Guest post: The clever dealer?

Written By: - Date published: 5:58 am, October 18th, 2008 - 48 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, maori party, slippery - Tags:

Many people laud John Key’s experience in the business world, and say that the smiling assassin’s ability to play hard-ball when required means he will be an excellent prime minister.

So why, during talks with the Maori Party, did Key drop a National ‘bottom line’ that would be a strong card to play? As evidenced by his admission yesterday, Key repeatedly conceded that dissolution of Maori seats was not a National Party bottom line in talks with Pita Sharples. Sharples made this public, and suddenly Key, the Hard-Nosed Operator from the business world was trumped.

In making the admission public, Sharples forced Key – with everything to lose – to decide between antagonising Sharples (and, by extension, the Maori Party) or admitting he’d given away one of National’s strongest bargaining chips before National made it to the table. Key, in increasingly typical fashion, chose the former until it became an untenable position, and conceded the latter.

This raises two questions regarding Key’s experience from the business world:

I – Why did he make a policy concession in such a weak position? There’s no evidence National extracted a similar concession. It is possible, but in the eyes of the public Key has been well and truly sharked; it looks like their position post-election, whatever that may be, has been greatly weakened.

II – Why did he choose a course of action that would lead to the worst of both worlds – antagonising the Maori Party by accusing Sharples of lying, before conceding he’s been deceiving the public all along? So much for making important decisions on the spot and getting the call right.

Not what you’d expect from the supposed paragon of business acumen.

48 comments on “Guest post: The clever dealer? ”

  1. 08wire 1

    This is a really well argued post. The myth around John Key is that he is a strategic mastermind. Multiple events of the past month suggest otherwise.

  2. tony norriss 2

    Lame bolg:

    You would be better to focus on your party’s attempt to front-foot the breaking immigration scandal:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10538152

    [lprent: After looking at your recent comments – you’re banned for 4 weeks.. You have been actively promoting this in almost every comment recently in a way that I can only describe as advertising. This is a non-advertising site and I have no intentions of letting it descend into the hands of spammers of any kind.]

    [lprent: You have to consider the source – a story by Ian Wishart. The guy is in love with his ego. Usually he does this massive self-promotion using dwerbs on the net, and it has a great title. But when you look closely at it, it winds up as being a few unrelated facts and a whole lot of poorly thought out speculation.

    My standard operating practice is to look at it a week after release, by which time it has descended into a nothing story after people do some fact checking. If it lasts that long in the minds of people outside of the sycophants then I might get interested..

    Anyway I’m getting tired of the promotion on here. If I don’t see anything new in the comments about it I’ll start regarding it as an advertising troll.]

  3. randal 3

    you would be better off telling us why national wants to sell ACC and Kiwibank?

  4. appleboy 4

    My take on this is Key is simply trying to keep National voters on side with a swipe at Maori and privately saying whatever they need to top get into power. He just got caught out.

    Tony – sorry but your bubble needs to be burst love, this is a non story. In your little world it may be but sorry to shake your tree but to rational people it’s a story by Ian Wishart, say no more.If you think any issue that ever happens in the public service should bring down a minister or the PM then you are in la la land. View the 12 Key Flops video and make a balanced comment? Too hard I know.

  5. sean 5

    If you guys new the answer to these questions then you’d be successful in the business world too. Clearly you do not understand how JK works (evidenced by your poor YouTube question), so keep searching, and maybe one day you can be succesful businessmen too.

  6. Bill D 6

    No-one can accuse John Key of not being able to make hard decisions. In 1998/9, 97 Merrill Lynch executives put up 16.6 million dollars for a fraudulent Enron scam that provided a 30% profit after a few weeks investment.
    http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=fxWOLU2ZNOAC&pg=PA200&lpg=PA200&dq=Merrill+Lynch+history+corruption&source=web&ots=dC7nAiEXb0&sig=NKD0uJLtVGJKDX2W2WgtAA4imFI&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result

    Imagine the dilemma.

    Merrill Exec: “Hey JK, Enron’s giving us 30% profit for parking a few worthless assets for a month while they get their balance sheet out. Are you in?”

    Key: “Shit! Is it legal?”

    Merrill Exec: “Everyone’s getting in – nudge nudge wink wink.”

    Key: (thinks) ” mmmmmm. Couple of deals like that and I can afford that small South Pacific Country I’ve always wanted. That’d show Ashcroft and his penny-ante Belize I’m a BSD*”
    “Any chance of it going pear-shaped?”

    Merrill Lynch Exec: “No way. We’d be out long before the SEC caught on. That’s the beauty of it!”

    Key: “It might bring the Company down if it gets out.”

    Merrill Lynch Exec: “Jesus John. Whaddaya think’s gonna happen when all those dodgy mortgages you’ve been packaging up down there in Debt Markets hit bottom? Company’s gonna be fucked anyway!”

    Key: “Decisions decisions!!”

    Now I don’t know what he decided but either way, it must’ve been tough.

    *BSD. Big Swinging Dick.

  7. Paul 7

    Of course exactly the same argument can be applied when considering his commitment to never form a govt with Winnie …

  8. Gerald 8

    The truth is that Key takes positions of convenience and as time goes by, he’s increasingly exposed in ways that can never happen when you’re in the PM’s job. Is the desire to throw out Labour, no matter what, so strong that dim wits are willing to elect a man with no principles at all?

    I’m waiting for Carson’s ad campaign to turn this into a factor as the campaign hots up.

  9. For most people in New Zealand it must be very confusing watching John Key’s apparent bumbling and the contradictions between public and back room conversations must either be lies or confusing mistakes depending on whether you like him or not.

    But to me they represent a very troubling pattern.

    First let’s do away with the notion that John Key was a businessman. John Key was a banker. He was not the kind of banker who enables businessmen to build factories or real world wealth. He was an investment banker.

    Until the 1999 repeal of the Glass Steagall act the two were not allowed to merge.

    This was because the mixture of the two and their speculative derivatives trade were the cause for the financial collapse of the western financial system in 1929.
    The GS act was realised in 1933 in order to prevent this kind of criminal speculation.

    So John Key was an investment banker and not a business man in the real world creating material wealth requiring a desire to cooperate with real world businesspeople needing a long term working relationship with a commercial bank.

    His main source of income was to create money out of money. For those of you of Christian persuasion this was known as usury. A vile way of parasitical money creation. Forbidden to Christians and Moslem.

    In this world everybody is only in it to make as much money in as short as possible time and with what ever means, legal and illegal, at their disposal.

    In that world everybody is in it for themselves and everybody has reasons not to bring their wheeling and dealing outside of that seedy world.

    To the Wall street scheisters the general public are mugs for the taking and it does not matter what you tell them just so ling as you keep your deals with your co-conspirators until such times as your interest does not coincide with theirs of course and than you dump them again (Hence JK saying to Bill English he’s vote for him while in the end voting for himself, classical bankster deceit)

    In that light it is not so surprising that John Key offers Dr Pita Sharples a cosy deal when it suits him and since he knows that most Maori do not support a cooperation with National he assumes that Dr Pita Sharples like him a political insider (insider being “we politicians against the punters”) has his own private agenda.

    And this is were JK shows his arrogance rather than stupidity (And believe me this is not a stupid man but someone with a huge amount of hubris and disdain for his fellow man).

    I’m sure Pita Sharples has his own political agenda but he can only get there with the help of his Maori backers and contrary to John Key whose backers are the same shadowy parasites he has been working with his whole career and not the punters he needs to vote for him Pita gets his power from his voters. So while John Key can’t rely on his voters to stand by him when he gets honest with them Sharples can provided he keeps them informed.

    It’s called politics in a democracy.

    John Key’s attempt at back room wheeling and dealing as he is used to goes wrong when dealing with other political leaders because they can influence the political status quo by being honest with the NZ public while John Key can’t.

    This is the difference between the National party and all of the others including Labour. Every other party derives their influence from their supporters and voters but National under the likes of Banker Don Brash and John Key represents the parasitical outsider even though their voters think that they represent them.

    This is why every time the National party says something in private and they say something different to the mugs that vote for them and that every time national gets voted in the mugs as well as the entire population gets ripped of left right and centre.

    And since the whole financial world is going to hell in a hand basket this election will make the difference between some (fairly serious) form of moderation under Labour or total financial and economical devastation under National and the international investment banking cartel.

    Bill,
    BSD, hilarious

  10. milo 10

    Yes, it seems bizarre. And that’s because it is bizarre. It’s not what happened; rather it’s the weirdo StandardLand interpretation. That fact that you get to such weird outcomes just highlights what gross misinterpretations (or more charitably, naive misunderstandings) you have been peddling all along.

    In logic, it’s called a reductio ad absurdum, and it is used as the classic proof that your premises are wrong.

  11. Ianmac 11

    There must be serious concerns within the Nat ranks about how these things are handled by Key. I keep on remembering hearing firstly John then Bill saying “We will do whatever it takes.”
    Just been reading the comments on Gordon Campbell’s page. Especially by Dave Brown near the bottom:
    http://election08.scoop.co.nz/is-keys-super-fund-idea-so-super/#comment-9250
    #
    Dave says:”This is rogernomics mark 2 or privatisation by trickleup.” Maybe John is more ruthless than he looks hence the “distraction” of Maori seats by apparently bumbling. Takes the attention away from the significance of the erosion of the Super Fund?

  12. randal 12

    If he was a business man then it would be possible to buy something maufactured by john keys and co ltd. all he has ever sold has been blue sky!

  13. milo 13

    randal, most of the is services now, rather than manufacturing.

  14. milo 14

    gah! most the economy is in services now

  15. milo, “it’s called a reductio ad absurdum, and it is used as the classic proof that your premises are wrong.”

    In the logic of classic proof puh-leease explain how your comment is relevant.

    Sean, you have – perhaps inadvertantly – expressed an interesting pov, That one must search for the attributes that make JK a “succesful(sic) businessman”. Is this meant in the present or past? If the past, then surely disclosure by your good self or some other source known to you, would be of no harm to the said JK and of useful learning to folks here. If the present then admission to it would border on the new – ‘change for the better’ – sense of duty that any politician would advance (albeit out of self-interest and advantage) for his constituency’s benefit.

  16. Felix 16

    As far as I’m aware he’s never had his own business at all – service based or otherwise.

    Key has been very successful at collecting a big pile of money for himself. Well done, but that doesn’t make him a businessman.

    It makes him a very successful and wealthy corporate employee.

    Why is this relevant? It’s not, except that Key is trying to sell himself as an experienced businessman when in reality he has very little experience in the type of business that most kiwi businesses are engaged in.

  17. Ianmac 17

    In the debate John described himself as a “successful businessman”. In my opinion a businessman is one who develops a business; providing goods and services. Is buying and selling money fit this? Whilst you would have to work alongside others who do the same thing, it does not seem to me to be the same as learning to mix it in the “real world.”
    Not far from those “money-lenders” in the temple 🙂 As someone else said neither the Koran nor the Bible approves of ursary 🙂

  18. Milo,

    Services are what people can afford if they have excess money. Whether we elect to have group of people collect that money and use it to create a catch net for all of us when we need it like ACC or we elect to the to each their own system in a healthy system it is paid for by the people for the people with the wealth they generate.

    In America only 12% of the population had a production (wealth generating) job, 33% generates fictitious wealth with magical “financial instruments” i.e. bonds and derivatives which is purely speculative and fraudulent and 55% of the population offers services i.e. non wealth producing jobs.

    Like here more and more people got into Mortgage debt and credit card debt and that is now collapsing.

    A service society is unsustainable.
    If NZ is a service society and as of last year there were more service jobs than production jobs than prepare for the inevitable collapse of NZ too.

  19. Pascal's bookie 19

    milo, was it you that was saying the other day the affirming the antecedent (modus ponens) was invalid?

    I was unsure if that was supposed to be some sort of subtle joke, given that the comment you were responding to wasn’t doing that, it was denying the consequent (tonens). BTW both forms are absolutely valid. They are quite literally the first and most simple tools in propositional logic.

    If P then Q. P, therefore Q. Affirming the antecedent.

    If P then Q Not Q, therefore not P. Denying the consequent.

  20. IanMac, mind if I make that “usury”. 🙂

    travellerev,

    Something of note for your obvious interest is:—

    Anything is possible in an opaque 70 trillion dollar shadow market for insurance contracts with no reserves and no transparency. Ask yourself this, why was this unregulated, off exchange market created in the first place? There is no legitimate reason for the CDS market to exist. If it is a legitimate hedge market it should be exchange traded with margin requirements and no counter party risk. So when a 70 trillion dollar market is essentially a Ponzi scheme created to boost IB earnings and allow accounting shenanigans, ya get what we got. Zero Confidence!

    This being a guest’s comment to one very significant debate with impending peril for too many possible come October 21+. In the USA. Not least.

    First though, lets revise, simplify, explain. Corrected figures are $52 tn(both cases). CDS = credit default swaps; IB = investment banks. Ponzi = a continuing scheme reliant entirely on buyers into it. The business is largely between corporate players. A trader/dealer(third party) intermediates this.

    CDS example might be someone wagers a bet on Lehman Bros(the IB which Paulson allowed fail) and approaches a derivatives dealer who agrees take it for $100,000. The dealer/trader asap gets another party to take it on for $90,000. Dealer/trader makes $10,000. viz payment upfront and no risk to dealer/trader whatsoever. S/he is, as Felix I think pointed out, not a capitalist business person but more a servicer/employee/contractor

    We can see this in so very many ways. Opportunists and money hungry would be admiring, I’d suppose. Others might say well, what kind of work is this.. bookie? Parasitic..? Servicing—sure—though nothing remotely like fixing a blown tire or fitting a spare to get you going again. Others.. take your pick.. Let’s have allcomers say what they reckon..

    On behalf the trader/dealer I’d add that folks with money go to them to make more money. Use their talents. Their capacity to take risks, earn what they and others call rewards. The richer ones – BSD in the parlance – have, as you might reasonably expect, taken ‘extra’-ordinary risks; else exercised opportunity and/or luck in ‘making out’..

    At issue of course, and on the face of things, is the relevance and significance of dealer/trader attributes in as much as New Zealanders require their PM to be so skilled. Or not. As the case may be. And yes, as the now drastically changed financial climate around the world renders money-makers much more than tomatoes and/or risky-takers.

  21. Jo Zinny,

    Interesting quote, do you have a link for that?

    I don’t quite get the point your trying to make.
    Do you feel that John Key has the skills to lead this country in these volatile times or do you see him as too much of a risk taker.

    I don’t see him as being on his own and just cruising for the PM job for his own satisfaction and the benefit of the NZ population.

    I think he is still part of the international Money Masters and is trying to bring NZ in a dire financial situation so we will be forced to privatise our assets and sell them for cents to the dollar to foreign interests.

  22. travellerev, try http://www.rgemonitor.com – specific guest remark in commentary on post relating impending peril re Lehman Bros’ derivatives(CDS)..

    my point is who needs risk, risky, riskier naything/s in financially volatile times. Very much to the point was PM Rudd(Australia) yesterday going after execs highly paid to “take greater risks” when those activities are busting/have busted the system.

    can’t be sure about solo.. JK has alluded to others ‘around the world’ in the NZH bio (July..?) given the changed, stressed and strained global circumstabces this past wee while I’d be circumspect to say the least regarding such associates.. Nothing personal.. more a matter of well if these guys can be counted as today’s problem-makers then they should be dealt to not encouraged.. whereas onshore others(suggested.?) will have their own motivations.. also misplaced by now I’d suspect..

    the IMM – do you have a transcripted link – I’ll need catch up on..

    there are other bodies seeking ‘access spoils’.. perhaps also later..

  23. Ianmac 23

    (By the way. Just thought of another time when it is said that John Key said one thing to Bill English in private then went out the next day and voted for Don.)
    Was John a risk taker? Would a trader being taking risks when trading on inside sure things. Is he a risk-taker in the physical emotional sense?
    I appreciate the dialog above as far as I can follow it. Learning bit by bit though the jargon is hard to keep track of.

  24. Jo Zinny,

    Of course it would be from the Roubini blog you quoted, bloody good site even if I’m not a subscriber (cancelled credit card after I realised what was going to happen.

    Yep I agree with you.

    Cheers

    Ianmac,

    The links to the video’s will really help, they are video’s made for people like you and me who don’t know shit about the banking system but want to learn.

    I was like you two years ago and I would have a strange glazed over look if you had tried to talk to me about this shit then.
    So thank you for wanting to learn.

  25. randal 25

    ev..dont forget the golden rule. he who has the gold makes the rules.

  26. Chris 26

    Anyone who gets dough by launching speculative raids on our economy and was part of the banking system that spurred on the global financial crisis is not someone I want running NZ. Not to mention he comes from a background of business where failing in business ventures and taking gambles is commonplace, that is simply not an acceptable mindset to be using with regard to a Nations economy, particularly my NZ!

  27. randal 27

    its a matter of trust. and that does not mean bankers trust! nor enron.

  28. Trust is a powerful word randal. This recent saga will test trust.

  29. gobsmacked 29

    Well, since the right-wing trolls have been hi-jacking the other thread, let’s help them out, with a new twist – the part of the story they somehow forgot to mention:

    NZPA, today:

    National Party leader John Key said today he had met Auckland businessman Yang Liu, the subject of questions about his residency and citizenship.

    He also said Mr Liu had made an unsolicited donation of $5000 to National before the last election.

    Mr Key said he remembered meeting Mr Liu three times, twice at lunches before the 2005 election, and once when they were both at the same event after the election in late 2005 or early 2006. MP Pansy Wong also attended both lunches.

    “I have not met him since becoming leader,” Mr Key said. …

    Mr Key said when he met Mr Liu at the lunches, National Party policies, and politics generally, were discussed. At no time were his residency or citizenship issues discussed.

    “Before the last election Mr Liu made an unsolicited donation of $5000 which was passed on by my electorate officials to the National Party headquarters.

    “I did not discuss donations with Mr Liu at any of the three encounters,” Mr Key said.

    (ENDS)

    (and if Mr Liu did send him an e-mail, John Key didn’t open it, etc …)

  30. gobsmacked has Sticky Nicky Hager got the stolen John Key email?

  31. randal 31

    why dont you ask him? write him a letter

  32. bill brown 32

    I’m surprised Key said he’d met the guy…

    Maybe he’s learning.

  33. randal 33

    trust means trust right up to the point you find out that they have made YOUR money disappear.

  34. Yes the immigration Minister knows about the value of money and trust – eh randal?

  35. randal 35

    well I suppose he does. Do you? speak for yourself.

  36. I will buy a passport rundal, thank you mate.

  37. randal 37

    dont hurry back

  38. i will just use one of my many aliases as the minister has my alibi. ooops.

  39. randal 39

    hohohoho…youse is a bundal of larfs. chortle chortle

  40. Hey Dad what do you think of National’s welfare policy?

  41. Did a pussycat just pass wind?

  42. JoshRV 42

    Yeah. Its name is Peter.

  43. appleboy 43

    Can we also lose this idiot dad4justice. he’s tony norris’s rent boy me thinks. Update on the immigration story the guy donated to labour and national, he met with John Key in person, and Pansy Wong wrote to immigration in support. , so you rightwhinging nut bars can move on and go back to fairyland again..

  44. Aargh,

    d4j is back,and it seems he hasn’t learned a thing. Still the same old troll. Seen him on a couple of threads. Same old, same old.

    Randal,

    So true

  45. Cha,

    Sure looks like Andy Lahde.. yes? Any idea where he’s settling..?

  46. cha 47

    Jo Zinny,

    Lahde is looking after his reputation by bailing now with a view to returning with none of the ‘crash of 08’ shit sticking. And with returns like this his clients will want him back.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon is – Big in Japan
    This week our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon… mmm, let’s take a moment to consider just how good that sounds. Hope you weren’t eating.Anyway that guy. Better? That bloke from the telly, he said - what I would say to you is… I’m big in Japan. My kind of people, hard ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 21-June-2024
    Tis the winter solstice! The shortest day and longest night of the year. The good news: we’re on our way back to summertime. Here’s another roundup of stories to brighten up your Friday. Our header image is from CRL and shows Waihorotiu Station lit up for Matariki 2024 The ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, June 21
    Our economic momentum remains anaemic, and it’s possible the tiny increase in GDP was a ‘dead cat bounce’. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Per-capita GDP has fallen 4.3% from its peak over the last 21 months, which is more than it it fell in the Global Financial Crisis recession ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    5 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago

  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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