How Hipkins Can Still Win

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, July 13th, 2023 - 28 comments
Categories: chris hipkins, Christopher Luxon, election 2023, greens, helen clark, jacinda ardern, james shaw, labour, national, The Standard line - Tags:

Hipkins being himself is his election-winning attribute.

It’s never going to be about policy, nerdlove the old manifestos as one might. 2023 is a presidential contest of personality and believable leadership traits. We haven’t seen Chris Hipkins and Chris Luxon side by side and it’s a mistake. Let Luxon be Luxon; shiny-smooth executive-leadership sheen yet without the depth of confidence that propelled John Key upward. Luxon has seven houses and reeks of assurance-in-depth that only anointed males of elite Pentecostal churches can get.

Show us the Hipkins dream.

Hipkins can underscore that he’s as ordinary as they come. He’s not going to attract women under 50 like Ardern briefly did. He’s a pudgy Tinder profile. He can focus on ordinary people who like him are no policy genius. He has no tight circle of Cabinet colleagues. He compresses the whole package into the ‘boy from the Hutt eating sausage rolls and pies’ because he’s a suburban guy as much a loner as we mostly are in this lonely country. So make suburban ordinary a virtue. Like, lose the suit except for the debates, and just agree with us life is damn hard.

Hipkins wants a country for ordinary people who can be what they aspire to be in this country. Just like him. That’s what he needs to sell: he’s on $450k and ordinary people really can do this. That is the core of his education-focused meritocratic drive.

Show us his rightness for the job.

Hipkins has undersold mastery of politics, both in the operational sense of Parliament and in the tactical sense of delivering confident lines to Cabinet in which decisions are made and to the media to frame things up. Just needs to remind people that Luxon as a naif can never approach that kind of confident Parliamentary command. Actually government is a skill, and few have it. “Day in the life of the PM” is hardly the newest idea, but it’s an untold story.

What the job really is: to be a political operator at the peak of their game. We almost never hear what the actual job of Prime Minister is, so tell it. For example there’s a whole untold story of the decisions made in March and April 2020 that now probably only he can tell. The documentary story of crisis turned down into just another managed risk.

Build us the texture of a believable man. 

And to the basics of campaigns: like Helen Clark did over two decades ago, Hipkins ought to feature the stuff he likes doing like mountain biking, hiking, and  swimming. Tell us what we can relate to. What bones he broke doing what, favourite childhood pets, toughest downward bike.

We need to meet his mum and dad. Outside their ordinary house. Talking what he was like as a kid, what they like about New Zealand: put Hipkins deep into being an ordinary New Zealander. Right now the prices of everything are forcing us to be more and more ordinary: so show you are us, were brought up, even if it’s not that comfortable. It’s called empathy.

And yes, bring out the children. Talk about the toll that work takes on family, being separated, just tell people what it’s like being a New Zealand guy now. Be the stark contrast to the fairytale romance nonsense of Ardern. Being a guy is work and children and trying to make a tiny bit of space for yourself. What you carry and have to keep moving with; again: being a guy now.

Hipkins also can do a far better job of selling the actual successes of this government. Whatever James Shaw did, he was basically a small scale subbie in a large project. Sure, just work in Hi Viz with the East Coast alliance, but even better if you can show all parts of government working to build, and rebuild, and rebuild.

Sure, he was likely to lose from the start. Ardern the feckless wonder who was gifted two elections gave him no warning, no plan, and very little time after deliberately overcooking the economy, to enable any replacement leader to stabilise the country again. Ardern was by the end so weak she couldn’t even face ZB radio. We don’t have to worry about that with Hipkins: he takes, he gives.

Give us sufficient charm and energy to underscore you’re younger than Peters, less divisive than Waititi, a superior leader of Parliament than Luxon, more practical than Shaw, and in tune with getting the basics right for the real us.

Get the man on the first plane home. Hipkins is actually better at real political dialogue than anyone since Helen Clark. His skin is as thick as hers. We won’t see that hardscrabble witty debater unless his Chief of Staff and Megan Woods pull their heads out of their ass and get him back in the country and regain the full media cycle, talking with us again and again and again.

Nothing Special Is The Kiwi Superpower.

Forget policy. Wear really ordinary clothes. Tell fewer policy-compressed moves and more real-person anecdotes. Show us where and who you really came from. Be an ordinary 2023 guy. Nothing Special really is special.

Do the above meat-and-two veg Labour politics well for two months, then Hipkins can then regain the Preferred Prime Minister which really is the ballgame. Then he wins.

Right now Nothing Special is a superpower.

28 comments on “How Hipkins Can Still Win ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Na couldn't give a rats about his interests, I want to know my kid will have a chance at owning a home in an undivided country that'll survive climate change.

    Make me believe you ain't in this just to tick it off the list, get what you say your going todo done,

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Hipkins big problem is he is a small "c" conservative centrist. This is a political project that seeks to resolve policy disputes in an entirely negative way; that is to say that within the prevailing orthodoxy it tries to identify extremes points of view adjudged incompatible to the liberal ruling classes and rule them out. Whatever is left becomes the basis for policy. This approach more or less works as long as the system remains in equilibrium. But it has no answer for crisis except in further negative propositions – Labour is just about holding up in the polls because National and ACT are adjudged as too extreme for the tastes of a bare majority of the ruling elites, rather than Labour offering any real alternative vision for government.

    Effectively, Hipkin's Labour has cast itself as the dam against right wing polarisation, but in doing it has to be careful it is not creating the conditions for it's own demise. The public will only vote for you to keep the other lot out for so long. Once the dam bursts, labour could swept away in the flood just as the other centrist/establishment social democratic parties in PR electoral systems in Europe have been – either complete oblivion or relegation to feeble minor party status.

    I still think Labour will scrape home this election, but labour is going to have to start articulating a message beyond continuity and negatively defined policy goals to hold back the global right wing tide.

  3. Mike the Lefty 3

    If personalities are the deciding factor, Hipkins has a slight advantage over Luxon.

    But I don't think personalities will be the deciding factor this time. Last time Labour had Jacinda Adern who was an engaging personality and smart, in direct contrast to National's Judith Collins who was a turn off to all but the bluest voter.

    There is actually less difference between Hipkins and Luxon, each are moderately engaging, less combative than previous opponents and are nice enough as human beings.

    I think this time it will come down to policies, or lack of them. It gives me mixed feelings to say this because I have consistently derided the New Zealand media over many years for being too personality focussed at the expense of policy, but now we might get to see what happens when it goes the other way and we might not like what we find.

    My nutshell analysis of the four main parties is as follows:

    Labour will muddle through with little alteration – a bit of change here and there with nothing that will scare anyone off, good intentions abounding but nothing much happening.

    National will promise anything to any group who looks like a captured vote. Their policies will be deliberately ambiguous to capture the non-thinking voter. They will worry about how to actually fulfil their promises later (if they win).

    ACT will promise to take us back to the good old days of Victorian England when taxes were a dirty word and the rich prospered on the backs of the poor but will come off as disciplined and focussed in contrast to the two main parties and gather votes as a consequence.

    The Greens will offer the promise of a reformed carbon zero economy, knowing that it will be impossible to deliver but will at least maintain their core support.

    Other than Te Pati Maori, I don't see any of the other parties getting into parliament therefore their policies are probably irrelevant.

    I think the campaign will be predictable and boring with people wishing it was quickly all over.

    But with three months still to go a lot can happen in a short time, of course.

  4. newsense 4

    Two roads diverged…

    I mean surely they’ve all polled the crap out of a wealth tax? Or is that just like climate change mitigation?

    And explain- so much wealth was given by the housing market and Covid. It’s not been earned by hard work…

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5


    If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

    • Yeah but then take a look at the Democrats and Republicans and see if they are taking Dwight's advice.

      I don't rhink so.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.1

        Obviously neither are taking this advice!

        But unfortunately applies to both our main parties also, I think.

  6. Corey 6

    I agree with the comments on Ardern, and while it'll be good to make him look more normal…

    A lot of that is cringe 90s/2000s style stuff that may appeal to boomers and gen x but it doesn't appeal to gen y or gen z.

    If labour is to win, it needs a huge turn out of gen z and gen x, the new largest voting blocks, and unlike previous generations, who seem content with statements of intent and women's day covers, policy actually matter ALOT to us.

    Without us there is no left.

    Who are gen z and gen y? We are educated, we see through bullshit and gloss because we were raised on the internet unlike our parents and grandparents who fall for every scam and conspiracy online and are easily led by gloss and PR.

    We are tired, cynical, we work damn hard and damn good jobs but are going to be life long renters, we will mostly never have kids because we can't afford it, after rent, power, food, transport and student loans we have fuck all left over.

    We are terrified of the future, we all think we're a few months from being homeless, we want tax reform, we want a cgt, we want to go hard on taxing the rich, we want more rights for tenants, housing to be seen as housing not investments, we want drug reform, student loan forgiveness, and we want real, serious action on climate change.

    We're not lazy or disinterested we just see through the bullshit and won't waste our time if politicians aren't offering us what we want.

    We propelled Ardern to two victories because despite the hype and PR cringe, she was running on policies, we actually believed in, and she was hopeful, optimistic and in 2017 atleast, was always saying she was "open" to things from drug reform to tax reform, then she got elected and said no to everything.

    Hipkins has already screwed himself with my generation, he's ruled out doing anything we want, he can do all the women's day articles he wants, he's ruled out tax and housing reforms and comes off as a weasel.

    Doesn't matter how much you say "but national and act will do xyz" we don't believe national and act will do anything they promise either, and they mostly won't.

    But if labour are ruling out doing anything the largest voting blocks wants, and are ruling out the policies from the minor parties offering what we want, in favor of a few boomers and farmers who won't vote labour anyway… Well "fuck labour"

    Chris Hipkins is trying to appeal to some 90s mythological idea of middle NZ, and he's failing badly, he should try maybe appeal to people who exist and may actually vote labour. He's fucked it now though.

    That budget he canned, would have saved labour.

    • SPC 6.1

      It could have been like 2005, when Clark and Cullen ended student loan interest and provided the WFF tax credits – they got a boost from those with student debt, but as important was when the south Auckland vote came.

      He may regret not going with GR's approach – that there was something to talk about with the Greens and TPM.

      Hipkins has instead gone with Labour, National lite, and the other guys National full on ACT shit fuckery (too use the Juice Media language) .

    • Belladonna 6.2

      We are terrified of the future, we all think we're a few months from being homeless, we want tax reform, we want a cgt, we want to go hard on taxing the rich, we want more rights for tenants, housing to be seen as housing not investments, we want drug reform, student loan forgiveness, and we want real, serious action on climate change.

      Caught up with a younger group of my family a couple of weekends ago (large family gatherings, getting the whole clan together).

      The trends coming from the younger group of adults (say 20-early 30s) were:

      • Cost of living (daily bills for everything from food to fuel going up, and up).
      • Cost of housing (they have good solid jobs – mostly trades – and would like to own rather than rent). Rents going up are a bit of a worry (but they see this as just another cost-of-living). It's more that they want to own – and want house prices to come down. [Interestingly, so do their parents]
      • Not worried about student loans: They've either never had one, and don't propose to get one (tradies); or they've factored that into a high-paying career (e.g. law, engineering)
      • Crime rates. The tradies are particularly angry about this. It's their tools getting ripped off, their building sites getting trashed, etc.
      • Not significantly interested in drug reform. Those who smoke a bit of weed – are happy to go on doing so under the radar.
      • Climate change – more along the weather side of discussion (floods, etc.) – looking for practical, engineering solutions – rather than AT talkfests of 'consultation'.
      • Fairly strong anti co-governance (though, probably their understanding of what co-governance is, isn't that clear).
      • Really over endless consultation, and no action from government (both central and local). The only people benefiting are the consultants.
      • Not too fussed on taxing the rich. They've seen that tax doesn't tend to trickle down to them.
      • Pretty optimistic about the future. Looking at houses. Starting families. Starting businesses. Growing careers. OE (younger ones in this group). [Obviously, not all at the same time for the same people!]

      Overall not a political group (fairly typical of early adult age groups historically – more interested in living their lives, than getting activist). No strong support for any political party's agenda.

      Will they vote? Probably not. Will that be different from any election in the recent past? Not much.

      • Shanreagh 6.2.1

        Those are really interesting BD.

        More and more I'm getting the feeling that cost of living and ways to control it/mitgate it are getting higher and higher up the list of must haves in any election policies. People may not be looking for one shot wonders but enduring ideas so that when inflation occurs we don't have to scratch around for ideas to control it. .

        Ability to eventually buy a house and house prices

        Not too fussed on taxing the rich. They've seen that tax doesn't tend to trickle down to them.

        Perhaps we could hear more from BD's whole clan gatherings! smiley

  7. That_guy 7

    “Texture?” Who gives a shit?

    Just want a left wing party with left wing tax policy.

  8. That_guy 8

    I feel like rubbish saying this, but as things currently stand I hope that Labour gets walloped to the benefit of the Greens (so that it’s clear why the walloping took place).

    You can practically feel the privilege dripping from my voice when I say this, but… the nation can survive three years of bad policy from NACT. What we cannot tolerate any longer is the main left-wing party not believing in left-wing policies.

    • Hunter Thompson II 8.1

      Seems to me Labour is now paying the price for not being honest with the electorate. Chris HIpkins will carry the can for that.

      It had its official policies, but then there were the real policies which were carefully kept out of sight. In short, Labour has been implementing changes it never campaigned on, so people don't trust them.

      On top of that we have several areas such as health that are now struggling. The current state of Southland Hospital doesn't inspire confidence (some cancer patients have been told of a 12 week wait for treatment).

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        Labour is now paying the price for not being honest with the electorate

        Arguable. They campaigned on the slogan `Let's do this'. I wondered at the time what this was, but onsite here everyone seemed to feel it was fab – nobody complained about it. Now the PM can proudly repeat during his campaigning: "We said we'd do this, and we did it!" wink

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1.2

        I sort of thought Labour clearly telegraphed they did not want to do anything significant about inequality, poverty or services – and delivered exactly what they promised. (note "anything significant", I don't mean "anything at all"). I was dismayed at various young people I knew going to ‘vote for Jacinda’ thinking it would improve things for them, when Labour’s stated policies clearly would not – but Green policies would.

        My view is based on the idea that you can't fix poverty, services without doing something about inequality – and inequality is something Labour is utterly determined not to challenge.

    • Roy Cartland 8.2

      I gotta admit I feel a bit like that too. What's the point of them any more, are they just a bulwark against the nats and that's it?

    • Anker 8.3

      I will be happy to have a new medical school built, OT reformed and a solid truency policy. Hopefully they will do these things

  9. ianmac 9

    When I see the lists of this Governments achievements I wonder why don't the general population know? Bloody hell! The list is long and serious but the Media and Opposition rhetoric is that this government is a "do nothing" monster.

    Shout it from the rooftops. Make graphs and posters. Tell 'em all!

    • A big problem for putting progress in front of the electorate has been white anting and poor reporting ianmac.

      Plus "Rinse and Repeat Politics". imo

      All progress is presented as "too late" "too little" "under planned" or "over managed" or even "2nd string" to some utterance by Luxon or Seymore or one of their rich buddies "writing a letter".

      One Nat "dirt digging" for "gotchas" to disrupt the Labour Team by showing up inadequacies, while holding and hiding information on their own members doings.

      The re-naming of policies in derogatory terms to "diss" them.

      Water reforms become Co-governance. (The Marries want it all)sarc

      Tax reforms becomes Envy tax. ( We pay most of the tax say the rich) sarc yeah 9%!!

      Rental reform becomes Landlord bashing…especially "mum and dad landlords" sarc.

      Health reforms become Health delays and failures/or wasted ill directed money according to " Dr. Reti" and co.

      Ram Raids become “Law and Order.”

      Recovery from covid becomes "Cost of living crisis"

      Jacinda Ardern becomes The Strawman for the catastrophic events.

      Followed by The pie eating Boy from the Hutt, being presented as boy wonder. (ego joke?)

      Click bait /Algorithm/ 7 second attention span/ debt ridden generations/ looking for the next group/person to blame.

      They will probably vote Luxon, and by default Seymore in for a dose of "Austerity Sauce to complete the Political Meal."

      Those who do the same thing and expect a different result are bound to fail. Sadly.

      We know what the problems are, but we are not brave in the Ballot Box so…. wealth wins.

      • A further aspect Ianmac, cryinghas been Climate change impacts and reforms. These have been painted as "harming our food production and farmers" while the impacts of flooding on our volcanic soils has turned them to porridge, and caused endless erosion/slips and pushed food prices to scary highs. I am Labour, but will vote Green in my last? election. I hope others are brave.

      • Kat 9.1.2

        Some would say that ignorance is bliss and that a little bit of knowledge is dangerous… there you have it…..elections are often a measure of the awareness of the electorate.

      • ianmac 9.1.3

        Well said Patricia.Totally agree. What can Labour do about it?

        • Respond by pulling left, leaving Labour to attract the centrist vote who don't want a Nact government. Here is hoping. We donate and support and send strong messages to the Party.(s) On the left.

  10. Thinker 10

    What National seem to be doing is picking at Labour whatever they do.

    For example, if Labour oppose a wealth tax, it's because they are wimping out. If they did campaign on a wealth tax, it would be politics of envy. Seemingly can't do right for doing wrong.

    The only way to deal with that kind of politicking is to call it out for what it is. Respond by telling people what's going on and also pointing out that that's the sort of politicking that people/parties do when they have no substance of their own to offer.

    When Luxon picked on Hipkins for opposing a wealth tax, the quick response should have been to ask Luxon if he would introduce one. Luxon could have been found with something nastier than egg on his face, but it never happened.

    It's just my opinion from what I see on the tv, but I think the current line is to try to hold the moral high ground and avoid the mudslinging but thereby falling victim to the mudslingers.

    • Anne 10.1

      … I think the current line is to try to hold the moral high ground and avoid the mudslinging but thereby falling victim to the mudslingers.

      Yes. That is part of Labour's problem. They think that "holding the moral high ground" will bring them votes. Theoretically it sounds good but when did theory work in practice? Not very often. Voters by and large don't care about the moral high ground. Many of them regard the mudslingers as clever dicks and end up voting for them.

      No-one is suggesting Labour get down and dirty like the NActs, but for heaven's sake call them out for what they are doing and – as you suggested Thinker – throw some of it back in their faces. Hipkins is definitely up to it so get stuck in Chippy!

      • ianmac 10.1.1

        Hard to respond to mud slinging if the response is with-held.

        • Anne

          It's easy to respond to public mud-slinging. The PM and his ministers have plenty of opportunities to rebut claims and, if necessary, throw it back in the perpetrators' faces. The general public like a bit of sparring. They see it as a strength. Refusing to respond should be confined to the profoundly dirty stuff which is usually personal in nature eg. Jacinda Ardern. Even then, there were times when I felt she – or someone on her behalf – should have responded.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    1 hour ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 hours ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 hours ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    13 hours ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    14 hours ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    17 hours ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    17 hours ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    17 hours ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    19 hours ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    21 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    22 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    23 hours ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    23 hours ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 day ago
  • Auckland rail tunnel the world’s most expensive
    Auckland’s city rail link is the most expensive rail project in the world per km, and the CRL boss has described the cost of infrastructure construction in Aotearoa as a crisis. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The 3.5 km City Rail Link (CRL) tunnel under Auckland’s CBD has cost ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • First big test coming
    The first big test of the new Government’s approach to Treaty matters is likely to be seen in the return of the Resource Management Act. RMA Minister Chris Bishop has confirmed that he intends to introduce legislation to repeal Labour’s recently passed Natural and Built Environments Act and its ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • The Song of Saqua: Volume III
    Time to revisit something I haven’t covered in a while: the D&D campaign, with Saqua the aquatic half-vampire. Last seen in July: The delay is understandable, once one realises that the interim saw our DM come down with a life-threatening medical situation. They have since survived to make ...
    1 day ago
  • Chris Bishop: Smokin’
    Yes. Correct. It was an election result. And now we are the elected government. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 26, 2023 thru Dec 2, 2023. Story of the Week CO2 readings from Mauna Loa show failure to combat climate change Daily atmospheric carbon dioxide data from Hawaiian volcano more ...
    2 days ago
  • Affirmative Action.
    Affirmative Action was a key theme at this election, although I don’t recall anyone using those particular words during the campaign.They’re positive words, and the way the topic was talked about was anything but. It certainly wasn’t a campaign of saying that Affirmative Action was a good thing, but that, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • 100 days of something
    It was at the end of the Foxton straights, at the end of 1978, at 100km/h, that someone tried to grab me from behind on my Yamaha.They seemed to be yanking my backpack. My first thought was outrage. My second was: but how? Where have they come from? And my ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Look who’s stepped up to champion Winston
    There’s no news to be gleaned from the government’s official website today  – it contains nothing more than the message about the site being under maintenance. The time this maintenance job is taking and the costs being incurred have us musing on the government’s commitment to an assault on inflation. ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • What's The Story?
    Don’t you sometimes wish they’d just tell the truth? No matter how abhorrent or ugly, just straight up tell us the truth?C’mon guys, what you’re doing is bad enough anyway, pretending you’re not is only adding insult to injury.Instead of all this bollocks about the Smokefree changes being to do ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • The longest of weeks
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday Under New Management Week in review, quiz style1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Suggested sessions of EGU24 to submit abstracts to
    Like earlier this year, members from our team will be involved with next year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). The conference will take place on premise in Vienna as well as online from April 14 to 19, 2024. The session catalog has been available since November 1 ...
    4 days ago
  • Under New Management
    1. Which of these best describes Aotearoa?a. Progressive nation, proud of its egalitarian spirit and belief in a fair go b. Best little country on the planet c. Under New Management 2. Which of these best describes the 100 days of action announced this week by the new government?a. Petulantb. Simplistic and wrongheaded c. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • While we wait patiently, our new Minister of Education is up and going with a 100-day action plan
    Sorry to say, the government’s official website is still out of action. When Point of Order paid its daily visit, the message was the same as it has been for the past week: Site under maintenance is currently under maintenance. We will be back shortly. Thank you for your ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • DAVID FARRAR: Hysterical bullshit
    Radio NZ reports: Te Pāti Māori’s co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has accused the new government of “deliberate .. systemic genocide” over its policies to roll back the smokefree policy and the Māori Health Authority. The left love hysterical language. If you oppose racial quotas in laws, you are a racist. And now if you sack ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #48 2023
    Open access notables From this week's government/NGO section, longitudinal data is gold and Leisorowitz, Maibachi et al. continue to mine ore from the US public with Climate Change in the American Mind: Politics & Policy, Fall 2023: Drawing on a representative sample of the U.S. adult population, the authors describe how registered ...
    4 days ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: It wasn’t just $55 million
    Ele Ludemann writes –  Winston Peters reckons media outlets were bribed by the $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund. He is not the first to make such an accusation. Last year, the Platform outlined conditions media signed up to in return for funds from the PJIF: . . . ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 1-December-2023
    Wow, it’s December already, and it’s a Friday. So here are few things that caught our attention recently. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt covered the new government’s coalition agreements and what they mean for transport. On Tuesday Matt looked at AT’s plans for fare increases ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Shane MacGowan Is Gone.
    Late 1996, The Dogs Bollix, Tamaki Makaurau.I’m at the front of the bar yelling my order to the bartender, jostling with other thirsty punters on a Friday night, keen to piss their wages up against a wall letting loose. The black stuff, long luscious pints of creamy goodness. Back down ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Dec 1
    Nicola Willis, Chris Bishop and other National, ACT and NZ First MPs applaud the signing of the coalition agreements, which included the reversal of anti-smoking measures while accelerating tax cuts for landlords. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s political economy that we wrote ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: November (+ Writing Update)
    Completed reads for November: A Modern Utopia, by H.G. Wells The Vampire (poem), by Heinrich August Ossenfelder The Corpus Hermeticum The Corpus Hermeticum is Mead’s translation. Now, this is indeed a very quiet month for reading. But there is a reason for that… You see, ...
    4 days ago
  • Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies.The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. They also describe the processes of the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Questions a nine year old might ask the new Prime Minister
    First QuestionYou’re going to crack down on people ram-raiding dairies, because you say hard-working dairy owners shouldn’t have to worry about getting ram-raided.But once the chemist shops have pseudoephedrine in them again, they're going to get ram-raided all the time. Do chemists not work as hard as dairy owners?Second QuestionYou ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Questions a nine year old might ask the new Prime Minister
    First QuestionYou’re going to crack down on people ram-raiding dairies, because you say hard-working dairy owners shouldn’t have to worry about getting ram-raided.But once the chemist shops have pseudoephedrine in them again, they're going to get ram-raided all the time. Do chemists not work as hard as dairy owners?Second QuestionYou ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Finally
    Henry Kissinger is finally dead. Good fucking riddance. While Americans loved him, he was a war criminal, responsible for most of the atrocities of the final quarter of the twentieth century. Cambodia. Bangladesh. Chile. East Timor. All Kissinger. Because of these crimes, Americans revere him as a "statesman" (which says ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Government in a hurry – Luxon lists 49 priorities in 100-day plan while Peters pledges to strength...
    Buzz from the Beehive Yes, ministers in the new government are delivering speeches and releasing press statements. But the message on the government’s official website was the same as it has been for the past several days, when Point of Order went looking for news from the Beehive that had ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • DAVID FARRAR: Luxon is absolutely right
    David Farrar writes  –  1 News reports: Christopher Luxon says he was told by some Kiwis on the campaign trail they “didn’t know” the difference between Waka Kotahi, Te Pūkenga and Te Whatu Ora. Speaking to Breakfast, the incoming prime minister said having English first on government agencies will “make sure” ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 at 10 am for Thursday, Nov 30
    There are fears that mooted changes to building consent liability could end up driving the building industry into an uninsured hole. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Thursday, November 30, including:The new Government’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how climate change threatens cricket‘s future
    Well that didn’t last long, did it? Mere days after taking on what he called the “awesome responsibility” of being Prime Minister, M Christopher Luxon has started blaming everyone else, and complaining that he has inherited “economic vandalism on an unprecedented scale” – which is how most of us are ...
    5 days ago
  • We need to talk about Tory.
    The first I knew of the news about Tory Whanau was when a tweet came up in my feed.The sort of tweet that makes you question humanity, or at least why you bother with Twitter. Which is increasingly a cesspit of vile inhabitants who lurk spreading negativity, hate, and every ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dangling Transport Solutions
    Cable Cars, Gondolas, Ropeways and Aerial Trams are all names for essentially the same technology and the world’s biggest maker of them are here to sell them as an public transport solution. Stuff reports: Austrian cable car company Doppelmayr has launched its case for adding aerial cable cars to New ...
    5 days ago
  • November AMA
    Hi,It’s been awhile since I’ve done an Ask-Me-Anything on here, so today’s the day. Ask anything you like in the comments section, and I’ll be checking in today and tomorrow to answer.Leave a commentNext week I’ll be giving away a bunch of these Mister Organ blu-rays for readers in New ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • National’s early moves adding to cost of living pressure
    The cost of living grind continues, and the economic and inflation honeymoon is over before it began. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: PM Christopher Luxon unveiled his 100 day plan yesterday with an avowed focus of reducing cost-of-living pressures, but his Government’s initial moves and promises are actually elevating ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Backwards to the future
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has confirmed that it will be back to the future on planning legislation. This will be just one of a number of moves which will see the new government go backwards as it repeals and cost-cuts its way into power. They will completely repeal one ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • New initiatives in science and technology could point the way ahead for Luxon government
    As the new government settles into the Beehive, expectations are high that it can sort out some  of  the  economic issues  confronting  New Zealand. It may take time for some new  ministers to get to grips with the range of their portfolio work and responsibilities before they can launch the  changes that  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • Treaty pledge to secure funding is contentious – but is Peters being pursued by a lynch mob after ...
    TV3 political editor Jenna Lynch was among the corps of political reporters who bridled, when Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told them what he thinks of them (which is not much). She was unabashed about letting her audience know she had bridled. More usefully, she drew attention to something which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • How long does this last?
    I have a clear memory of every election since 1969 in this plucky little nation of ours. I swear I cannot recall a single one where the question being asked repeatedly in the first week of the new government was: how long do you reckon they’ll last? And that includes all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • National’s giveaway politics
    We already know that national plans to boost smoking rates to collect more tobacco tax so they can give huge tax-cuts to mega-landlords. But this morning that policy got even more obscene - because it turns out that the tax cut is retrospective: Residential landlords will be able to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Who’s driving the right-wing bus?
    Who’s At The Wheel? The electorate’s message, as aggregated in the polling booths on 14 October, turned out to be a conservative political agenda stronger than anything New Zealand has seen in five decades. In 1975, Bill Rowling was run over by just one bus, with Rob Muldoon at the wheel. In 2023, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • GRAHAM ADAMS:  Media knives flashing for Luxon’s government
    The fear and loathing among legacy journalists is astonishing Graham Adams writes – No one is going to die wondering how some of the nation’s most influential journalists personally view the new National-led government. It has become abundantly clear within a few days of the coalition agreements ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 news links for Wednesday, Nov 29
    TL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere for Wednesday November 29, including:The early return of interest deductibility for landlords could see rebates paid on previous taxes and the cost increase to $3 billion from National’s initial estimate of $2.1 billion, CTU Economist Craig Renney estimated here last ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Smokefree Fallout and a High Profile Resignation.
    The day after being sworn in the new cabinet met yesterday, to enjoy their honeymoon phase. You remember, that period after a new government takes power where the country, and the media, are optimistic about them, because they haven’t had a chance to stuff anything about yet.Sadly the nuptials complete ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • As Cabinet revs up, building plans go on hold
    Wellington Council hoardings proclaim its preparations for population growth, but around the country councils are putting things on hold in the absence of clear funding pathways for infrastructure, and despite exploding migrant numbers. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Cabinet meets in earnest today to consider the new Government’s 100-day ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • National takes over infrastructure
    Though New Zealand First may have had ambitions to run the infrastructure portfolios, National would seem to have ended up firmly in control of them.  POLITIK has obtained a private memo to members of Infrastructure NZ yesterday, which shows that the peak organisation for infrastructure sees  National MPs Chris ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Evidence for global warming
    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
  • Who’s Driving The Right-Wing Bus?
    Who’s At The Wheel? The electorate’s message, as aggregated in the polling booths on 14 October, turned out to be a conservative political agenda stronger than anything New Zealand has seen in five decades. In 1975, Bill Rowling was run over by just one bus, with Rob Muldoon at the wheel. In ...
    7 days ago
  • Sanity break
    Cheers to reader Deane for this quote from Breakfast TV today:Chloe Swarbrick to Brook van Velden re the coalition agreement: “... an unhinged grab-bag of hot takes from your drunk uncle at Christmas”Cheers also to actual Prime Minister of a country Christopher Luxon for dorking up his swearing-in vows.But that's enough ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Sanity break
    Cheers to reader Deane for this quote from Breakfast TV today:Chloe Swarbrick to Brook van Velden re the coalition agreement: “... an unhinged grab-bag of hot takes from your drunk uncle at Christmas”Cheers also to actual Prime Minister of a country Christopher Luxon for dorking up his swearing-in vows.But that's enough ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • National’s murderous smoking policy
    One of the big underlying problems in our political system is the prevalence of short-term thinking, most usually seen in the periodic massive infrastructure failures at a local government level caused by them skimping on maintenance to Keep Rates Low. But the new government has given us a new example, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • NZ has a chance to rise again as our new government gets spending under control
    New Zealand has  a chance  to  rise  again. Under the  previous  government, the  number of New Zealanders below the poverty line was increasing  year by year. The Luxon-led government  must reverse that trend – and set about stabilising  the  pillars  of the economy. After the  mismanagement  of the outgoing government created   huge ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    7 days ago
  • KARL DU FRESNE: Media and the new government
    Two articles by Karl du Fresne bring media coverage of the new government into considerations.  He writes –    Tuesday, November 28, 2023 The left-wing media needed a line of attack, and they found one The left-wing media pack wasted no time identifying the new government’s weakest point. Seething over ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • PHILIP CRUMP:  Team of rivals – a CEO approach to government leadership
    The work begins Philip Crump wrote this article ahead of the new government being sworn in yesterday – Later today the new National-led coalition government will be sworn in, and the hard work begins. At the core of government will be three men – each a leader ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Black Friday
    As everyone who watches television or is on the mailing list for any of our major stores will confirm, “Black Friday” has become the longest running commercial extravaganza and celebration in our history. Although its origins are obscure (presumably dreamt up by American salesmen a few years ago), it has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • In Defense of the Media.
    Yesterday the Ministers in the next government were sworn in by our Governor General. A day of tradition and ceremony, of decorum and respect. Usually.But yesterday Winston Peters, the incoming Deputy Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister, of our nation used it, as he did with the signing of the coalition ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Tuesday, Nov 28
    Nicola Willis’ first move was ‘spilling the tea’ on what she called the ‘sobering’ state of the nation’s books, but she had better be able to back that up in the HYEFU. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • PT use up but fare increases coming
    Yesterday Auckland Transport were celebrating, as the most recent Sunday was the busiest Sunday they’ve ever had. That’s a great outcome and I’m sure the ...
    1 week ago
  • The very opposite of social investment
    Nicola Willis (in blue) at the signing of the coalition agreement, before being sworn in as both Finance Minister and Social Investment Minister. National’s plan to unwind anti-smoking measures will benefit her in the first role, but how does it stack up from a social investment viewpoint? Photo: Lynn Grieveson ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Giving Tuesday
    For the first time "in history" we decided to jump on the "Giving Tuesday" bandwagon in order to make you aware of the options you have to contribute to our work! Projects supported by Skeptical Science Inc. Skeptical Science Skeptical Science is an all-volunteer organization but ...
    1 week ago
  • Let's open the books with Nicotine Willis
    Let’s say it’s 1984,and there's a dreary little nation at the bottom of the Pacific whose name rhymes with New Zealand,and they've just had an election.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will you look at the state of these books we’ve opened,cries the incoming government, will you look at all this mountain ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Stopping oil
    National is promising to bring back offshore oil and gas drilling. Naturally, the Greens have organised a petition campaign to try and stop them. You should sign it - every little bit helps, and as the struggle over mining conservation land showed, even National can be deterred if enough people ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    2 weeks ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2023-12-04T20:30:31+00:00