be praising her now after he put the boot in more than once

  2. RHT 2

    Shouldn’t the headline say Garner?

  3. Need to change your headline – “Garner”, not “Gower”!

  4. BM 4

    I think Duncan Donuts is having a bit of a troll.

    • North 4.1

      “John Key may still be swamped with selfie requests in shopping malls, but that’s not the definition of a great leader.” Wow ! That’s akin to saying he’s predominantly an unctious construct. What took you so long Duncan ?

      Overheard, the Man-Child PM in Hawaii on phone to Audrey Young……..”There’s none of it’s my fault Audrey you know that now make sure you get that across. Yes John, yes John…….”

      • gsays 4.1.1

        aye, the latest wannabe on the latest cooking or home renovation soap opera gets swamped for selfies too.
        that aint a high bar that has been set.

    • Rob 4.2

      It takes a troll to recognise
      Of course there are those other trolls that inhabit our main stream media
      Did someone say Audrey???

    • Rob 4.3

      It takes a troll to recognise
      Of course there are those other trolls that inhabit our main stream media
      Did someone say Audrey???

  5. Old Tony 5

    I don’t see it that way. Labour had the golden weather; did some good things (kiwisaver) and some lousy things (student loans). Left a fragile economy ready to tank when the hard times turned up. Managing through those hard times and the Christchurch earthquake without suffering the disruption which has characterised most of the western world is quite an achievement. I doff my hat to Key (and English) for that success.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Ever hear about the global financial crisis. Do you understand it was the fault of a bunch of greedy rapacious merchant bankers and not Helen Clark and Michael Cullen. Do you understand that National’s sole response has been tax cuts and borrowing heavily?

      DO you remember how unemployment in NZ was before the GFC the lowest in the western world and Cullen had paid of all the debt?

      I can’t make out if you are just stupid or trolling.

      • Old Tony 5.1.1

        I don’t mind what conclusion you draw actually.

        The economy was heading into recession prior to GFC hitting home.

        But you are missing the point a smidgen. I am less concerned with bagging Clarke and Cullen and more concerned with making the point that given the circumstances Key and English haven’t actually done too bad.

        Steady as she goes, while not disrupting people’s lives by winding back social assistance in response to the worst economic challenges in 80 years, coping with an earthquake, and increasing real benefit levels looks pretty good to me.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          Problem is that they did absolutely nothing to make anything better for future generations.

          The Clark government fostered the development of what is now a very large exporting tech sector. It was really tiny in the 90s. Now i think it is one of the biggest employers as a sector. High paying jobs and future prospects from a deliberate policy started in 1999. That was done at a time when we weren’t in a favourable economic position. It was a deliberate act of foresight.

          National gave us more exposure to selling more bulk commodities – with the inevitable results. Price went down. Ad you point out, National are the muddle along party who have no foresight.

          That is why their characteristic political attribute during my lifetime has been to accumulate debt for me to pay back, and produce nothing substantive to show for it.

        • Keith 5.1.1.2

          Steady as she goes Old Tony? You mean borrow like theres no tomorrow, frozen public service expendature and useless flag campaigns that cost a fortune. And how could i forget, filthy destructive smear campaigns ticking away. Yes real steady alright.

          The earthquake was essentially self funding with EQC and insurance and they’ve milked the growth it gave for all it was worth, delaying the rebuild to keep what growth it can give so these no hopers have some veneer of economic credibility.

          National got in and were going to mine national parks, flood vast swaithes of land for irrigation, drill for oil and provide the nation with fibre optic broadband. All they achieved was ministers on the take remaing right where they are, debt and asset sales.

          Like the Captain of the Titanic, you can keep your doomed steady as she goes, NZ needs better than useless!

        • Foreign waka 5.1.1.3

          May I say that the dealing with the need of Christchurch after the earthquake no less than 4-5 years ago is nothing short of disgraceful. Full stop, enough said.
          BTW – NZ has the only admirers of that approach whereas any other comment worldwide would join me. Its a rort and it smells a mile away.

        • Mosa 5.1.1.4

          National= Status Quo and not doing a hell of a lot because it will upset vested interests
          Progress is only initiated by the left
          English couldn’t keep his hands off Kiwisaver he surprised though by not eliminating the employer contribution
          There is always post 2017 for that

        • ropata 5.1.1.5

          The Quakes were a test of National’s character, John Key’s legacy could have been rebuilding an entire city, but instead he and his cronies allowed a frenzy of demolition and disaster capitalism and let insurance companies cheat their customers.

          Key grew up in a state house, another wonderful legacy of the First Labour Government, and continued by both parties for decades. But his legacy to needy Kiwis is a mass state housing sell-off, a disgraceful leap down the inequality rankings, and making Auckland the second least affordable city in the WORLD

        • Lloyd 5.1.1.6

          The sad thing, Old Tony, is that every New Zealander would have been much better off now if the economic policies of the former Labour government had been continued through the period when John Key has been running our economy down.
          The economic multiplier of the benefits which have been cut are much greater than any economic multiplier of tax cuts to the wealthy.
          We would of course have been better off if all education had been freed up and we would all be benefiting now from the dividends of those companies that John Key has sold for a couple of years worth of profits.
          The wishy-washy mess that John Key’s government has turned our economy into was saved from ignominious disaster by the insurance pay-out on Christchurch and the good luck of the Chinese baby milk boom at the same time the EU milk production rules were still in force. Those props are now falling out and unfortunately many kiwis are about to receive a nasty gift from John’s incompetence.

      • J Ryan 5.1.2

        Who do you think you are dickysavage? Some guru of wisdom? That someone expresses another opinion and you bullet them. What a dick. Listen idiot, I clearly remember when Clarke came into power. The timing couldn’t have been better. The world economic cycle spiralled upwards and Clarke and Cullen boasted to the uninformed of their great skills running the NZ economy. The town fool could have achieved this as the cash was simply filling the government coffers. They used the excess funds to buy votes and laden the country with debt.

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 5.2

      National has had economic good times -a commodity boom -high dairy prices -the best terms of trade. What have they achieved? It didn’t even pay off their first terms tax cuts for the rich -they have run years of deficits.They placed all their bets on the success of milk powder exports and the gamble hasn’t paid off.

      National has spent more money on their pork barrel Roads of National Significance than they have on the Christchurch rebuild. Mostly the rebuild has been funded by Cantabrians private insurance -not the nation’s taxpayers.

      What is National’s plans for tackling Christchurch’s over reliance on construction and a failing dairy sector? Canterbury’s tourism and foreign student industries haven’t recovered to its pre-earthquake level, while in the rest of country -tourism and foreign student education are doing well. http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletins/2016/2016feb79-3.pdf

      What is the government doing about the misallocation of investment in the form of scarce investment capital being wasted on sending Auckland house prices ever higher?

      This government is superficial and runs away from the tough issues -where is the PM -Hawaii?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Left a fragile economy ready to tank when the hard times turned up.

      Bullshit.

      Labour, despite clinging on to the failed capitalist free-market dogma, actually did leave a strong economy behind. National has come along after that and trashed it – as they usually do being the total ideological ignoramuses that they are. Haven’t got a thought amongst the lot of them.

      Managing through those hard times and the Christchurch earthquake without suffering the disruption which has characterised most of the western world is quite an achievement.

      Key, English and National haven’t managed anything except the media spin.

    • Stuart Munro 5.4

      $120 billion in debt says “no financial skills whatsoever”.

    • whateva next? 5.5

      Merryl Lynch was actually mentioned in the recent fantastic film :”The Big Short”….spells out why we had the collapse Key/English is supposed to have “steered us through”. Check it out, then think again if Key deserves ANY thanks.

    • gsays 5.6

      hi tony,
      ” Managing through those hard times and the Christchurch earthquake without suffering the disruption which has characterised most of the western world is quite an achievement. I doff my hat to Key (and English) for that success.”

      i agree, to be compilcit in helping insurance companies not meet their end of the bargain without getting faeces on their hands, take a fair bit of manipulation and skullduggery.

      • Old Tony 5.6.1

        The response to the Christchurch earthquake is an interesting issue and one on which I am loathe to comment given the its obvious sensitivity.

        However, for me the starting point is that the a rolling sequence of earthquakes broke the support models for a single event on which our system was based. There was always going to be incredible complexity as a result and I am not surprised five years on disputes continue.

        The governments response of spending vast chunks of taxpayers cash in addition to EGC funds was extremely generous. Especially helpful was the purchase of red zone properties at government valuation to allow people move on. It was recognised as such by the Christchurch electorate in 2011 and all credit to them for that.

        I am not in a position to comment authoritatively on the actions of the insurance companies. However I found John Campbell’s advocacy campaign simplistic and hysterical.

        All the best to those still struggling.

        • pat 5.6.1.1

          “I am not in a position to comment authoritatively on the actions of the insurance companies. However I found John Campbell’s advocacy campaign simplistic and hysterical.”

          Are you in a position to comment on the actions of the government agencies EQC and Southern Response?

    • NZJester 5.7

      Labour used that golden weather to put this country in a nice financial position with our debts paid off and a nice stream of cash due from the SOEs.
      Key and his cronies immediately screwed all that up to borrow money for a tax cut for the rich we could not afford and then they went after stuffing up the cash flow from the SOEs by selling off as many shares in them as they could to rich National supporters for a pittance of what they would have brought in.
      National while claiming they would not increase taxes went and did a dirty tax swap that hit the poor of this country the hardest by increasing GST while lowering PAYE so that the poorest in this country ended up with even less spending power than they had before as the pittance extra they received from the lower PAYE was less than the extra cost added to weekly essentials like housing, food and power.

      The two biggest legacies of this current National government are growing every day and that is the huge debt burden they have given this country, as well as the increasing gap between the cost of living and those on the minimum wage.

    • Chuck 5.8

      Spot on Old Tony. Key has directed NZ through some pretty hard times…that is why he is as popular now as he has ever been. A significant number of NZ’ers see Key as a safe pair of hands.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.8.1

        Key has directed NZ through some pretty hard times…

        And made the majority of people worse off while rewarding the rich for being rich.

        It’s policies like that that destroy entire civilisations.

      • Stuart Munro 5.8.2

        Yes, Key has guided most of NZ into very hard times – 3-400 thousand children in poverty – and of course their parents – over a million people living lives of quiet desperation. This is Key’s legacy – all that remains is for him to reap the whirlwind.

      • Don't worry. Be happy 5.8.3

        Ackshully when I hear a right wing twat witter on about Key having “safe hands” his fondling of young womens’ ponytails and jokes about “feeding the chooks” come unbidden to mind. Sick making and embarrassing poor excuse for a man.

    • Rob 5.9

      Well that tells us
      Christchurch eq $45B
      Much spent locally every $ of wages around 30%
      Paid back to govt and every penny spent carries 15% back to govt
      They have done well out of us poor bs who have to live in Christchurch

      • vto 5.9.1

        Exactly.

        John Key’s government has been a net beneficiary out of the earthquakes.

        Wake up old tony, your ignorance on that one issue weakens all else you spout

      • vto 5.9.2

        Exactly.

        John Key’s government has been a net beneficiary out of the earthquakes.

        Wake up old tony, your ignorance on that one issue weakens all else you spout

      • Keith 5.9.3

        And didn’t Key milk it for all it was worth looking sooo magnanimous, sooo Presidential. Fast forward several years later the job is far from done and Key is nowhere to be found.

      • Foreign waka 5.9.4

        It was the corporate balance sheet against human misery…
        You Can Easily Judge the Character of a Man by How He Treats Those Who Can Do Nothing for Him. Malcolm S. Forbes

    • Steve Withers 5.10

      Without National’s unsustainable and counter-productive tax cuts, NZ would have been even better positioned to meet the challenges of the global economy, address the disaster in Canterbury and avoid more debt while at the same time being able to afford the infrastructure costs that population growth is imposing…….and more besides.

      National’s entire approach to growth is to implement a failed economic philosophy that has degraded and undermined the middle class everywhere it has been tried…..to the cost of all and to the global economy.

      Obvious to everyone but a National Party supporter.

    • framu 5.11

      you doff your hat to english while forgetting that he praised cullens economic management

  6. Gangnam Style 6

    “Key has enjoyed a tonne of political capital and the disappointing thing is that he hasn’t used it for any meaningful, lasting project. ” – Yep, Hooton has been banging on about that for years, that’s why those guys all went off him.

    • mosa 6.1

      Where is the kiwi Bernie Sanders hiding ?
      He is the only one advocating for those trapped in financial enslavery and in underpaid jobs being exploited for their labours and with no rights, and in fear of their employment situation
      Quite a large block of the population everywhere and here and with voting rights if someone would just come forward and speak for them like Bernie is doing now
      Wouldnt that liven things up, the prospect of a serious challenge to the aristocracy that controls the status quo and has the policy programe to advance it credibly
      Those with the least always give the most that still applies here in the 21st century

  7. dv 7

    But did Key have much of a choice? Not really. He had to steer us through a global financial meltdown, collapsing tax revenues and a massive Christchurch earthquake. There was little option.

    Little option?
    TAXcuts
    SCF?

    • mickysavage 7.1

      The only “steering” he engaged in was borrowing heavily and giving tax cuts to the rich. And you should ask the good people of Christchurch what they think of the Government’s handling of the build.

      • Muttonbird 7.1.1

        Yep, dear old Tracey Watkins scratched around at the bottom of the barrel and came up with the government’s handling of Christchurch as John Key’s legacy.

        Seriously.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/78265500/political-week-john-keys-top-five-regrets-on-the-flag

      • Redelusion 7.1.2

        To be fair none of them are gods, they both did some good things, did some bad things, did nothing, I think most people don’t expect to much from government be left or right, time marches on, governments come and go, most people just get on with it and don’t make who is on power the centre of their life or framing of every conceivable event. This is in contrast to many who comment here. No matter what who’s ever in power willl be the devil in carnate to the opposition and the extremes of left and right, ie JKDS or HKDS. Like wise the play things of the news media personalities at the time.

      • NZJester 7.1.3

        If Labour had been in power then Christchurch would have been restored to a proper working city by now and the people would not have been shut out from their democratic rights like they have been under National. National has the city under a non democratic government appointed crony dictatorship.

        • dv 7.1.3.1

          Delusion
          List three good things these Nats have done

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1.3.1.1

            1) Tax cuts for the rich
            2) Threw public cash at wealthy private investors to cover their bad investments
            3) That ponytail thing

            Who could ask for better??

            • gsays 7.1.3.1.1.1

              without going into pike river, huge changes to employment conditions and what is our national debt now?

            • Foreign waka 7.1.3.1.1.2

              You forgot the gambling deal, the sheep debacle etc..

      • odysseus 7.1.4

        Not so sure about this criticism of borrowing. If we don’t borrow then are we not advocating more austerity?
        Be careful what you wish for.

    • Muttonbird 7.2

      SCF will be Blinglish’s legacy. Even John Key can’t take that away from him.

      • dv 7.2.1

        Key is/was the PM though, but fair enough.

        • Muttonbird 7.2.1.1

          Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for Key (hell, anyone!) to be held accountable for that, the very worst episode in weak-kneed financial incompetence in New Zealand history, but as Garner says, the prime minister runs a mile from bad news…

          …look at where he is today, for example.

      • Stuart Munro 7.2.2

        I’m sure Key got a cut.

        • dv 7.2.2.1

          The interesting thing was that Scales were sold to a neighbour of Keys cheap.
          It was then sold for a big profit.

          • Stuart Munro 7.2.2.1.1

            The interesting thing to me is that the whole of SCF was treated like a bankruptcy – but without any judicial process whatsoever. Scales was only part of the spoils of the dirtiest rip-off in NZ history.

      • Lloyd 7.2.3

        Aw, flag it.

  8. mac1 8

    Interesting timing of his piece. He criticises Key for dumping tough news on Easter Weekend, and then writes this tough criticism of Key to have it published at Easter.

    I have commented before on what Key’s legacy will be. I don’t think history will be fully admiring of his 9 years.

    I say nine years partly as my hope but also because there’s a lot of stuff happening or being mooted which indicates end times for this National government and therefore a new urgency to further the agenda before November 2017- tax lowered, selling off more assets such as KiwiBank, attacks on school/local authority/health board democracy and autonomy, water allocation capture, and so on.

    As part of this planning and urgency, did others note the curious description of the new G-G as being able to take advice? Are Key and his successor needing a compliant G-G to call an early election, or for some other purpose?

    • Craig H 8.1

      I don’t think National will be able to do that much in terms of asset sales – they have to get either the Maori Party or Peter Dunne to vote in favour, and I don’t think either would be interested.

      • mosa 8.1.1

        Dont bet on it Craig !!!!!

      • Craig H 8.1

        26 March 2016 at 1:11 pm

        I don’t think National will be able to do that much in terms of asset sales – they have to get either the Maori Party or Peter Dunne to vote in favour, and I don’t think either would be interested.

        Really, Peter (Mr 0.022%) Dunne will be interested in anything if it keeps his snout in the trough.
        The worst political parasite ever and there has been many.

        It will be a day to celebrate the day he gets the heave ho.

    • Ffloyd 8.2

      mac1.I did notice that comment and mentioned it to my husband. We thought it sounded like she has agreed to be ANOTHER compliant, I will do exactly as you say John sycophant. Hopefully this does not turn out to be the case.

  9. RedLogix 10

    Placeholder Prime Minister.

  10. RedBaronCV 11

    Lets not make any excuses for the Nacts.
    They inherited an economy in excellent shape -able to withstand the GFC. Nact did not have to reduce income tax rates, push up Gst and fund these changes with endless borrowing. We have had the best terms of trade in many a decade squandered and unfettered immigration keeping unemployment up which is a drain on the taxes we do pay.
    Labour made their own golden weather with the economic policies followed – the Nacts in the 90’s also did what they have just done again -kept the economy in permanent unneeded recession for their own ideological reasons.

    The flag referendum shows just how how much support they have lost although they are very busy spinning to try to avoid this conclusion

  11. whateva next? 12

    When Garner laid into Collins it had the desired effect, so I am all for Garner’s piece (unusually)

  12. alwyn 13

    Is this the same Duncan Garner so beloved by commenters here who say things like

    “And poorly thinking opinionists like Duncan Garner”
    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-01022016/#comment-1127279
    “gleefully taking the rancid bait which Garner dropped.”
    http://thestandard.org.nz/duncan-garner-and-the-great-christmas-beatup/#comment-1102756
    “Garner shows yet again hes a shit stirring shock jock with ratings to boost.”
    http://thestandard.org.nz/duncan-garner-and-the-great-christmas-beatup/#comment-1102654
    “Question….Is Duncan Garner being paid the minimum wage or living wage when he writes propaganda like this?”
    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-15112015/#comment-1096197

    Isn’t it amazing how people’s opinions of the man can change so fast?

    • b waghorn 13.1

      You know what it means when the likes of garner rip into key. It means the wind has changed !

      • whateva next? 13.1.1

        Exactly, and Alwyn I did make mention of not usually being a fan of Garner, as b waghorn suggests there is a sea change.Yay

    • Lanthanide 13.2

      A stopped clock is sometimes right, even if it’s mostly wrong.

    • tc 13.3

      My opinion of garner is unchanged, let’s see if he can keep up the critique after Joyce and co start in on his handlers via murky mark Weldon.

      This rates just as much as a dogwhistle, smear etc and is an obvious piece that any punter could right so easy work for duncs.

      Let’s see if he keeps at the emporers new clothes or reverts to type like a good mediawonks employee.

  13. b waghorn 14

    In 30 years key will be remembered for being a dirty toxic politician who pulled girls hair and thinks a country is a company.

    • Stuart Munro 14.1

      In thirty years all going well, Key will not be remembered at all. Only an automated popup will remind the minister of justice that he has a mere twenty years left to serve.

    • Foreign waka 14.2

      I don’t think so, as always people will always remember the good stuff never the bad. Don’t get me wrong here, this is a neutral statement but one has to ponder what the future holds. Remember that the current discussion is about automation of workplaces. The division between the wealthy and the struggling rest will be getting wider and this time it will be tech billionaires vs third world country workplaces. Clouds are rolling in…and Key will be a faint memory from the “good ol’ days”.

      • b waghorn 14.2.1

        I can’t recall reading anything positive about thatcher or muldoon yet I’m sure they weren’t a 100% bad or wrong.

  14. DS 15

    Funny thing is – no-one has ever been able to point to something Key has done, and say “I like him because he did that”.

    On the other hand, he’s widely hated among his opponents precisely because of the things he has done (his Government’s handling of Education is the worst since the Muldoon era), the asset sales, and so on. And let’s not even talk about the spying.

    What I think you’re seeing is that his supporters like him because his policies haven’t hurt them. He’s just a “funny, relatable guy who is offside with a bunch of commies.” Those supporters (most of whom are middle-class home-owners whose property values have sky-rocketed) have no comprehension of what it’s like to be the other half of the country.

    • Olwyn 15.1

      +1 – That’s a good, insightful comment DS. All helped along by a compromised media.

    • Chuck 15.2

      “On the other hand, he’s widely hated among his opponents…” think about that for a moment, are you suggesting KDS is in play? They “hate” his popularity for sure…after 3 elections they (his opponents) are still facing an up hill battle to win the respect of a good number of the NZ voting public. The more they “hate Key” the stronger he gets, because while it gees up the troops it puts off the average NZ voter.

      The point that keeps on coming through reading post after post here, is the general disrespect for the average voter…as in they are stupid, ill informed, why don’t they see Key as we do (baby eating Wall street monster etc). No doubt the reply’s will be that the average voter is stupid…that mind set will get Key a 4th term.

      • DS 15.2.1

        It’s not about disrespecting the NZ voter, it’s that Key operates a 40/30/30 strategy.

        40% of the population get tax cuts and increased property values.
        30% of the population get utterly screwed (this being the section that hates Key’s guts).
        30% of the population are on the fence, but all Key needs to do is get a third of them – which he can do with his (highly-effective) PR machine and the media.

        You know, divide and conquer. I’m not saying the 40% are stupid or ill-informed, just that vanishingly few of them have a smidgen of empathy for their fellow citizens.

        • Chuck 15.2.1.1

          While I would beg to differ on some of what you have written above, I do agree the last 30% are the “swing voters” not really in any camp – left or right. Its up to Labour to lift their game to present a creditable alternative to National to swing those votes their way.

          PR machine is bread and butter for any political party, and the media will always smell blood in the water when a ill thought out policy or statement is released, be it a National or Labour / Green one.

          • Olwyn 15.2.1.1.1

            You are sidestepping DS’s point. DS is saying that the people who don’t like Key are able to say what he’s done to make them dislike him. The people who like Key however, are not hurt by what he has done, and think he is funny and likeable, but they cannot point to anything he has done that they admire.

            • Chuck 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Olwyn, no I am not sidestepping DS’s point. I commented “I would beg to differ on some of what you have written above”

              To be a little clearer then…those who dislike Key are in the main activists of the left. They will always find reasons to dislike Key, and thrive on it. I would think the 30% who DS said “hated Keys guts” would be more like 5%…the other 25% simply vote along their personal beliefs of being more left or maybe Green.

              People who like Key do so for there own reasons…and they may or may not “admire” him. But at the end of the day they think he is a safe pair of hands, specifically looking at what the alternative was for the last election.

        • pat 15.2.1.2

          only change id make to that would be to swap the percentage for the first and second cohorts….”I’m not saying the 40% (my opinion 30%) are stupid or ill-informed, just that vanishingly few of them have a smidgen of empathy for their fellow citizens. this statement is bang on the money”….and that statement is bang on the money.

      • Rodel 15.2.2

        I know quite a few Tories who detest Key.

  15. WWF is a disgrace not a legacy and a policy that Labour should be deeply ashamed off. It is nothing but a subsidy for low wages from employers on the backs of the taxpayer. Of course Key has not got rid of it and never will as he thinks it’s wonderful. It gives the employers of this country a great opportunity to pay pathetic wages that don’t cover basic living expenses. The whole foundation of Labour was a fair days work for a fair days pay. It certainly was not a fair days work for a pittance that sends you to the welfare office to beg for a top up to simply enable you to pay for,the essentials in life. Seriously, can you imagine Kirk or Savage settling for that bullshit? Now they were great Labour Party Prime Ministers. Employers should be paying a fair wage, not expecting the taxpayer to top it up and the fact that a Labour Party implemented a policy that enabled them to get away with this is a complete disgrace!
    Clark was not a great Labour Party Prime Minister, Clark had other agendas and economically was more right winged then Key. She did nothing about the ECA Act, in fact, name one economic policy that she reversed that was implemented by the previous razor gang Bolger government? Tell me what objections did she make about Douglas whilst she sat in the Labour Party cabinet when he was the finance minister? A legend my arse!!!

    • BM 16.1

      Key can’t get rid of WFF, if he even raised the idea he’d get booted out of parliament and that goes for any other politician from any party

      That was the most disappointing thing about Clark, she wanted to be the Kim Il-sung of NZ and fuck the consequences.

      • Rodel 16.1.1

        Quote BM
        “That was the most disappointing thing about Clark, she wanted to be the Kim Il-sung of NZ and fuck the consequences.”
        What nonsense ! So dumb!

        • TheBlackKitten 16.1.1.1

          But it’s the truth. That women was a control freak, refused to allow any other Labour Party members to grow and then left for better pastures at the UN. Unfortunately for NZ, she left the Labour Party with no one capable of being leader because she refused to have a bar of any competition for her job. End result is Key getting in election after election because the opposition is so dam ineffective.

          • Rodel 16.1.1.1.1

            No. It’s not the truth.
            Also….”That woman..That woman..” sounds like 1950’s misogyny or the lame ‘Helengrad’ insults of the last century

      • sabine 16.1.2

        so John Key things that Parliament is above the Treaty, but he is not man enough to dis-establish WFF?

        http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/key-parliaments-wishes-supreme-over-treaty-2016032108#axzz43ynZ2R00

        that weak he is? Really? Are you telling us that Clark has had a bigger set of balls then Key? 🙂

        • TheBlackKitten 16.1.2.1

          It’s quite simple. He will never ever get rid ofit because it benefits employers, just as rental subsidies benefit investors. Do you really think a National Party will get rid of something that benefits employers? The crying shame of it is that it was implemented by a Labour government. I bet the corporates laughed all the way to the bank and thanked Clark for that one.

          • sabine 16.1.2.1.1

            no Millsy, he will never get rid of it, because it would loose him votes. Fact is that there are a lot of families that have access to WFF. Fact some even have one Parent not go to work lest they loose WFF. Now I don’t have children, but i get to essentially pay for middle class families via my taxes so that the Mum can stay at home.
            And in general I don’t have an issue with it. But to say that WFF only benefits employers paying shit wages is short sighted. It also allows some families to manage on one good wage.

            If it were for me, WFF would be scrapped altogether, and the first 25.000$ earned would be untaxed. As that is the minimum for anyone to eek out a wretched existance without trimmings.
            But then no one asks me.

            However I still believe that Clark has ovaries made of brass, while all key has to show for is scrambled eggs.

            • TheBlackKitten 16.1.2.1.1.1

              So are you saying you prefer tax payers to pay a liveable wage rather than the employer because that is what welfare wages are and there is no getting around that cold hard fact.

      • Foreign waka 16.1.3

        Jumping on a passing wagon? Clark has used the taxes that have been cut under Key to finance this. If you point out one side, than give it some balance please.

        • TheBlackKitten 16.1.3.1

          But you still are not addressing the point that employers are failing to pay a wage that enables the employee to pay for the basic essentials. Another words, they are not paying a fair pay for a fair days work, the tax payer is. So the taxes Key cut were financing employers low wages. Another words, it was really a win for the employer and nobody else. Only a Tory would support that.

    • DS 16.2

      [i]name one economic policy that she reversed that was implemented by the previous razor gang Bolger government?[/i]

      You might have missed it, but the Clark Government:

      – Repealed the Employment Contracts Act (the Employment Relations Act ain’t perfect, but at least it mentions the word “union” and doesn’t get us blacklisted by the ILO).
      – Restored ACC’s monopoly on workplace cover.
      – Renationalised the railways and Air NZ.
      – Set up Kiwibank (credit to the Alliance for this), in the face of enormous opposition from the financial sector.
      – Increased the top rate of income tax to 39%.

      Sure, Clark didn’t undo the 1980s, but she certainly rolled back the 1990s.

      • My, my how grateful for the crumbs we should be. Fact that NZ still had low wages in comparison to the cost of living after nine years of a Labour government seems to have missed you completely. Sorry but I expect more from a political party that was based on providing a economy of a fair days pay for a fair days work. And the top tax break, lets be realistic, that only penalised the middle class, the rich don’t do paye tax. So what exactly did she do as a Labour Party Prime Minister about the greedy corporates that have been feeding of the rest of us like vultures for the past 30 years? What did she do for middle NZ economically? As I said, she was a disgrace for a Labour Party Prime Minister and does not hold a candle on the greats such as Kirk and Savage who actually did something for the average joe.
        And WFF and rental subsidies, they only benefit investors and employers so exactly who was Clark really representing? As I said, that women was as right winged economically as Key, if not more so.

        • DS 16.2.1.1

          You asked for “one policy” Clark reversed from the Bolger years. I gave you a laundry list. Rather than admit you were wrong, you are now trying to shift the goalposts.

          I’m sure Clark wished she could have waved a magic wand and doubled worker’s wages. As it was, her Government had an excellent record on the minimum wage, and reduced unemployment to a fraction of what it had been previously. Because politics can only ever be the art of compromise – do you not recall the financial sector throwing its toys out of the cot in the winter of 2000? Labour invariably faces severe institutional issues when in office, simply because of the power of its opponents. 1999-2008 is (mostly) a legacy to be proud of.

          • TheBlackKitten 16.2.1.1.1

            So you are essentially telling me to be grateful for the crumbs because it’s the best that they can do due to the powers that be? I wonder what situation we would be in if Savage or Kirk had adapted that attitude. Sorry but that’s what needs to be tackled, the powers that be should not be in a position to hold such power that they can dictate as they do.

            • RedLogix 16.2.1.1.1.1

              I can only reinforce what DS is saying.

              Some years back I had 30 min or so having a beer with Cullen one on one. He answered quite a few of my questions, but the thrust of it was exactly as DS says … that essentially that there really is an Establishment elite, and they do wield substantial power to constrain what governments can do.

              It’s only during periods when the Establishment has taken a major hit for some reason, the Great Depression, or a disaster like war, earthquake or industrial catastrophe that with luck and timing can leaders like Savage push through with major reforms.

              And for what it’s worth the 70’s were unusual times. Kirk enjoyed a few brief years of a nation receptive to social change, a door which has been firmly slammed shut ever since.

              The Establishment’s interests naturally lie with the 1% and left wing govts always face a head-wind from them.

              • Anne

                He answered quite a few of my questions, but the thrust of it was exactly as DS says … that essentially there really is an Establishment elite, and they do wield substantial power to constrain what governments can do.

                I only wish some of the excessively anti-Labour protagonists on this site were around the political scene 30-40 plus years ago because if they were… they should know exactly what Cullen is talking about. The classic British comedy show “Yes Minister” and its successor “Yes Prime Minister” were on the mark. I remember a former Labour Cabinet minister in the Kirk/Rowling govt. telling some of us about the enormous opposition he faced when trying to introduce a measure to control the rapidly increasing prices of goods and services (including petrol) of the day. He managed to push something through then Muldoon came along and immediately wiped it from the statute books – as he did numerous other progressive measures taken by that Labour government.

                • But the difference is that at least he tried and did not accept alternative weak fixes which is what WFF really is to the low wages issue. Sure, it was wiped out but it was wiped out by Muldoon but the Labour Party had still done the right thing and had done what the party was founded on which was fighting for people’s economic concerns. WFF is a weak pathetic fix by a weak pathetic Labour Government that lost its way and forgot what it’s foundations were – looking out for people’s economic concerns and a fair days work for a fair days pay.

              • DS

                Even someone like Savage ran into problems.

                – The sheer exhaustion the First Labour Government went through in setting up the public health system (over the threat of a doctor’s boycott) meant that they never included the dentists in the system.

                – There was a capital strike driven by business in 1938, resulting in a balance of payments crisis. Finance Minister Walter Nash had to go cap in hand to London to ask for a loan (over John A. Lee’s objections). World War II solved the crisis, so it tends to get forgotten.

                • Perhaps, but they still made the attempt for fairness and made huge differences to people’s lives. Just imagine if they had instead accepted weak alternative fixes like WFF. How would we be living today?

              • Before, wages used to the cover basic essentials but now they don’t. WFF is needed for low wages as a top up, another words the taxpayer pays and the rich don’t but get the benefits of cheap labour. You really wonder what actual progress has been made. So we have gone backwards since the days of Savage and Kirk and you say that they were only lucky to get their policies through due to the Great Depression and the establishment being weakened by that. Well I say if this is true then we better start thinking of another way because this one is not working and to simply accept that it is the way things are and implement policies like WFF is weak and is exactly what the establishment would love.
                Perhaps Savage and Kirk did catch the establishment at a weak moment but those men still had strength and determination for change for the better of the people just as the slaves in the southern states had strength and determination for freedom and fought for it and did not accept weak alternatives which is what WFF is.
                I doubt very much if Savage or Kirk were in Clarks position that ither would have rolled over and implemented a weak pathetic fix such as WFF for the low wage issue. They would have least made an attempt for something that was fair and WFF is not fair to the people. Let’s be real, those men had the people’s interests at heart and had a real passion to fight for a better life for the average joe and that motivation gave them strength to do what they did against the establishment. Clark had other agendas that fired her passion and fighting and dealing with the economic concerns for the middle was not one of them and that is really why we ended up with WFF.

    • Whispering Kate 16.3

      I’ve always thought that WWF was a terrible idea. Why did it become such a burden for employer’s to pay for their workers. I was always told that if you can’t build your business so that you can afford to pay for your staff then you shouldn’t be in business. This WWF is just making tax payers pay the top up wages in lieu of the employers.
      I am glad you bought that up Blackkitten – subsidising the bosses – what an awful situation when so many people are on such low wages these days, that they have their taxes going into topping up what the employers should be contributing.

      Also, the employer’s contribution into Kiwi Saver has been reduced.

      • Sacha 16.3.1

        WFF is a wage subsidy for incompetent employers, yes. Exactly as designed. Why Labour did not tackle the underlying problem, I don’t know.

        • vto 16.3.1.1

          WFF is exactly welfare for employers who don’t pay a decent days wage for a decent days work…

          It is cheaper to may minimum wage than it is to keep a slave ….

          truth

          disgusting pigs

    • red-blooded 16.4

      “She did nothing about the ECA Act, ”

      Bullshit! While Clark’s government didn’t reinstate compulsory unionism or the awards system, they did significantly wind-back the extremes of the ECA. The right to collective bargaining was reinforced, unions were enabled as the sole bodies enabled to bargain for a collective group, unions were given the right to enter workplaces, rights to basics like lunch breaks were spelt out… Not Nirvana, but not nothing.

      • Not nivana but yes it was nothing. Despite 9 years of a labour government NZ wages were still pathetically low and that is due to no representation for workers. She did a bit here and a bit there to make it look as thou she was doing something. But you can do all you like but it will always be the end result that matters. The end result after nine years of a labour government was that Contracts in the workplace were still the norm and our wages were still low in comparison to the rest of the world and many at the time were flocking to Australia due to better wages and a higher standard of living. Now I am no Key fan and I am not saying for one second he does any better, but what I am saying is that Clark did not act and do what a Labour Party Prime Minister should have done the ECA Act. Put it this way – what do you think would have happened to the ECA act if Kirk or Savage had come to power? My bet is s lot more than what happened to it when Clark came to power.

  16. Well Key has left a legend. One where no one part from rich Chinese can afford to buy a house in Auckland…..

  17. ropata 19

    😂 nice pic

    John Key's #Legacy #nzflag #nzpol pic.twitter.com/Mldy4ms2Je— FUN McFunface (@nzsaysfun) March 27, 2016

  18. gnomic 20

    The problem we have here is that Aotearoa is only nominally an independent self-determining nation. In reality it is merely a branch office of various multinational corporations and the big banks and latterly super rich foreign nationals. The supposed government merely determines trivial matters such as the rate of the spurious minimum wage, and authorises ever increasing surveillance. Much of the citizenry live a subsistence lifestyle while the bourgeois gloat over the ever increasing value of their trashy dwellings inflated beyond any realistic appraisal of their worth. Immigration ensures that the working people race each other to the bottom on working condition and wages. There is no brighter future. Key and the rest of the gang have mortgaged the country’s future so as to remain in power. Their legacy will be horrific. Key Detestation Syndrome is utterly rational unless you are profiting from the whiteanting of this country as so many are. Tribulation impends.

    1175-1225; Middle English < Latin trībulātiōn- (stem of trībulātiō) distress, trouble, equivalent to trībulāt (us) (past participle of trībulāre to press, squeeze, derivative of trībulum threshing sledge, equivalent to trī-, variant stem of terere to rub, crush + -bulum noun suffix of instrument) + -iōn- -ion

    • Incognito 20.1

      +1

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2

      Immigration ensures that the working people race each other to the bottom

      No, it doesn’t. The deliberate dismantling of union rights does though.

    • ropata 20.3

      NZ would be able to attract more skilled immigrants if salaries weren’t so shit and housing so unaffordable. People need a good reason to uproot and move down here at the arse end of the world, lifestyle alone isn’t enough. And with polluted rivers, gridlocked roads, potential earthquakes, and epidemics of burglary, obesity, domestic violence, inequality etc we aren’t exactly living the dream

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    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

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