Get your house in order

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, July 9th, 2009 - 72 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Here’s some advice I’d give Labour if I was Crosby Textor:

You need three negative values you want associated with National (for example: arrogant, “out of touch”, corrupt ;))

You need three positive values you want associated with Labour (for example: democracy, justice, vision).

Pick them using focus groups (for god’s sake don’t use UMR – they seem to think they are strategists rather than just pollsters). Do not think you’re clever enough to second guess the voters by coming up with your own ideas of what they think.

Take the three best performing values for describing each party. This is your communications strategy.

Create a short list of plain synonyms for each value (put the actual value at the top of the list)

These are your key lines for the next two and a half years. (Note: key lines are not research points and they are not 10 pages long).

Have your chief of staff (get a chief of staff), press secs, researchers and anyone else in a campaign advisory role meet each morning to discuss the day’s news agenda. Chair the meeting aggressively.

If your day’s plan is to attack National do so within the framework of one or more of your three values.

If your day’s plan is to boost Labour make sure you do so within the framework of your positive values.

Use your key lines constantly. Make sure every release/attack in the house/interview you do includes these words.

Rinse and repeat. And remember that simple, clear and repetitive is what you need. Don’t try to be clever.

Oh and treat the gallery well and make time to hang out and shoot the breeze with them (they’re actually quite an interesting bunch) because the media’s mood dictates a large part of the public’s mood, and the media’s mood toward your party is simply a magnification of the inter-personal relationship you have with individual journalists.

72 comments on “Get your house in order ”

  1. snoozer 1

    Excellent post.

    There’s an art to framing yourself and your opposition – and that’s how it’s done. Labour just isn’t doing at present.

    You should re-run this post every week until they start getting it right.

  2. Lew 2

    Outstanding advice, IB. Still, I think it’s too early – I don’t think Labour have really settled on a strategy, and this one presupposes the Goff-led fight-for-the-middle-ground strategy rather than the (other?)-led unify-your-allies-around-a-common-left-banner strategy, which I suspect would be stronger in the long term.

    Partly this is due to a lack of apparent allies. Labour’s first task should be to remedy that state of affairs. Attacking National isn’t necessarily the best way to go about doing that.

    L

    • Daveo 2.1

      I’ll let you in on a little secret. Labour has no strategy. None. At all. And they show no signs they’re in the process of developing one.

      That’s why people are starting to make a noise about it, because if they don’t its three more years of right-wing government.

    • Er Lew and Daveo

      The current strategy is to point out the weaknesses in the current approach. And despite the gross generalisations that some engage in this is happening.

      It started in December with National’s 100 days of action and Labour’s standing up to them.

      It continued with the Mt Albert by election. National really did present a policy framework (not a coherent one) and Labour presented an alternative. The people of Mt Albert then spoke. Their voice was really compelling. And since then Labour has continued to state opposition to what is happening.

      The electoral cycle is only 9 months old. Now is not the time to present an alternative but to point out that the current Emperor has no clothes. Swing kiwi voters tend to have a somewhat limited attention span. The process is to sew discontent and then present an alternative.

      In the meantime left wing activists can have sophisticated arguments about how the world should be and there is nothing wrong with this.

      Daveo, the LP has a strategy. Poke holes in the idiocy of what this current government is doing, collect its collective thoughts and then present them at a time when the Nats cannot steal them.

      Prey tell, what is the nats strategy?

      • gingercrush 2.2.1

        oh Mickysavage just say, “Labour is so amazing, any day now everyone in New Zealand will vote Labour. Labour is amazing”.

      • Daveo 2.2.2

        Labour don’t have a communications strategy. I know this for a fact. And right now their political strategy consists of sitting around waiting for the deteriorating economic situation to start denting John Key’s popularity.

        In the meantime they’re just making the occasional opportunistic attack, badly, and without any overarching strategy or narrative to fit it into.

        Something’s got to change in that office, otherwise Labour will be in opposition for a long time to come.

      • Lew 2.2.3

        mickysavage,

        “Poke holes in the government’s agenda” is not a strategy. That’s a tactic. A strategy is made up of many tactics, combined into a coherent and interactive whole, flexible enough to adapt to new situations and take advantage of opportunities, and timed to peak at a point which advantages them and disadvantages the opposition.

        I agree that now is too early to be peaking, perhaps too early to show any cards, and I freely accept that just because I can’t see a strategy doesn’t mean there isn’t one. But the fact remains: I can’t see one; and I’m also not convinced Goff and King can get sufficient cut-through against a government which is getting down to business at a frankly frightening rate, and with strong popular support to boot.

        That’s National’s strategy at present; don’t sweat the petty things (dead rats; pesky communities getting in the way of progress; moderate unemployment; moderate economic downturn; etc) which possibly can’t be helped in any case, and set about making the sorts of structural and preparatory changes which will either make it easy for them to hit the ground running in 2011, or at least put the opposition in the position of choosing between swallowing their own helping of dead rats or undergoing a costly and complicated reversal process.

        L

  3. IrishBill 3

    Lew, the communications strategy should always follow the political strategy and the basic premise of this advice is applicable to any political strategy, all you would need to do is work with left allies to stay on song together (much as Act, National and their extra-parliamentary allies did last term).

    The British Labour government forgot that communications should always follow policy and it cost them. I think John Key’s government risks making the same mistakes.

    • Lew 3.1

      Fair enough. It’s not clear to me (on the outside) that there really is a political strategy, hence my seeing this as being a bit premature.

      L

  4. ghostwhowalks 4

    May work for branding FMCG but for a product with the same name for 80 years.
    And you dont have any money for your brand awareness outside the 3 months of an election.
    I reckon the first second and last value is TRUST.
    Nothing else works without this( and why they will do anything short of murder to stop anything about Key that makes him sound untrustworthy( newspaper reporters, cocktail party snoopers etc)
    And conversely this is what was used successfully against Winston Peters

    • Lew 4.1

      GWW,

      ‘TRUST’ as a campaign platform has recently failed Labour terribly. They can’t go back there.

      L

      • snoozer 4.1.1

        I don’t agree. Trust worked, the gap narrowed – there was some self-inflicted blowback but that’s not a fault with using ‘trust’ as a theme. Just because they didn’t win doesn’t mean everything they did was wrong.

        • Lew 4.1.1.1

          snoozer,

          ‘Trust’ was a bad platform because the message didn’t resonate with policy – Labour had eroded the electorate’s trust in them (with the EFA, the FSA and the s59 repeal, among others), making them vulnerable on the very issue they had nominated as the most important. Any future use of that sort of strategy will be:
          * rightly derided as unoriginal;
          * tainted by the previous loss on that issue; and
          * met with constant relitigation of the issues on which Labour lost the electorate’s trust last time.

          L

          • Phil 4.1.1.1.1

            Come on now Lew,

            The simple reason ‘Trust’ was a monumentally-fucking-stupid platform was because the voting public don’t trust the word of ANY politician.

  5. IrishBill 5

    Like I said, you don’t try to second guess the voters.

  6. Anthony Karinski 6

    Now how is this improving democracy? Seems more like governing ala Fox News.

    • Lew 6.1

      Anthony, I think having a coherent and competent opposition is an enormous boon to any democracy.

      L

    • IrishBill 6.2

      I agree. I never said it was about democracy and I don’t like the fact that this is what’s required to get to a position to make policy. This is PR advice. My policy advice would be to do everything possible to make this PR advice invalid. Such as increasing the focus on critical thinking in education by encouraging the teaching of civics or political philosophy in high school. Such as increasing democratic participation in policy making by way of citizen juries and devolution of authority to well-resourced community boards. Such as redistributing wealth and growing wages to reduce working hours and enable greater participation in education and community activity. Such as increasing funding for public broadcasting and the arts and heritage sector and tying it to tangible participatory outcomes.

      Of course that can’t happen if you can’t get in a position to make policy in the first place.

      • Anthony Karinski 6.2.1

        So say you get into position by way of PR tricks. Surely the whole democratic conversation has been altered and you would be less inclined to follow up on your good policy suggestions as you would expose yourself as a hypocrite and likely loose power. Sounds like means to an end to me. And as Luther said “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

        • IrishBill 6.2.1.1

          You fight your battle on the field you have. Not the field you wish you had.

        • Lew 6.2.1.2

          Anthony,

          The point is that this sort of thing shouldn’t be ‘tricks’, for the very reason you state – the opponent (assuming they’re competent) will test you and you’ll be required to put up. Woe betide the party who can’t do so.

          If your messages aren’t backed by something more solid, then you’re only as good as your last press conference.

          L

          • Anthony Karinski 6.2.1.2.1

            As I understand it a major point of the exercise is to brandish your opponents in a negative way and see if you can make it stick. Whether the accusations are true or not plays second fiddle. As we’ve seen with the “Iwi – Kiwi” saga, Anti- “smacking” bill, WMD in Iraq etc.

        • roger nome 6.2.1.3

          No Anthony – we’re merely dealing with reality – you don’t fight a lunatic with a machine gun using a feather duster (even if it is more ethical) – you get your best sniper and take him out.

  7. gingercrush 7

    “arrogant, “out of touch’, corrupt” – Funny that describes the Labour Party to a tee.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      How framing gets results: exhibit “a”

    • snoozer 7.2

      yeah, because National identified those as key framing words then relentlessly tied them to Labour.

      Irishbill is saying Labour needs to do the same. Find what positive associations people have with Labour and use them to be build an image, and do the reverse for National.

    • roger nome 7.3

      We’ll see what National looks like after 2 and a half terms in Government (if it gets there) then we’ll see what the jackals of the press-gallery are saying

  8. Richard 8

    While the later part of your post (having a co-ordinated simple strategy) is very sensible, the first part (picking your branding via focus group) is an appalling idea.

    The labour party should decide what it principles it stands for, and what it wants to do to improve the lot of NZers. Once you’ve done that, *then* there is a place for focus groups to help decide how best to communicate your message to the public, and to help decide which aspects of your message will appeal to different demographics.

    Becoming a party that needs a focus group to decide which way is up seems like a terrible idea.

    This does seem to be what the National party has become, and while sure this strategy might have helped them win an election it doesn’t seem to be beneficial to NZ or possibly even the long-term health of the National party. Take a look at practically any random post by DPF over on kiwiblog. Those that are not feverish holiday posts are all about how the handling of some issue will or will not influence National’s re-election chances / polling. The emphasis never seems to be on what is actually a good policy in terms of outcomes (rather than perceptions), or on what is good for the country that National is supposedly governing. This sort of mind-rot is what listening too much to focus groups seems to end in.

    • Richard: spot on in general. (Though I’m rather too loyal to National to see the Nats in quite the terms you do, you do identify a real danger for them.)

      In Farrar’s defence, well, he is a pollster by profession, so it’s kinda inevitable that he’ll see more issues in these terms than you or I would regard as perfectly healthy.

  9. IrishBill 9

    Richard, you pick the best results from the focus group that fit your policy vision I should have made that more clear. I certainly wouldn’t advocate governing by focus group.

    It would be good to be able to bring ideas to the group but you can miss the boat and spend too much money by trying to be proscriptive with FG testing. A cold-read is what you need to tap the seeds of strong PR. Perhaps I’ll write a piece on focus group testing some time – not many people do it well.

  10. The Voice of Reason 10

    Excellent post, IB.

    I’m interested in your comment above that the British Labour Party has put communication ahead of policy and it has cost them. Given that they invented this strategy in the early days of Blair’s NewLabour and have won every general election since, were is the cost?

    Just because Gordon Brown is unpopular and that has dragged down Labour in the polls does not equate to the strategy itself failing. NewLabour relied heavily on a smirking, pompous ass with no solid policy on anything and spun the hell out of the need for change. Some similarity, I’d suggest, for another smirking, pompous ass closer to home.

    But your basic message is spot on. I was told a long time before Blair and Campbell that most most news reporters will only ever use two or three sentences of any quotes you give them, so you may as well only give them the two or three sentences you want heard. Repeat, repeat, repeat until they turn the tape off and they will have to use your lines because you’ve given them nothing else.

    • Lew 10.1

      TVOR, looked at a UK opinion poll recently? Did you entirely miss the whole ‘Iraq’ thing?

      And the recent European Parliament election? Far as I can see, coming fifth behind the Tories, Greens, the LibDems and a bunch of lunatic isolationists in one (generally Labour-loyal) region of England is a high cost, I’d say.

      L

      • The Voice of Reason 10.1.1

        I covered this, Lew. Blair won re-election despite ‘the Iraq thing’. Brown is in trouble because of his personal lack of connection with the electorate, not because the NewLabour strategy is wrong. Hell, the Tories have adapted it to their own uses and are now pitching Cameron as closer to Blair than Brown is. Which might be correct if you believe Blair was a tory in disguise, but whatever …

        This is a post about how to win General Elections, not irrelevancies like the Euro parliamentary elections were the dismal turnout always allows loonies to get elected. The council elections were a shocker, but again, more to do with Brown than the failure of the overarching strategy.

        • Lew 10.1.1.1

          TVOR, if you don’t think the electorate’s animosity toward Labour is anything to do with Blair’s cynical politicking, I have a bridge to sell you.

          L

          • The Voice of Reason 10.1.1.1.1

            Sweet, I’m in discussions with Rodders about the one in Ak anyway, so if you’ve got a better option, let me know.

            But as regards Blair, all wishful thinking, I’m afraid. He’s long gone, mostly forgotten and Brown has pissed away the substantial political capital he inherited.

            Oddly, my anti spam word is “church”, which is where Blair went in his times of need and still the only place where Brown has a prayer.

    • IrishBill 10.2

      It’s cost them in terms of making any real political achievements and I’d argue it was Blair that started the downward slide. Hell at this rate it wouldn’t surprise me if they become the third party that never makes it back into power.

      • The Voice of Reason 10.2.1

        Now that’s an interesting point, Irish. The most recent poll I read from the UK suggested that the only way Labour could possibly win was in coalition with the Liberals (or whatever they call themselves these days). Historically, they have been the unwanted third force, perenially the opposition’s opposition.

        They have, however, formed coalition agreements with both Labour and Conservatives at local government level. Perhaps they might prop Brown up if he offers a better deal than Cameron. I’d guess the price would be electoral reform of the MMP/STV kind, which could then lead to a viable green party in the UK as well.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    I do wonder what goes on in the “inner circle”, or whatever Labour calls it.

    Here’s what I could work out (armed with no inside info at all, and no great insights beyond a bit of blindingly obvious common sense):

    This was clearly going to be a quiet week. House in recess, no grand government announcements, no real news to get the poli-journos excited.

    Therefore: plan to fill the void. One issue, one message, one soundbite, one visual, and Phil Goff on the telly. Never mind which one – could be jobs, banking, night classes, whatever. Just choose one theme, and exploit it with energy and style. Not a press release.

    It has (sadly) never been easier to spoon feed the media, under-resourced and uncritical. And yet Labour don’t seem to know how to do it. They’d better learn, fast.

    If they don’t know where to start, try the local library. Search terms: Reagan, Clinton, Obama, Rudd, Blair, etc. Media, manipulation of.

    It’s all been done. No wheel re-inventing required. Just some average brains, and above all, some bloody hunger.

  12. coolas 12

    Fascinating read. I have no experience of the business of politics, but have operated other businesses, and the approach suggested is the same advice I get from the advertising/marketing ‘experts’: key words (emotive connection) to describe the product, branding, consumer identification, target marketing, consistent message. I know what they’re on about but loath the attitude, because at worst, people are convinced by clever advertising to buy utter crap. Hence Tony Blair became the MacDonalds of politics.

    I’m glad I/Bill said later in reply that sound policy(product?) must come first. I’d hate to see the NZ Labour party go Dextor on us, so would like to see ‘sincerity’ in the list of affirmatives, and ‘deceitful’ for Nact.

    The release of policy (marketing?) with slogans and sound bites will only be

  13. Bevanjs 13

    IB, I think you’ve highlighted what Labour really needs.


    Do not think you’re clever enough to second guess the voters by coming up with your own ideas of what they think.

    reverse the above thinking so they have a leg to stand on when throwing stones about being out of touch.


    You need three negative values you want associated with National (for example: arrogant, “out of touch’, corrupt )

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    For goodness sake IB if you keep publishing this sort of thing for free, people like me aren’t going to be able to make a living out of charging idiot pollies a fortune for what is, essentially, common sense.

    I know you’re anti-capitalist, but really, taking the bread off my plate…! 😉

    It’s very good advice and I’d love to see Labour heed it, because policy-wise they have much to offer and because democracy benefits from a strong and focused Opposition.

    But while gc did leap in there with the “arrogant, out of touch and corrupt” line it would do those who’re defending pre-2009 Labour well to remember that any negative imaging of your opponent has to be grounded in some fact.

    I’d be an idiot if I advised a Republican primary candidate to characterise Sarah Palin as a cold intellectual with liberal leanings – your target has to be, or be behaving as though they were, the kind of person you’re trying to portray them as.

    Labour in its last term under Clark acted in a way that was perceived as being arrogant and out of touch and to a degree was deserving of that perception. It was also unlucky to be both hit by compartively minor corruption within its own ranks (e.g. Field) while being inexorably bound to a coalition partner who was either corrupt or behaving in a way that appeared corrupt to a majority of voters.

    I’m sure Labour’s own focus groups were telling it this, so to not change tack and at least try for a bit of humility further reinforces the impression of arrogance.

    Anyway, that’s in the past and there’s not much to be gained from either beating that particular dead horse or from trying to defend the way it was ridden (other than to learn from past mistakes).

    The important thing is that they take on board your advice, IB.

    • Daveski 14.1

      As always, I enjoy reading your comments Rex and again you make some very interesting points.

      I don’t have your experience or the involvement that many here do but I would have thought that the one of the central planks of getting back into power in an MMP environment is to build bridges if not allies with potential coalition partners. (This was actually well covered by DPF but I assume it wasn’t well read here.)

      Labour seems intent on scoring points against the MP (no bridges here!). The Greens are a different matter but to an extent Labour and the Greens are competing for at least some common ground.

      What about a Winston comeback, Rex??

      I think it’s fair to say that the Labour outplayed the Nats under MMP until the last election. You can’t say that now.

      • Rex Widerstrom 14.1.1

        Thanks Daveski.

        Building bridges is fine… but if the continent you’ve built the bridge to starts sinking in an ocean of corruption it’s time to pull back the bridge (if I may torture a metaphor to death in order to make a point).

        The negatives outweighed the positives* almost from the outset and certainly by the time it was all sent to the Privileges Committee and Brian Henry started getting more “recovered memories” than a witness at the Peter Ellis trial.

        Yes Labour outplayed the Nats in terms of using MMP to its advantage though to be fair it had a wider choice of stable coalition partners in that Anderton and the Greens were never going to cross the divide and the latter were always going to poll well unlike most of those who’ve supported National (the cravenly ambitious rump of ex NZF MPs like Deborah Morris who refused to walk when Winston did, Ross Meurant, Graeme Lee… I mean you try forming a stable government with that lot, let alone getting them re-elected for next time).

        A Winston comeback? I’d suggest a laying a trail of whisky bottles to the edge of a cliff…

        You were asking how to prevent one, right? 😀

        *and the only positive I could see was supposed “stability” – never a Winston strong point at the best of times.

    • IrishBill 14.2

      You’d be depressed if you knew how Labour used (or didn’t use) focus groups, Rex. Depressed.

      • Rex Widerstrom 14.2.1

        Let me guess. “They’re uniformly agreed we’re completely and utterly wrong on x, but what do they know, they’re only citizens. Clearly we need to either a) tell them to move on, we know best or b) devise a propaganda campaign to convince them we know best”.

        • IrishBill 14.2.1.1

          Nope, but I’m not spilling all the trade secrets on a public forum. Maybe I’ll tell you over a beer one day.

  15. gingercrush 15

    The problem Labour has is it is very rare for any party to be out of government in one term. Indeed, the National party has never been kicked out after one term. Contrary to what you lot on the left might think. The general feeling in this country is that John Key and National are doing pretty well. I know you think John Key and National are doing a horrible job. But you’re really reaching if you think that way.

    Polling does matter. If Labour can’t get a significant lift in its poll numbers after one year increasingly Phil Goff will be questioned by the media. Increasingly, other Labour MPs will question Phil Goff leading their party. Look at what low poll numbers did for Jenny Shipley and Bill English. No doubt someone is bound to say, but Helen Clark had low numbers and she didn’t go. That was a very Labour party. That was a Labour party essentially destroyed by the in-fighting between fractions of the right and the left. Helen Clark remained leader because Labour really didn’t have a choice. The 1996 result was very good for Labour, there was no doubt its numbers would increase and likely win in 1999. Indeed, in many ways Labour should have formed the government in 1996.

    As for the economy, most predictions are that we will grow in the December quarter and unemployment will peak next year. Meaning, the economy is likely to be in a good position at the 2011 election. Certainly, that may or will do damage to National but eventually if those predictions prove correct National is going to be able to form a good argument for the 2011 election.

    That is why Labour can’t actually wait around for this government to stuff up. For one, it isn’t stuffing up. Secondly, even if it does (or has since that is how you lefties see it), typically that doesn’t hurt the government till the second term. The likelihood of National holding office again post 2011 is very high. Labour has a hard job to get back into office so soon. That is why Labour essentially needs to throw everything at National because otherwise National will steamroll into the 2011 election and win.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      The problem Labour has is it is very rare for any party to be out of government in one term.

      Yes, that’s what every commentator says. Except … there is no “rare”.

      There is only one precedent: Labour in 2002. A sample of one is not the ideal basis to draw solid conclusions.

      There were, of course, many examples under the old voting system. Trouble is, the governments would have lost after one term (assuming people voted the same way, which is a whole other story), if the elections had been held under MMP.

      National in 1993 and 1978, for example. Re-elected under FPP, after losing a large percentage of their vote.

      Of course National can win in 2011, by holding or increasing their vote. But historical elections when they lost votes are not a relevant guide to their re-election prospects under MMP.

      • Lew 15.1.1

        GS,

        There is only one precedent: Labour in 2002

        Come again? How is 2002 (won by Labour, who were incumbent, and followed by a Labour win) a precedent for a government getting ejected after one term?

        L

        • gobsmacked 15.1.1.1

          Only one precedent supporting Gingercrush’s assertion.

          • Lew 15.1.1.1.1

            GS, yeah, sorry, I might just be dense, but you’re going to have to connect the dots for me if you don’t want me to think you’re just making shit up or getting your dates mixed up.

            L

      • felix 15.1.2

        Sorry, gs. I’m still confused.

        Come again again?

  16. gingercrush 16

    I think GS is saying in a post-FPP (so a MMP) parliament there is only one precedent of a party keeping government after one election.

    I would agree GS that MMP certainly changes things in that you have to surround yourself with support from other parties. Meaning despite polling lower than another party you are quite capable of gaining government. I would suggest that Labour won’t get numbers high enough that they will be able to form a government. I also think a resurgence in Labour’s vote (or even higher support for Labour) will hurt what the Green’s support is in 2011.

    • gingercrush 16.1

      You also assume this government will be unpopular like National was at the 1993 election. I don’t think it can be assumed that National and John Key are or will be unpopular. The left may not like John Key. But it is dangerous to assume that swing voters think that way.

      • gobsmacked 16.1.1

        No, I’m not assuming anything, Ginger. In fact, I’m saying that what happened in 1993 is not relevant. You were saying it is relevant, because it resulted in a second term.

  17. gobsmacked 17

    OK, I’ll try again. (though Ginger has got it, at least)

    There has only been one new government elected under MMP (before this current one). That was Labour in 1999. And they were indeed re-elected, in 2002.

    Previously, new governments were sometimes re-elected (Holyoake’s, Muldoon’s, etc), sometimes not (Labour 1972-75). Generally National had the better record under FPP.

    But the voting system has changed. So governments under MMP need to retain their vote (or find partners). Governments in the past, who lost substantial support at the next election but still got re-elected thanks to FPP, do not tell us anything about National’s prospects in 2011, under MMP. Different game, different rules.

    OK?

    (of course there is an entirely separate debate, about current polling, minor partners, etc, which gives National cause for optimism. But that has nothing to do with historical precedent, of FPP second terms).

    • Lew 17.1

      GS,

      Ok, I get it now. Thanks.

      But they were re-elected in 2005, for a third term; that speaks to some sort of electoral loyalty, absent catastrophic uselessness. In addition, the overriding narrative of elections was, even in 2008, of a horserace between National and Labour; the same narrative as before. Even if the voting system is different at a fundamental level, it doesn’t necessarily look different to Josephine Q. Public.

      L

  18. ak 18

    Ewwwww. Isn’t this approach exactly what we hated about the NACT campaign? The only consolation was that the focus groups wanted Lablite policies – and hence a good deal of the current angst, as Sunny has yet to push hard enough to the right for Joe Swingvote to notice. “He seems to be doing ok doesn’t he? – now where’d I put that crescent?”

    And Joe only gets his info from a few sources: the paper, the TV news and a bit of talkback. The most super-dooper keywords and messages in the world are entirely at the mercy of how the msm wants to frame them. “Labour claws back with Core Message Campaign” Repeat repeat repeat? Where? Only if Dunc and the spinner bros want to repeat them.

    Exhibit A: Orewa One: near-identical speeches given by other tories and assorted cretins (English for one at a Local gov conference) in preceding months – and ignored. Suddenly editorials and “opinion pieces” everywhere.
    Exhibits B, C, D: “anti-smacking”, Mallard/Henare scrap, Kill Winnie: all seminal poll-shifting events sheeted to Labour’s debit sheet despite all empirical evidence to the contrary.
    E – Z: flip-flops, sleaze, jobs, north-of-fifty, supercity etc etc – imagine the press treatment if Hels were still at the helm.

    Solution? The brand’s been a winner since 1935. Stick with it and shout loudly it’s enormous successes to date (including Labour/lite). Boast Labour heritage in every progressive move – from whomever. Bypass the MSM at every opportunity: right here and Red Alert are good starts, but lighten up a bit (look at the Huffington Post – titillate and intrigue). Persuade Phil and Trev to stand aside within a year.

  19. Zaphod Beeblebrox 19

    Just because something has never happened before before does not mean it won’t happen.

    If National perform like they did in their first test (Mt Albert), they will lose. For National to assume that economic recovery will save them would be naive. They will be judged on how NZ perform vis-a-vis Australia, on that score so far we are not doing well. If NZ does not come out strongly from recession- they will be blamed. Sometimes doing nothing is the worst thing to do.

    So far, National have attempted to play it safe. They will, however have to make some difficult decisions soon- which are bound to cause problems (ETS, Auckland Council, RMA, FSA, the Hide productivity agenda).

    • gobsmacked 19.1

      ZB, your last sentence is particularly true.

      I’m intrigued by Key’s strategy, really. It is against the grain to think that deferring decisions actually increases political capital (as opposed to taking the hit early). Perhaps there is a public need not to have to think about anything difficult, and Key has tapped into it.

      But it’s not “leadership”, and that may be his undoing. The “have a look at, yeah, I’m relaxed, we’ll see” style of non-decisions has a limited shelf life, not least with his own base, who will want him to be “tough”, sooner or later.

    • gingercrush 19.2

      Some good points. I’m not saying a recovery is going to be a winner for National. What I am saying, that by the time the economy recovers which looks likely to be before the 2011 election (though its unclear what will happen to economic growth or how quickly jobs will be created once the economy recovers). Labour isn’t going to be able to hold that over National. In comparison to Australia. Australia will come out of this recession stronger because it never had an induced-recession and it tends to export to still-strong economies (Australia trades much more heavily with China and Asia than New Zealand and what it exports tends to always be in demand). But Australia is likely to have unemployment as bad as New Zealand. So whilst Labour is likely going to compare New Zealand’s performance to Australia. I’m not sure New Zealanders are going to buy that. Where the focus is economically will be what we do now that we are recovering. National is likely to point to structural problems in our economy whilst Labour is likely to focus on job creation and assistance to workers.

      I would agree that if National runs a Mt. Albert like campaign they’re in for trouble. I don’t think that will happen. I think John Key stood up well in the 2008 election and if anything its Goff performance that is going to be important (on that count Goff will be good in debates but I do wonder whether he can get the message out). I also wonder how important Mt. Albert is on the whole. We know that by-election saw an increase in activists for the party. But by all accounts Mt. Albert already had organisation there. Its questionable whether they have that organisation in other electorates and National’s organisation is far better elsewhere.

      I agree that National have perhaps played it safe. But I think they had to and will keep doing so. National has to pander to its base but it also has to be moderate (though if you read this blog you’d think National was a fascist party). Though I don’t think Key was that far-right in the first place. Whilst Auckland Super-City will be an issue and you’ve pointed to others. There are also a number of areas where National can get gains. A new electoral finance act will be one. The Foreshore and Seabed could potentially be a winner for National. We’re still to see a proper infrastructure plan and its likely National will be moving with its broadband plan. So whereas there are some areas that could be problematic for National, there are also areas where National can make gains.

      —-

      I do wish I could write much tighter. I tend to say too much whereas any other person would be able to say the same thing in just one paragraph.

      • lprent 19.2.1

        Activists help a lot. Software that enables activists helps a lot. You trade time for people, brains for money. None of them are magic bullets but used effectively obviate a large chunk of the NACT’s advantages (mostly money).

  20. gingercrush 20

    In terms of policy shifts. The one thing I’ve certainly noticed post-2008 election is Labour going back to being very pro-worker. Whether, that is a genuine strategy or not I can’t decide. But what we might see in 2011 is a focus by Labour on low and middle class workers. Whereas Helen Clark’s Labour party focused more on them being a social democratic party. This Goff-led Labour is likely to really target low and middle class families.

    As such, I expect we’ll see policies emerging that focus on helping families and focus on the poor in New Zealand. Part of that shift may be a re-focus on South Auckland but also the working class provincial types.Many of those did not come out and vote Labour in 2008. They won’t go to the Greens (have a look where Greens get their votes) and thus the only real party they will vote for is Labour. Labour assumes some of their liberal base in the cities will also go back to them.

    What will be interesting to watch if this is their strategy. Is what happens to their more green policies. This doesn’t mean they’ll dump green policies but they may choose not to focus on them. But in particular how in focusing on more pro-worker policies what happens to their more liberal policies. Indeed, what role are their liberal members in their party going to have.

    I’m not sure any of that makes sense. I’m trying to say: Labour is going very pro-worker. In going pro-worker there is a certain contradiction in that this might well be a more a conservative Labour.

    • Bevanjs 20.1

      Phil would have to take his tie off and pretend to be a real kiwi. Impressions count. I think he’ll struggle.

      • Quoth the Raven 20.1.1

        One should wish for a country where you’re not judged on what you wear. What is a “real kiwi”? and why should one have to pretend to be one?

    • jarbury 20.2

      Gingercrush, I think that would be a clever shift for Labour. They need to win back west Auckland and get out the South Auckland vote if they’re to have any chance of winning the 2011 election. Those areas are full of the very people you suggest Labour are (or should be) aiming to go for. Plus, the time of a recession and rising unemployment is a clever time to go pro-worker.

      Oddly enough, I’m probably advocating for Labour to shift away from the direction where I personally would like to see them move to (somewhat of a cross between Labour and Greens). Then again, if they lose a few liberal votes to the Green Party it doesn’t really matter in the end, as they’re likely to need the Greens to help govern anyway.

  21. Lew 21

    Edit: Bah. I should post this on my own soapbox.

    L

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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, ...
    4 hours 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 ...
    5 hours ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 hours ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    9 hours ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    10 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    12 hours ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    13 hours ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    13 hours ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    14 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    15 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    15 hours ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    15 hours ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    16 hours ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    1 day ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    2 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;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 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    4 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. 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 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    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 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    5 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;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 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    6 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    7 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days 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.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours 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
    11 hours 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 day 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
    Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Thursday 4 July 2024    Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Mānawa maiea te Mātahi o te tau Celebrate the rising of Matariki Celebrate the rising of the lord of the skies Celebrate the rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-07-15T09:00:10+00:00