Government barely survives first year

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, December 19th, 2009 - 38 comments
Categories: act, national/act government - Tags: ,

Audrey Young finally gets around to mentioning how close the government came to imploding last month:

Rodney Hide survived moves to oust him as Act Party leader last month after Prime Minister John Key privately indicated National’s deal with Act would be off if the minister were dumped.

And it is believed that at the height of controversies in the two support parties – the Act leadership and the Maori Party’s turmoil over MP Hone Harawira – Mr Key briefly considered a snap election to gain National an outright majority.

This is the kind of shenanigans that we usually see in the dying days of an administration. The Key government seems to be on an accelerated schedule, compressing the worst case life-cycle — from honeymoon, to out of ideas, to corruption, disillusionment and coalition instability — into just one short year.

And as Andy pointed out in comments: “Would have been nicer to know at the time that Rodney is the lynch pin to holding this government together. I am sure its just me but didn’t we get the live blogging of the ‘challenge to Goffs leadership non event’ in real time, but nearly calling a snap election is so yesterday”…

38 comments on “Government barely survives first year”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Absolutely disgusting that our MSM didn’t mention it at the time. Just goes to show just how partisan they are and that nothing they say can be trusted.

    • gingercrush 1.1

      Because probably no one in the MSM knew this at the time. Has nothing to do with the media being partisan or that they can’t be trusted. But more to do with these things didn’t get leaked till later. Hence why now is when they’re getting reported on.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1

        Because probably no one in the MSM knew this at the time. Has nothing to do with the media being partisan or that they can’t be trusted.

        Spot on ginge.

        But more to do with these things didn’t get leaked till later.

        The parlor game then becomes asking “who leaked?”

        It makes ACT look pretty darned dysfunctional when you’ve got The Roy Roger Duo trying to roll him. Leaving aside the absolute nuttiness of these clowns who somehow imagine that they don’t owe Hide their survival, those pair are the braintrust/core of the institutional ACT party. If it was ol garret or whatever the hell his name is, you could put it down to him being a rebel outsider that the party can’t control, but Roy and Douglas?

        Given there’s that much crazy going on, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an ACT source for the story. There seems to be some ego flying around anyhoo.

        If it was the Nats, then that’s some crafty skullduggery going on.

        If ah put my speculatin hat on I see that Duggie an Heather just knows as much as they knows anything that they really do owe their existence to Hide. They may well have more support within ACT, but ACT need Hide’s seat and everyone knows it. So why would they feel the courage to do this?

        Ol’ John Key might’nt have been in the business for ever, but he remembers the “No Brash, No Cash” episode well enough. He knows that ACT used to get quite a lot of cash money support, and that they used to be above that 5% back in those days of cash support. He also knows that that money shifted to National when Brash took the helm. If he suspected that money might be prepared to shift back, what better way to keep it at home than to tell it that if it runs away from National, it finds itself on the cross benches?

        But all in all I suspect an ACT source, They have more true believers of different flavours likely to go all crazy.

        What’s your guess on the leaker?

        (as an aside, and for what it’s worth, that “hence why” construction often gets your sentences into trouble. Just go with “hence” and it becomes much easier, eg Hence they are being reported on now. )

        • gingercrush 1.1.1.1

          I believe someone in National leaked it. I also think very few National MPs were aware this even occured therefore it has to be someone very close to the Prime Minister or its just McCully being McCully.

  2. felix 2

    Remember kids, after a snap election it’s a new term – all bets are off, no promises no guarantees.

    Now we know the slippery fuck is ready and willing to go down this path.

    • Bill 2.1

      Good (and unsettling) point there Felix.

    • Lew 2.2

      Casting envious glances across the Tasman where if you fail to pass the same bill twice, you get a new election.

      L

      • Rich 2.2.1

        That’s at the discretion of the Australian government. If they can’t get legislation through Senate, then they have the option of a double dissolution, or they can just let it rest. There haven’t been many double-dissolutions, and I notice there’s little sign of one to get the ETS through.

        Failure to pass supply might lead to them resigning, or being sacked by a governor-general working in cahoots with the CIA. Allegedly.

        • gingercrush 2.2.1.1

          They’d be stupid to go to an election early because it would allow the Liberals to concentrate all their lines around Global Warming/Climate Change. Better to let the issue die off some and go for the earliest possible election date without actually going early.

          When Labor will have a better chance at having the numbers in the Senate.

        • Lew 2.2.1.2

          Yeah, but the point is that they get to say ‘we didn’t choose this election, it was caused by opposition intransigence’; an advantage Key didn’t have.

          L

          • gingercrush 2.2.1.2.1

            Well potentially they could have pointed to troubles with both coalition partners and that both parties internal troubles meant the government no longer had a mandate to govern and therefore would have to go to an election.

            It would have been a disaster for National. Turnout would be very low and all likelihood would be the same two coalition partners.

            • Lew 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Agree. ‘coalition problems’ are a failing of political management — which is the mast Key has nailed his colours to.

              L

      • millsy 2.2.2

        I wondered why elections in Australia were at rather erratic intervals.

        • Lew 2.2.2.1

          The double dissolution isn’t the reason for that, millsy. Last time it happened was before the Howard era.

          L

  3. randal 3

    this government promoted itself as vibranting vibrators but unfortunately the battery has gone flat.
    and they dont know how to get it re-charged.
    byeeeeeeeee.

  4. Classical Liberal 4

    Hey r0b

    Only have one problem with your analysis – its not that they are out of ideas, I don’t think they had any to start with.

    • Janice 4.1

      Yes they had one big idea – to get elected by promising everything they thought people would respond to. .

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Yes. I can’t help but be cynical about their “ultra-fast broadband” promise. Of course it’s going to take 10 years, and probably isn’t going to happen the way they said it would, and won’t be as fast as they said, either.

        IMO it was a blatant bribe to get 18-30 year old males who download crap off the internet and play games and have 0 interest in politics to go “oh, I’ll vote for National because they’ll make my internet fast”, because obviously Labour wasn’t offering this demographic anything particularly compelling.

  5. gingercrush 5

    Most interesting to me about this event has been watching the far-right fanatics online exploding over how good it would be to be rid of Hide. That they actually believe they can just put someone into Epsom and win it is well laughable. Its Epsom. You only won Epsom in 2005 because National gave hints to vote Hide in. National only has to put someone even half-decent and campaign strongly for their candidate and they win Epsom again.

    I’m not convinced they understand politics sometime. They still don’t seem to understand why Helen Clark was so popular. They still seem to think National can implement some far-right agenda and remain electable. I think elements of the left share the same problem with Key and this government.

    • felix 5.1

      It’d be pretty funny to watch them try it on in Epsom without Rodders and the nod from National.

      What do you reckon Act’s polling would look like without him? 0.5%

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1

        Some of them are reckoning Boscowen pull it off, he’d prolly be their best hope. Bur he might just find himself running against National party candidate Rodney Hide standing on the hustings with Key at his side.

        • felix 5.1.1.1

          Now there’s a funny thought!

          Thing is, Rod’s real value to National is the extra four MPs he carries around. They’d more likely run him elsewhere and give Boscowen the nod.

    • blacksand 5.2

      I dunno, Brash was one of the names suggested and I could imagine him holding the seat for ACT. I’d always assumed that Epson returned Rodney to help a Nat/ ACT govt, not for Rodney per se. But I do agree that ACT couldn’t put up just anyone…

      • Lew 5.2.1

        Rodney Hide won Epsom partly because National stood a lightweight against him, but partly because he demonstrated that he had the chops to be a good electorate MP representing that electorate, and partly because it was positive-sum, since he’d bring several cronies with him into Parliament.

        Any other ACT MP who expects to win Epsom will need two of those three things. I think the Nats would stand another incompetent against Brash if he were to stand — someone like Melissa Lee, perhaps. But Brash would have a tough job to convince the people of Epsom he was an effective electorate MP, since he butchered a strong position in 2005 and let Helen Clark in for a third term. Also, with Brash at its head, ACT would struggle to attract the positive-sum support Hide did. He’s built ACT’s profile up by hard graft, good political instinct and (until recently) standing on his principles. Brash can do none of these things.

        So I simply don’t see ACT as having a hope in hell but for Rodney Hide, tarnished as his reputation is. I agree Heather Roy is a competent MP, but she’s not demonstrated herself to be a leader. Perhaps it’s in there, but I haven’t seen it.

        ACT could parachute another leader in. But who? They don’t have a solid, consistent support base. The left and economic centre hate them for obvious reasons. The social centre distrust them despite significant political capital burned to present a duplicitous ‘social liberal’ and ‘tough on crime’ policy platform. The conservatives tend to dislike them because they still fundamentally hold and advocate a bunch of liberal policy preferences, although some can live with that. The orthodox economic marketeers on the right like them, but in general they choose National as a matter of pragmatism. Libertarians and associated ideologues consider them craven sellout scum. It’s a thankless task knitting all those factions together.

        L

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          Did you notice that when Rodney was apologizing for the wee expensive overseas trip, that it was almost entirely directed towards his electorate. There is a pretty good reason for that, and I don’t think that the apology overcame the loss of the perk-buster image.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    What this story really reveals is John Key’s true attitude to the Maori Party.

    He could easily have told ACT where to go and carried on without calling an election. He has this supposedly “special relationship” with Turia and Sharples, and so the government’s majority in Parliament was not threatened.

    Instead, he was prepared to throw the Maori Party to the wolves. Maybe they would have done well at the ensuing election, maybe not. But if asked, they surely would have said “No election, thanks. We don’t need one. Just get on with repealing the Foreshore & Seabed, and enhancing our mana. Like you promised.”

    National and the Maori Party have a “No surprises” agreement. Waking up to a snap election would have been one hell of a surprise.

    • felix 6.1

      Very good points. Shows just what a fig leaf the Nat/maori love-in really is.

      edit: Yay, edit!

      [lprent: Performing miracles since birth. ]

      • gitmo 6.1.1

        LP – Soiling yourself is not a miracle.

        Soiling a politician from a great height is worthy of consideration.

        [lprent: keeping a site running on the smell of an oily rag is also a miracle worthy of consideration. So is maintaining a comments section worthy of reading. 😈 ]

  7. Adrian 7

    If Key called an election early because of Hyde rorting and National won Epsom it would not have gained him any overall electorate vote but possibly lost him Act, Peters could have ridden in over the 5% on the back of the dodgy forests deal which a lot of iwi missed out on and aren’t too happy. Labour would have picked up votes simply by not pissing the populace around and Key would have lost share for the same reason + Supershitty, I think some canny operator(s) in the Nats didn’t want a bar of it. It could easily have been Nat 44%, Labour 35%, Green 7%, (on the back of Copenhagen) NZF 5%, Alliance 1 seat, Dunne 1 seat, Maori party? Bloody interesting, bring it on!

  8. Adrian 8

    Jim’s still alive isn’t he?

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    This story is just too damn funny.

    When does a PM get a veto over a coalition party’s internal discussions?

    When they give him one, that’s when.

    Key’s got godcomplex, and ACT lacks spine.

    That kind of makes it look like National leaked the story, but you read what ACTies are saying and they hates them some Rodney Hide.

    Could be multiple sources.

    Nelson Muntz lol’d

  10. Anne 10

    Pascal’s bookie @ 9.50pm.

    You’re right on the button!

    Rodney Hide worked for Alan Gibbs as an economic adviser back in the early 1990s. In the mid-1990s Gibbs – assisted by a few wealthy mates – bankrolled Act into existence and Rodney was installed as a full-time political operator. He entered parliament in 1996. Gibbs and co. continued to keep the party afloat, but switched most of the money back to National when Brash arrived on the scene. We’re talking huge bucks where these types are concerned of course and Rodney is their man in government!

    So who’s the puppet on a string? John Key.

  11. Oh yes Anne and John Key is doing a fantastic job breaking in far reaching right wing economic policy, slashing taxes and benefits, selling off all those state assets and doing all the things that we wish he would. – Yeah right….puppet.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Youse should roll Hide anyways Kate. Put John in his place then. Let him know he has to dance with them what brung him.

  12. Anne 12

    Nah Kate.

    They let him off the hook this term – too dangerous. He would have frightened the voters away. It’s all on next term!

  13. Anne 13

    That is: if they make it to a second term.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • More proof National not delivering for New Zealanders
    The Ministry of Social Development’s latest Household Incomes Report is more hard evidence of the growing poverty in New Zealand, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National claims to be delivering for New Zealanders. This report puts the lie ...
    21 hours ago
  • Strong support from medical community for Healthy Homes Bill
    More than a thousand medical professionals, medical students, and other New Zealanders have shown their support for Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    24 hours ago
  • Labour will fund Buller Health Centre
    A Labour Government will fully fund the Buller Integrated Family Health Centre in Westport, confirming its commitment to the people of the West Coast and the role of central government to fund essential public services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s affordable promise for Auckland more smoke and mirrors
    The 26,000 additional houses National plans to build in Auckland on public land over the next decade include fewer than 5,000 affordable homes, while more than 60 per cent will be available for speculators to buy, says Leader of the ...
    1 day ago
  • National out of touch over immigration
    National’s abrupt backflip on their recently-announced changes to immigration shows they never understood the problem and just came up with a confused knee jerk response, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Regional communities and businesses were quite right to ...
    2 days ago
  • English out of touch on homelessness
    Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, ...
    2 days ago
  • All Kiwis to have same standard of cancer care
    Labour is promising that all New Zealanders will have access to the same level of cancer care no matter where they live in the country, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “As someone who has survived cancer I ...
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure announcement too long coming
    “What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle. Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted ...
    3 days ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour to invest $4 billion in education
    Labour’s Education Manifesto will bring positive change across the education sector and is backed by a massive investment, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Labour’s plan will see an extra $4 billion invested over the next four years. It’s organised ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD
    National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour taking action on school donations
    Labour will end so-called voluntary school donations for the majority of parents across the country under its $4 billion plan to revitalise the education sector, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour to work with Queenstown to build more houses
    Labour will work with Queenstown-Lakes District Council, iwi, and the Community Housing Trust to build the modern, affordable housing Queenstown desperately needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    6 days ago
  • Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses
    National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    6 days ago
  • New revelations in Joanne Harrison report
    The State Services Commission’s report into the treatment of whistle-blowers by Joanne Harrison has revealed new accusations against the convicted fraudster, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.  “The report found that four staff inside the Ministry of Transport who had raised ...
    6 days ago
  • Snafu at Princess Margaret
    Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “The Government must accept that Christchurch is still recovering ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s fiscal plan to build a fairer New Zealand
    Labour will re-build our housing, health and education while responsibly managing New Zealand’s finances, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “Under Labour’s Fiscal Plan we will deliver big investments in the services we all need and care about, invest ...
    7 days ago
  • Nats show they’re the tax dodgers’ best friends
    The government is taking the knife to IRD at a time when we need a highly skilled department to ensure that multinationals and speculators don’t get away with dodging tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour secures the future for NZ Super
    A Labour Government will secure the future for New Zealand Superannuation so we can continue to provide superannuation to those retiring at age 65, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “One of the first things a Labour-led Government will ...
    1 week ago
  • Multinationals must pay fair share of tax
    A Labour Government will crack down on multinational companies that are dodging paying their fair share of tax, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealanders are missing out by hundreds of millions according to the IRD because multinational companies can ...
    1 week ago
  • ACT’s approach to children backward and ill informed
    Act’s new deputy leader’s claim that Labour’s support for families could “extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse” is ill informed and offensive, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Canterbury hatchet job a disgrace
    The Government’s glib acceptance of advice that the Canterbury District Health Board doesn’t need more money is a hatchet job and a disgrace, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “To claim that the DHB was using tactics to leverage more ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Quality for Kiwi kids at ECE
    After more than a decade of rapid growth in the number of children participating in Early Childhood Education (ECE), it’s time to take stock and map out a clear plan for the future, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to boost ECE quality
    Labour will ensure kids get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will stump up a million dollars for Maniototo Hospital
    A Labour led Government will make a million dollars available to rebuild the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “This will be a much needed boost for a long overdue rebuild that has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No vision for the West Coast
    The West Coast welcomes any Government investment in our region but the lack of any real alternative vision for the West Coast’s economy is disappointing, says Damien O’Connor Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP.  “The establishment of a Mining Research Unit will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s youth work scheme too little too late
    After nine years, National’s belated attempt to provide work opportunities for unemployed youth should be seen for what it is, a half-hearted, election gimmick from a party that’s ignored the problem till now, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis won’t fall for Joyce’s spin
    Steven Joyce’s embarrassingly obvious spin on Labour’s Families Package won’t fool anyone, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour prioritises families and public services
    Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick
    The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour helps older New Zealanders and low income families with winter heating bills
    Labour will further boost its commitment to warm, healthy housing with a Winter Energy Payment for superannuitants and people receiving main benefits, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Everyone deserves a warm, healthy home to live in. But that’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must rule out retrospective override for Ruataniwha
    National must categorically rule out using retrospective legislation to override the Supreme Court’s decision that the land swap of conservation land flooded by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was illegal, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney General David Parker. “Having not got their ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Flavell’s failure a win for Māori landowners
    The Māori Development Minister’s admission that his unpopular Ture Whenua Māori Bill won’t pass into law prior to the election is a victory for Māori landowners, but only a change of government will keep the Bill gone for good, says ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Stats confirm growing housing shortfall
    National’s failure to fix the housing shortage has been starkly illustrated by new statistics, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Systemic abuse of kids in state care
    After admitting there was systemic abuse of children in State care the Government must do the right thing and launch an independent inquiry, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Migrant worker exploitation needs sharper focus
    The astonishing number of employers found guilty of exploiting migrants shows that migrant exploitation is a serious problem in New Zealand, says Labour Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “A total of 53 companies have been banned from recruiting ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister faces questions over dam debacle
    Today’s Supreme Court ruling dismissing an appeal to allow a land swap for the controversial Ruataniwha Dam is a victory for our conservation estate and Hawke’s Bay ratepayers, but leaves the Conservation Minister with serious questions to answer, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Too little too late on Wellington housing
    The announcement today on social housing in Wellington by the National Government is a pitiful and cynical election ploy, says Labour’s Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson. “In 2012 Housing New Zealand emptied out the Gordon Wilson Flats, taking 130 places ...
    3 weeks ago