I’m backing Grant

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, October 26th, 2014 - 175 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour - Tags:

We have 4 great Leftie contenders, who all want to take Aotearoa where we want it to go.  Whomever wins, I’ll back them to the hilt.  But I have a vote and a voice, and I’m backing Grant Robertson – here’s why.

The main reasons I’m backing Grant are his affability and his instincts.

To get elected it’s important people like you. And Grant has a great way with people. And goes well on TV.  He presents a good argument, leads well, and leaves you liking him for it.  These are important skills to get us into power, and to keep us there.

His instincts are great because he is Labour through and through.  In his first term he was promoted to the front bench and was made Health spokesperson in a reshuffle. He got the role in the afternoon, and was on Checkpoint with ‘scary’ Mary Wilson at drive-time.  He hadn’t a chance to learn the intricate details of Labour’s take on the Health portfolio, so he had to rely on his instincts.  Prevention is better than cure; fund primary care, to save on secondary and tertiary; get out into the community and keep people healthy.  And turns out, that was Labour policy – National may believe in putting off costs and being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, but Grant’s Labour, and his instincts are Labour.

And those instincts mean he knows when to keep his mouth shut, and what sound-bite to give that won’t get spun badly.  These are also essential with our gotcha media.

He has the front bench experience to go with those instincts, which I think is very valuable – being Leader will be a new experience for any of them, without any training period.

There are lots of other people endorsing Grant – Michael Cullen, Darien Fenton, living wage campaigners, unionists, and so on.  I find myself agreeing with their views.

David Parker will be my number 2.  As a geek I tend to see ‘policy wonk’ as a compliment, not the insult I suspect the media mean by it.  And I’ve had some great discussions with him a while back, and he’s definitely the sort of person I’d like to see running the country – I just have that bit more faith in Grant to get us into power in the first place.

175 comments on “I’m backing Grant ”

  1. DoublePlus Good 1

    It’s a shame that you don’t want to vote for someone on the basis of their principles and policies. Instead you want someone with instinct and who is affable.
    New Zealand needs substance, not style.

    • les 1.1

      what NZ wants supercedes what NZ needs.

      • Ben Clark 1.1.1

        I think all 4 have substance, but I was setting out my reasons for preferring Grant.

        Substance is necessary, but not sufficient. Otherwise we would never have lost power to Key…

        • Colonial Rawshark

          That’s an interesting re-write of history, Ben.

          The third term of Helen Clark’s government went totally adrift. Instead of tackling fundamental economic, work place and financial reform to bring back the support of the 1M plus workers who were on less than $40K pa, Cullen and Clark um’d and err’d over who even remembers now?

          All the while they oversaw a booming property market and increasing mortgage debt over the entire country. And the real estate owning middle classes still voted them out.

    • mike 1.2

      As Ben has amply pointed out, Grant Robertson has both. Although it might feel ‘holier than thou’ to quote the old ‘style over substance’ saw – it has not been a lack of substance that has hobbled our recent leaders, but a perceived lack of style.
      Honestly, if we don’t stop attacking each other in this petty way we’re going to have these crooks running the place for ever.

      • DoublePlus Good 1.2.1

        I think it’s more that the Labour leaders keep getting knifed in the back by people, and undermined by internal leaks, etc. I wonder who did all that stuff – because they are assuredly still in caucus unless it was Maryan Street all along with the dagger in the library.

      • lurgee 1.2.2

        Honestly, if we don’t stop attacking each other in this petty way we’re going to have these crooks running the place for ever.

        Agreed. I massively don’t care which candidate wins. I didn’t care last time, as long as it wasn’t Shane Jones. Anyone of them could do the job, as long as they’re allowed to get on with it, a privilege denied the last three and a half leaders.

    • lurgee 1.3

      I’d have thought ‘instincts’ came under the principles / substance heading. If your instinctive reaction to a homeless beggar is to kick him in the head, you’re never really going to be a socialist, no matter how much you ape the stylings of socialism.

    • Matthew Hooton 1.4

      Labour needs someone with a personable style to get into power if it wants to do anything substantial.

  2. Dont worry. Be happy 2

    Well here is a question Ben (of Grant backing fame):

    Was Grant Robertson influential in the campaign known as Anyone But Cunliffe?

    Simple yes or no if you don’t mind.

    • Ben Clark 2.1

      The ABCs are much over-hyped, as is the supposed factionalism of the Labour caucus, which is much looser than some suggest.

      I have no internal knowledge of whether he was gunning for Cunliffe, like Goff & Shearer (who both felt he had undermined them in turn), but the whole caucus bar Cosgrove (with his Labour-less signs again) gave every effort to the party vote to thus make Cunliffe PM.

      We could definitely do with less leaking and back-stabbing in caucus. Hopefully after a 3rd defeat they’re now ready to realise that they won’t get power until it stops.

      • Olwyn 2.1.1

        Those of us in the cheap seats do not see the causes of caucus dissension first hand, only the effects. And those effects do not reflect well on the caucus, whatever their sources.

        For one, thing the leaking clearly fed into the frenzied media attacks on David Cunliffe, and the support given to him by caucus was nowhere near commensurate to those attacks. Moreover, despite Cunliffe’s having being elected leader, authority seemed to reside elsewhere – for example his being dragged in to explain himself when the so-called Liu scandal broke, rather than everyone as a body leaping to his defense. And while his sentences continued to get get parsed for questionable content, people like Shearer, Davis and Nash have been free to shoot their mouths off without consequence. In fact I can’t help but wonder if the effective authority in the Labour Party caucus now resides with the press gallery and the likes of Matthew Hooton. And I will not even broach upon the awful displays of ducking-for-cover, meanness and ambition in the immediate aftermath of the election.

        I am a Labour Party member. I will vote in the coming election, after I have seen the contenders’ presentations. But whatever the status or number of ABC’s, the things I have listed have not filled me with confidence.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          +1 Olwyn. You have expressed my thoughts far better than I could have done myself.

        • ankerawshark

          100+ Olwyn

        • phillip ure

          @ olwyn..

          ..+ 1..

        • Anne

          Olwyn, thank you so much for these thoughts. You have expressed exactly what I have felt for a long time. My confidence in the present caucus is only a slight improvement on the previous caucus (and that may only be temporary) for precisely the reasons you have given.

          All I can add is:

          Labour will never win another election until it regains its commitment to the ordinary working men and women of this country (be they in work or unemployed) including the missing, disenfranchised million.

          To date, only two of the candidates have demonstrated they truly understand the
          impact the current government is having on these people including the mental and physical anguish they are suffering through no fault of their own.

          I recommend Puddleglum @ 11.2 who has superbly described the state of affairs from his own personal experiences.

          • marie

            +100 Olwyn and Anne

            Somehow the caucus has to get the message that we are sick and tired of this behaviour. How about acting for the people they are supposed to care about for a change. You know, the poor, the hungry, the minimum wage workers, the families living in cars and garages……..do they even give a stuff about them or are they too busy thinking about their own ambitions. I am not voting for Grant because I believe he has done his best to undermine previous leaders. I won’t be campaigning for David Shearer in 2017 because of his destructive recent media interviews. MPs have to learn that they have to be loyal to the party if they want the party members to work loyally for them.

        • leftie

          @ Olwyn

        • miravox

          Well said Olwyn

        • SDCLFC

          Cunliffe’s post election behavior was a tragedy. People need to get over believing that he is the messiah.
          Going into the last leadership contest the concern about Cunliffe was that despite his ability and intellect his lack of judgment could make things worse. Thinking that things couldn’t get any worse I wanted him to have a go.
          Well it sure as hell did get worse and that election night speech, the sending out a letter the night of the election loss, the Campbell Live interview, the trying to force a no confidence vote and then resigning, all proved just how poor his judgment can be.
          These were all the actions of a man who should not be leading a political party let lone a country.

          • Tracey

            who thinks he is a messiah? from what i can see peope are suggesting he deserved the overt and covert support of his caucus once elected leader. the leaks suggest that didnt happen. thats not the same as thinking he is baby cheeses.

            does your definition of a leader include undermining the current leader and leaking stuff to the media to destabilise them?

            • SDCLFC

              Hyperbole from me yes, but that’s how I read a lot of the support for Cunliffe.
              Claims about a lack of support are unsubstantiated beyond someone told me etc, at least in a forum like this, and are countered by equally unsubstantiated claims that Cunliffe did the same to the previous two leaders. A zero sum game.

              • ankerawshark


                O.k. When the the John Key crticized Cunliffe for trying to hide that he lived in a mansion after Cunliffe was challenging him on denying the Salv Army report on child poverty..

                I seem to remember GR chipped in about his modest house.

                After the trust for Cunliffe election campaign got blown up and the media launched a relentless attack on Cunliffe………

                I seem to remember GR saying ” I only received $500.00 of donations.

                After the Dong Liu letter, David Parker told the media he thought DC has made a mistake (or words to this effect) when interviewed about it.

                This is all evidence of DC being undermined………and we haven’t even got to after the election with Parker’s “no confidence” statment, Shearer “he should leave the party” and other blathering and GR “I could have won the election” see my comment with link below.

                The NM talking to Claire Trevitt about DC not having the support behind him. I trust her more than I trust GR

                • SDCLFC

                  I think you’re making a lot more of those than what they actually are while ignoring the fact that they all started with mistakes from Cunliffe. Why is Grant not allowed to describe his own situ re donations and where he lives. It’s not unreasonable to expect the media would ask him for comment given they ran-off against each other and that a no comment could’ve been seen as not wanting to reveal the truth.

                  As for Parker saying he didn’t have confidence, Cunliffe settled that matter when he tried to shut him down in front of the media. I would have thought little of Parker had he continued to support Cunliffe after that.

                  Shearer’s statement’s re Cunliffe, lend wait to the evidence that Shearer did not have the support of Cunliffe while he was leader. Shearer would not have been so vociferous if it were not true, and given the level of adulation for Cunliffe and contempt for Shearer found in this forum it’s not hard to see how this would’ve come about.

                  I’m not denying Robertson’s ambition, I’m just saying that that brush tarnishes Cunliffe as well. What doesn’t tarnish Robertson is the ineptitude shown by Cunliffe on election night and after.

                  • ankerawshark

                    SD ETC,
                    RE my comment about GR making comments about where he lives and the donations he received…………..they were said in the context of Cunliffe needing the support of his team standing behind him. Those incidents demonstrate the subtle undermining of the leader.

                    DC’s mistakes. The mansion thing went like this.
                    DC challenges JK in parliament about the report into child poverty by the Sallies, which JK is denying. DC say’s “the PM needs to leave the leafy suburbs of St Stephans ave and see what’s really happening.”

                    Key attacks DC saying he is trying to hide from the voters that he lives in a manson (untrue)….. the media pick it up and Tova O’briens is reporting it as the battle of the mansions. The Sallies report into childhood poverty gets lost….
                    then at some point Mr Robertson sneaks in the comment about his own comparatively modest abode. If that isn’t subtle undermining, I don’t know what is.

                    DC did make some mistakes of course he did. He was mostly competent though and at some points stunningly so.

                  • ankerawshark


                    Re Mr Shearer’s comments. There was no benefit to be gained from those. Whatever happened under Mr Shearer’s leadership is long gone and it just came across that he was bitter and wanted revenge against DC and made the party look divided.

                    What evidence is there that DC undermined Shearer? And given I have given you quite a bit of evidence about GR undermining DC that is GR’s behaviour,not rumour and hearsay, I expect some pretty strong evidence. And actually DS telling the media that DC undermine him doesn’t count.

                    When Shearer was elected I thought he seemed like a good man etc, happy to support him. The person who really undermined DS was DS himself. He did this when he accepted a job he was not competent to perform

                    • SDCLFC

                      I draw a different conclusion to me re the Gran’ts comments and while your commentary is impressive it just points to Cunliffe being unable to manage the debate and being bested by Key.

                      I have no reason to take Shearer at anything other than his word when he said that he spent much of his time fighting off internal threats than external, especially when I consider the vitriol that comes Shearer’s way on this blog (something that you have not expressed in your comment above).
                      Perhaps Shearer did undermine himself but if so then that can’t be an accusation that should escape Cunliffe. His leadership turned out to be just like that of his first question in the house as leader – full of expectation but in reality lacking execution (and that’s being kind).

          • Olwyn

            I disagree. I suspect that his election night speech was intended to prevent an unopposed new leader being installed. There was no obvious reason for the post-election kerfuffle, declarations of “no confidence” etc, etc. The sensible thing to do would have been to calmly allow things to settle, but people did not appear to be into that.

            • SDCLFC

              I agree that things needed to calmly allow to settle but Cunliffe’s actions didn’t allow that because they were seen as a maneuver. The only thing he was meant to do was be gracious and say that we need reflect on what the electorate has told us. Instead he called for a fresh mandate so he could run a 3 year campaign. Naive to think that would not induce a reaction from within the caucus.

              • lprent

                It doesn’t matter who gets elected. They need a 3 year mandate – because campaigns are 3 years long.

                The idea of having a 3 month review followed by a 2 month leadership campaign was completely ridiculous. In elections running back to 2005, the post-election reviews have essentially been ignored. That would have meant that there would have been less than 24 months to prep for the campaign because you can guarantee that nothing would have been done before a leader was elected.

                Reviews get done, run into xmas, forgotten in the balmy summer and then we have exactly the same frigging mistakes being repeated in the following election. Inadvertently, John Key running worried about the economic mess he has put us into and calling an early election has done both Labour and the Greens a favour. 3 months before the summer break to actually figure out what to do next time.

                Just as letting caucus decide the leadership is also ridiculous. They lost that right after they elected someone who in my view was clearly incapable of the job. David Shearer clearly was not, and I won’t bother describing the incidents that led me to that opinion. But I did eventually give up defending him after he kept causing own goals inside his own party.

                I’d preferred that either Goff or Cunliffe was elected after the 2011 election defeat. Ideology be damned. You can’t implement anything unless you get the treasury benches and you can’t do that with inexperienced hands at the helm – especially ones who didn’t understand how to campaign.

                What worries me in this election is the relative lack of political experience of two of the candidates and the relative lack of a public presence of the other two. This is offset somewhat by experience outside of the political sphere in some cases. But as everyone around politics knows, experience outside of politics often doesn’t translate into useful skills in politics. I rate charm somewhere at the bottom of the pile of useful attributes.

                I still have no real idea who to vote for.

                • SDCLFC

                  I hear what your saying re reviews but does the trauma/extent of the defeat change that? I’m guessing you think not.
                  But if it holds that we needed to move forward instantly I still don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that Cunliffe’s decision making/behavior on election night would cause a reaction. Nothing needed to be done other than saying, we tried but we lost.

                  Interesting what you say re Goff.
                  I wondered how much of Key’s first term tactics of dismissing him as “Phil-in” would’ve continued to cut-through and the electorate might’ve started to turn away from the nastiness within National adopting something of a “give him a go” type position (perhaps naive of me).
                  There was a time in the election when Bill English came out and distanced himself from Whaleoil and Goff was pressing on the issue of the OIA release that I wondered what an election between these two would be like.
                  People like to slag off career politicians but I can’t help but think we would’ve had a much more ideological and policy driven election (recognising that on this forum Goff an ideology would provoke response) and therefore a much better election if these two were fronting it.
                  While seemingly pragmatic and measured (to the wider public) English can get hemmed in on ideology and we could’ve had an election based on opportunity or conservatism.

              • Anne

                I agree that things needed to calmly allow to settle but Cunliffe’s actions didn’t allow that because they were seen as a maneuver

                And that was typical of the [former] grouping nicknamed the ABC Club. They were the ones who saw “conspiracies” under every bed – not the rest of caucus and the bulk of the membership. As Olwyn has said… he needed to say it because there is no doubt whatsoever that is what the Cunliffe-haters planned to do. They were going to conduct a rapid coup and replace him with their preferred leader before the Labour Council, on behalf of the members, had a chance to do anything.

                I went through a period years ago when a vindictive woman lay false charges concerning me that were believed. From that point, the recipients (who were quite numerous in the end) judged everything I did and said based on the claims. They were wrong on every count, but it didn’t stop them making my life a misery. I have long since appreciated that Cunliffe has been the target of a similar sort of campaign.

                • SDCLFC

                  Sorry to hear about you individual situation, that sounds unsettling.
                  However re your point on Cunliffe that sounds like an argument for firing the missiles first because you believe the other lot are about to fire theirs and saying, well I was forced to do it.

                  • Anne

                    Sorry SDCLFC but I’m a long time member of the LP. I can judge the actual sources of a clandestine “campaign” when I see one. It’s all happened before, and there are always plenty of signals way in advance of the scalpel being applied…

              • ankerawshark

                SDCLFC @

                I think it could be seen as a manoeuvre, but a good one. What he was saying was he wanted a mandate to continue.

                Very reasonable.

                The caucus should of got the message that they would have their chance to put their name’s forward in an orderly fashion. Not need to go to the media like that twit (sorry I don’t usually denigrate people, but really ) Shearer,

                Or the outrageous “no confidence” from Parker.

                Or that pathetic “I could have won” from GR

                compared to those three DC handled it very well indeed.

                • SDCLFC

                  I don’t understand why Caucus should have to get the message. They are elected and have a mandate of their own and a leaders does not have the right for his mandate to be free of challenge.

                  • ankerawshark

                    Yes DC was going seeking an election to get the mandate. That means other people from Caucus can put themselves forward and they to can seek the mandate. That was what the election was/is going to achieve.

      • leftie 2.1.2

        Robertson’s unbridled aspirations to be leader at all costs is a factor in the party being consistently undermined.
        Robertson had Shearer rolled. He and Shearer working in tandem, lost no time in putting the boot in after the election to have David Cunliffe pushed out.

        It irks me no end, when those in the media and on online commentaries say that the leadership contest should be held next year after the review etc, when it was Robertson who triggered it by making a grab at the leadership in the first place.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          If Robertson doesn’t get the Leadership this time, the MP who does get it is screwed before they even step foot in the Leaders office.

        • SDCLFC

          Many believe that it was Cunliffe’s unbridled aspirations to be leader at all costs that is the factor in the party being consistently undermined.
          Have to acknowledge that parties have ways of knowing what’s going on in other parties so when National is crowing about Cunliffe wanting Goff or Shearer’s job that it’s not coming out of a vacuum .

          Cunliffe made it all but certain there would be a leadership contest via his election night speech, his request in front of the media that he wanted a vote from the caucus, and then his decision to resign so he could stand again.
          At that point Robertson announced he would stand.

          • ankerawshark

            Gr announced he was standing the day after the election. Long before DC resigned as leader.

            • SDCLFC

              I dispute that but am happy to be corrected. I would say though that if he did it was that he would stand if there was a leadership contest and that came after Cunliffe had made it clear he wanted there to be a contest (or at least for his leadership to be tested).
              I don’t see an issue and I don’t see anything that contradicts Cunliffe making the first public move in maneuvering for a leadership contest.

              • Keir

                Cunliffe announced he was triggering a new leadership contest on election night. It was perfectly legitimate for Robertson to say he’d run in that leadership race. If Cunliffe didn’t want that, he could have refrained from making any announcements about the leadership on election night.

            • lprent

              I don’t count that particularly. There is a mandatory leadership count in caucus post election. I would expect contenders after a defeat.

      • ankerawshark 2.1.3

        Hi Ben @ 2.1. I think we saw very clearly the ABC’s in action immediately after the election……………

        Grant Robertson all good to go with his leadership campaign.

        David Shearer talking to every man and his dog about Cunliffe’s leadership and how Cunliffe should leave the party.

        Parker, stabbing Cunliffe in the front……………..

        Going back to 2012, Hipkins going on t.v. denigrating Cunliffe…………..

        Mahuta in her interview with Claire Trevitt saying that DC kept going forward, but that behind him were people not supporting him.

        Stop trying to white wash this.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Grant Robertson all good to go with his leadership campaign.

          Nice to have all the websites and endorsements lined up ready to go eh. And Grant still remain a mile ahead of all the other candidates in terms of getting that campaign machine rolling.

          • Tracey

            and Grant saying nothing like the others, almost like he has a two track strategy… he being the smiling nice everyman…

        • leftie

          Spot on !!

        • SDCLFC

          Cunliffe launching his bid to be re-elected in his concession speech.
          Cunliffe writing a letter the night of the election loss and sending it out to members.
          Cunliffe initially refusing to accept responsibility.
          Cunliffe trying to belittle Parker in front of the media.
          Cunliffe trying to surpress debate and criticism by gagging MPs.
          Cunliffe saying on Campbell Live that some in his Caucus did not campaign for the Party Vote.

          • ankerawshark

            Cunliffe launching his bid to be re-elected” actually seeking a mandate.
            Cunliffe was right to try and Muzzle caucus. No good came from anyone speaking to the media.

            Parker should have shut up in front of the media. They all needed to keep their mouths closed.

            • SDCLFC

              I don’t want Caucus muzzled, I want to hear what people have to say because I want to see that they’re engaged and working towards it.
              Flip it around, if Shearer was the leader would you want to hear what Cunliffe had to say after the loss (or anyone).
              And I think that speech was so poor that someone needed to speak out.

              • ankerawshark

                No SDCLFC ……………Caucus needed to be muzzled over leadership issues.
                Otherwise it gives the Nats and the msm a huge amount of ammunition to say “Labour is a mess, they hate each others guts”.

                I didn’t need to hear what anyone else said about Shearer as leader. Like I said, I welcomed him when he came on board and felt enthused that this was an interesting person who had done good work. Then I heard him speak in person and it was like the emperors new clothes. Almost everything he did after that was a what were they (caucus) thinking voting him as leader. And then I started to ask myself what sort of person puts them self forward for a job like being the leader when they are so clearly unsuited to it?????? And then the spin about Cunliffe ramped up. And I couldn’t see it myself, that he was the arrogant one who had these big leadership ambitions. He clearly should have been in line for the job. He had been in parliament well over 10 years, he’d been a successful minister and he had a perfect cv in terms of business, and mfat background. And a great debater and clearly very bright.

                BTW I thought it was a cheap shot when you brought up Cunliffe’s first day in the house as leader, when he said Caucus rather than Chorus (or at least that is what I think you are referring too). Perhaps he made this error as he was aware already what an uphill battle he would have.

    • leftie 2.2

      @Dont worry. Be happy


  3. Martinj 3

    Great post Ben. Affability , good principles and instincts are just what the Labour Party needs to unite and win the next election. Grant has them all.

  4. A Grant-backer here as well.

    Hopefully, he gets Jacinda as his deputy, a good team around him, iron out some policies kinks and Labour will be worth voting for again.

    • fisiani 4.1

      I reckon of all the four that Grant is clearly the best person to lead Labour. He is very eloquent and has a strong base in Wellington having massively increased his majority.

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.2

      Oh yeah, go Grant and Jacinda leading the Labour Party:

      “No economic credibility, no private sector experience, career politicians who have never employed people, grown a business or achieved a single thing in the hard nosed commercial world that Kiwis work hard to get ahead in every day. In fact, there’s no quicker way to frighten away major companies and foreign investors from investing and creating NZ jobs*”

      * CT opening gambit. Authorised for use AFTER a Grant/Jacinda win.

  5. Not a PS Shark Sashimi 5

    Darien Fenton? Wow.

    Darien Fenton and Michael Cullen in the same sentence? Too much!

  6. wekarawshark 6

    It’s a bit crowded in here with the neoliberal elephant.

    • boldsirbrian 6.1

      @ wekarawshark (6)

      I’ve said previously that I am currently backing Nanaia Mahuta, and I do not expect to change. My first preferences are however to Robertson. Two favoured candidates on supposedly different “factions”. I think that both have the better chances of uniting the Party. I’m looking for a candidate who will foster consensus and an inclusive type of politics, and are not autocratic: No hint of “My way or the highway”. The candidate who is best respected, and who will instil pride in the Party, and New Zealand.

      If there is an elephant, I consider it a very baby one. If a leader cannot easily cope with that “internal” elephant, of whatever size, what hope have they of coping with the larger coalition mammoth? And then presenting that unified team against the Key-Whaleoil coalition?

      I should add that I will easily be able to support whoever wins the leadership battle. Elections magnify “differences” that in reality are not as large as they seem.

      • swordfish 6.1.1

        “My first preferences are however to Robertson…….I think both (Mahuta and Robertson) have the better chances of uniting the Party. I’m looking for a candidate who will foster consensus and an inclusive type of politics, and are not autocratic: No hint of “My way or the highway”.”

        And yet on the Q + A Leadership panel Robertson was the only one of the four contenders to suggest that some people may need to be forced out of the Labour Party if they “step outside” of the agreed broad direction/policy platform of the Party.

        • boldsirbrian

          @ swordfish (6.1.1)

          Oh dear. Not what I would have expected.
          Perhaps my first preference will go to Parker.
          A week or two to go.

        • leftie


          Sounds dictatorial of Robertson to say doesn’t it, but it is more hypocritical given that he, Shearer and the self interested faction refused point blank to accept the democratic leadership of David Cunliffe.

      • wekarawshark 6.1.2

        “If a leader cannot easily cope with that “internal” elephant, of whatever size, what hope have they of coping with the larger coalition mammoth?”

        Precisely. Labour’s big problem isn’t who to make leader.

        Let’s say Gracinda wins. Now you have a leader who is supposedly left wing. What’s going to happen when he starts leading the party towards the left? You think the more right wing people in caucus are going to support that? If they attempt to stop it, what are the more left wing parts of the membership going to do?

        What mechanisms do you think exist for Robertson to exercise if the more right wing MPs don’t support him?

        • Ben Clark

          These ‘right-wing’ MPs may not be as much as you think. Phil Goff is meant to be chief amongst them, but his policy platform in 2011 was to the left of Cunliffe’s in 2014 (cf the back-scaling of some of Darien Fenton’s Work & Wages policy). Indeed Goff’s was the most left-wing policy platform since probably Kirk.

          As Keir says below, it’s time to stop obsessing about internal ‘enemies’ and unite and fight the external one.

          (And that advice needs to go first and foremost to caucus…)

          • phillip ure

            “.. Indeed Goff’s was the most left-wing policy platform since probably Kirk…”

            ..if that gobsmacker is true..(and i don’t think it is..)

            ..it cd not be a clearer indication of just how lost labour are..

            ..and for the length of time that this has indeed been the case…

            • DoublePlus Good

              Yeah exactly. We’ve had 30 years of Labour platforms that cannot honestly be described as left-wing; don’t even bother comparing them with Kirk as they will look pale and anaemic.

              • SDCLFC

                He didn’t compare with Kirk, he said since Kirk. The difference being that it’s comparing with Rowling, Lange, Moore, Clark, and Cunliffe.

    • Keir 6.2

      What neoliberal elephant? Grant Robertson isn’t neoliberal. He’s a mainstream social democrat who believes the state has a major role to play in housing, education, energy generation etc.

      Grant’s a likeable and pleasant ambassador for social democratic values. That doesn’t mean he isn’t deeply committed to them.

      [Edited to add: and, in large part because of Grant’s work on the Policy Council, we have a social democratic Policy Platform that commits the NZLP to major changes to the current neoliberal settlement. The NZLP needs to stop obsessing over the danger of internal neoliberalism and start thinking about how we defeat external neoliberalism.]

      • wekarawshark 6.2.1

        I didn’t call Roberton neoliberal. I just didn’t see any acknowledgement in the post of the neoliberal issue, nor how Robertson would deal with it.

        Labour does have a problem in that it doesn’t have any obvious natural leader, but that alone is surmountable. Labour’s real problems currently are the behaviour in caucus (unlikely to change IMO unless made to) and the philosophical/ideological divide within the party (as evidenced by your edit). It doesn’t really matter who the leader is if those things don’t get sorted.

        • Keir

          Realistically, we have had the ideological fight. It happened under Goff and was cemented in place under Shearer. We (the left of the party) won, as much as you can ever hope for winning in a reformist social democratic party. We got KiwiBuild, we got NZPower, we got a capital gains tax. We’re going to get major child poverty initiatives, we’re going to get serious action on climate change.

          The problem facing the party isn’t the “ideological divide” in the party. It’s winning the next damn election, and it’s making sure that we don’t let the cautious conservative parts of the party who want to take as small a programme as possible to the electorate with nothing nasty like taxes in it – Andrew Little being the foremost proponent of this strategy – take control and peel back the gains we’ve made within the party. I think Grant Robertson is the person who can best take the social democratic platform and manifesto we now have and turn it into a social democratic government.

          • SDCLFC

            What was it he said about Helen Clark’s government? A great opportunity missed or something to that effect? Taken to mean that she missed the opportunity to be truly social democrat government?

      • phillip ure 6.2.2

        @ keir..

        “.. we have a social democratic Policy Platform that commits the NZLP to major changes to the current neoliberal settlement. ..”

        ..fuck..!..yr/have been keeping that well-hidden..!..eh..?

        ..when is the big ‘reveal’..?

      • ankerawshark 6.2.3

        Interesting, more than any of the three other candidates GR sends his people onto this site to punt for him.

        With the other commenters on this site you tend to get a more rounded discussion.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          In the same vein, when a knife is required Grant Robertson send his people to use it for him. He makes very sure never to get blood on his own shirt.

  7. Dorothy 7

    It is time for a good woman and I have voted for Nanaia.

  8. Geo 8

    Saying D
    Fenton is a supporter is just the end of all your arguments.Fenton has done more damage to prospective candidates than I have had hot meals.Many have the hobnail boot marks down their backs from Darien.She and Grant are major ABCers and have been destructive towards the power of the party, the members.I once asked Grant if he would support Shearer for the whole 3 year term and his answer
    was he would support the leader of the Labour Party.A statement purely political .
    Grant,darian and others have robbed the members of their choice of leader.They have forced us into a leadership challenge at the worst possible time.

    • fenton gives us ex-junkies a bad name..

      ..we wd rather disown her…

    • Not a PS Shark Sashimi 8.2

      Fenton’s exit from the Caucus by Cunliffe was welcomed by the membership. Her behaviour at the Ellerslie Conference in 2012 was shocking: she berated members who were asking for a real say in the selection of leader and in the direction of labour. If anyone encompasses every niuance of “Careerist” it is Fenton. She was so far up Shearer that it was embarassing! She and Grant has much in common.
      You probably didn’t notice but Fenton was Transport spokesperson!
      It is a pity Cunliffe didn’t exit a few more along with Fenton.

      • phillip ure 8.2.1

        @ not ps..

        “..You probably didn’t notice but Fenton was Transport spokesperson!..”

        ..you are correct..i ‘didn’t notice’…

        ..and i’m betting you wd find very few people in this land..’noticed’..

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.2.2

        It is a pity Cunliffe didn’t exit a few more along with Fenton.

        He should have. But he had no mechanism or leverage to make it happen.

        BTW Neither does Grant. So Grant’s threats are BS and bluster.

  9. Clean_power 9

    I predict that in November Grant Robertson will become Labour Party leader. Just a hunch and a prediction on my part.

  10. swordfish 10

    Strengths of the four Contenders
    (albeit expressed in a quite outrageously trite and superficial manner)

    (1) Robertson = Fluency
    (2) Parker = Image
    (3) Mahuta = Heart
    (4) Little = Substance

    • Chooky 10.1

      +100…i am going for heart and substance

      • boldsirbrian 10.1.1

        @ swordfish and chooky (10 and 10.1)

        My guess is that almost everybody will pick “heart and substance” over “fluency and image”

        Our task is to work out which two, which may be different from swordfish’s Number 1 and 2.

        I think that the list cleverly damns with praise …. but I do accept that the decisions we all make are largely subjective.

    • lurgee 10.2

      (1) Robertson = Fluency (2) Parker = Image (3) Mahuta = Heart (4) Little = Substance

      You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?

      The key words you’ve selected show so much bias it could be a Herald editorial.

      Fluency = Good at mouthing sweet nothings, a slick seducer.
      Image = no substance. Empty. A hollow man.
      Heart = true & loyal & vital.
      Substance = Solid and reliable.

      Obviously, everyone is going to go for heart and substance. If we wanted fluency and image we’d be voting National or NZ First.

      • swordfish 10.2.1

        If you were a true Cockney, you would have said: “You’re avin’ a Larrrf, aint ya, Guv ????”.

    • SDCLFC 10.3

      How much of a concern is it for you that Little can’t make headway in New Plymouth. Not having a crack I’m interested in people’s view. To me it make it a non-starter because it will be too easy picking come 2017 but obviously not for some.

      • swordfish 10.3.1

        Doesn’t keep me awake at night.

        • SDCLFC

          Well I’m pleased.
          Happily it doesn’t for me either but I do think it’s a substantial anchor come 2017 both in terms of reaching across the electorate and whether he has what it takes to win an election.
          It’s not that he hasn’t won but that he’s fail to make a dent.
          We might’ve had a rubbish return in the party vote but we still had some good performances in electorates. Little wasn’t one of those.

      • Tracey 10.3.2

        if he hadbeen given a really safe seat, say the equivalent of hellensville, would that be a problem for you?

        • SDCLFC

          No because it would show that he can bank the votes that are available. There’s been no headway in New Plymouth.

  11. Agent orange 11

    Labour needs a real Labourer to lead the party. The last one was the Mighty Norm Kirk who by sheer brilliance took the whole country with him with his vision and charisma. “follow me” he said and we did because he had great ideas and knew where he was going. The present lot are saying “we will listen” ….what? How about making a stand and going for it. For too long Labour has been led by Chardonay Socialists who are saying nothing, just wanting to lead, but to where? Who wants a lawyer, career politian, and others who have never worked on the factory floor, worked in a coal mine, felled trees, swept floors or other menial job who seem to be saying “I know what is good for you” without having experienced what Labour is all about. Get back to basics and have a real Labour Man/ woman come through, are there any?

    • boldsirbrian 11.1

      . Agent Orange (11)

      Would get bogged down over the definition of “real”

      • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1

        The definition of a Real Labourer was made pretty damn clear. Clue: not a career pathway of being desk jockeys, pen pushers, paper shufflers, and smooth political doubletalk.

        • boldsirbrian

          @ Colonial Rawshark (11.1.1)

          You’ve confirmed it….Would get bogged down over the definition of “real”

        • lurgee

          So none of Robertson, Parker, Mahuta or Little, then?

          • boldsirbrian

            You’ve got it. But rules are flexible. Pick the one you like, refer to them mowing the lawns last month, (and crucially having a beer afterwards), and then you can bestow the words “left” and “real” on them. Sneer (Dirty John style) at the three others, and mutter “neo-liberal”. Totally meaningless, but it sounds like you have hidden knowledge.

    • Puddleglum 11.2

      A point worth making Agent Orange.

      It’s about what ‘representative’ means. Is it simply someone who speaks on behalf of someone else because they were elected by them? Or is it someone who is ‘representative’ of a certain social grouping’s experiences of life (in a survey sample way)?

      I was thinking the same thing about the post’s claims about Grant Robertson’s ‘likeability’ and ‘instincts’.

      If those words mean anything they refer to the kind of embodied, pre-rational inclinations, social skills and understandings that come from having grown up in particular circumstances.

      If Grant has ‘instincts’ they will therefore reflect and be a product of his background in some form or other. Similarly, if he has a ‘likeability’ it will be relevant mostly to the kinds of people he has spent most of his time around during his childhood, adolescence and early adulthood (that’s the context in which we all work out how to be ‘likeable’ – it’s quite a localised process crafted to our particular social group).

      I came from a very working class background and I can tell you that when it comes to understanding the experiences of those who suffer lives at the bottom end of society the most sympathetic and compassionate middle class people I have met have very impoverished notions of what it is like to live those lives.

      They will often say things and act in ways that I can only call ‘clangers’ from my perspective. No doubt they see such utterances and actions as ‘compassionate’ and of great value.

      But they don’t have buried in their brains the impact of seeing their fathers and mothers every day – and over the course of a lifetime – be crushed by working lives in ‘dark satanic mills’ or of themselves being shown in a myriad daily ways that they are simply economic fodder for others; they therefore don’t appreciate the coping behaviours, values and attitudes necessary to simply get through each day when you occupy that social stratum; they consequently propose ‘solutions’ based on their educated middle class experience of ‘what works’ (for them and the people they know).

      I can say this because I know that the reverse now applies to me. I move in very middle class circles and my instincts are (still) all wrong when it comes to operating in that world. I make ‘clangers’; I can’t play the particular game that is in the DNA of my peers – all those unquestioned assumptions about what is right and wrong, about what the aim of life is and how you should therefore act in the world.

      The very middle class ideas, for example, that ‘we are all the same’ (as opposed to the purely political idea that we are all equal) or that we are all ‘aspirational’ are a complete mystery to me.

      There’s nothing like growing up near the bottom of society to impress upon you that people – and groups of people – are very, very different and that the only ‘aspiration’ is to get by and have some kind of a life that works in a world not set up for you.

      Here’s an illustrative, although no doubt simplistic, contrast – the working class values ‘solidarity’ and ‘loyalty’; the middle class values ‘alliances’ and ‘networks’. Guess why there’s a difference?

      In the former the future is understood as the ‘common fate’ of the group; in the latter it is understood as a collection of individuals’ trajectories. Embodied collectivism versus embodied individualism.

      That’s reflective of very different ‘instincts’ about how to go on.

      In short, on all crucial matters I (still) see the world completely differently from my born and raised middle class friends. Because of that I would never claim to be able to ‘solve’ their particular problems or that I could ‘represent’ them. I couldn’t. Their interests aren’t in my blood – and they would deserve their representative to have their interests ‘at heart’.

      Grant’s ‘instincts’ may be social democratic in an abstract, student politician sort of way but do they arise from the same grounding as my ‘instincts’?

      Does it matter? I think it does.

      I may be well out of date but I would have thought that the leader of a Labour Party, optimally, would have had at least some lived experience of what it is like not to be part of the educated middle class.

      And I know, Helen Clark was educated middle class to the core.

      It’s hard to rewrite history but I often wonder that, if she’d have had more experience of life in the lower deciles, maybe a fourth term would not have eluded her – especially given that John Key, the boy from the state house, was her competition.

      • Tracey 11.2.1

        thanks for taking the time to share your perspective…

        the middle class, imo, fits two cateorgies of formerly lower income

        1. those who having made it to middle class cary an anger and resentment toward the current lower income in part cos “they” are taking “my” hard earned money making it harder for me to reach the mountain top (the 1%)

        2. those who having made it to middle class feel lucky and fortunate and want better opportunities and lives for those still trapped there

        with increased wealth comes time. some use that time to speak up for those too knackered and focused on staying a smidge above the breadline to cry “help i am drowning” to those around them.

        there is a place for such middle class peolle in a labour movement and as representatives. the problem arises when they see their personal position as representer as more important than who they are representing.

      • swordfish 11.2.2

        Brilliant comment, Puddleglum. And one I can relate to (as a former State House lad).

        Here’s a relevant 2013 comment from Owen Jones (BBC Question Time):

        “There’s a huge disconnect with politics and ordinary people in this Country. I think that’s partly because politics is increasingly being treated not as duty, not as a service, but as a profession where you increasingly get politicians who’ve never had a job outside the Westminster Bubble. Where you get a situation where, if you look at the background of MPs, they’re increasingly not drawn from a working class background…….Over two-thirds of MPs are now from professional, middle class backgrounds. I think this has a consequence because it means MPs can’t relate to people and their everyday issues……

        …….I interviewed Hazel Blears (Minister in Blair/Brown Governments) before the last Election and I said ‘Hazel, 5 million people stuck on social housing waiting lists in this Country. Why didn’t Labour do anything about it ?’ She said, to her credit very candidly, ‘There just wasn’t anyone in Government who was very interested in housing’.

        But if you had people who had been stuck on a social housing waiting list or someone in their community or in their family and you got those people into Parliament – those issues would be far more…….” (at this point, David Bloody Dimbleby interrupts, so we never quite get to hear the end of the sentence).

        • karol

          Then there’s Metiria Turei.

        • SDCLFC

          Recall watching Billy Bragg (on 10 O’Clock Live – really a comedy show), discussing the Etonian nature of Westminster and that it needed to be representative. Sub-topic to this was opposition to the pastie tax. Obvious conclusion for me was that if Westminster was less public school then they would’ve understood why the public loved their pasties so much.

  12. Karen 12

    I agree that affability and instincts are Grant’s main attributes, but I am not sure that this makes him the best leader.

    I have never met Grant, but he certainly has a very vocal fan club of people who have met and/or worked with him who think he is warm, friendly and very likeable. He is also clearly intelligent and has good political instincts. He speaks well.

    Grant has buckets of self belief, as shown by his overriding ambition to become the leader in spite of his limited experience both inside and outside parliament. And this is what worries me about him. He wants it badly, too badly I think.

    He was obviously planning for this leadership campaign before the election and his behaviour in the immediate aftermath was disappointing, although not as bad as Shearer. He has taken no personal responsibility for the election loss, instead putting all the blame on Cunliffe..

    His promotion of Jacinda as running mate seems disingenuous. She is there to make him seem more attractive, but he knows the deputy is the choice of caucus. Are they really going to vote for someone just as inexperienced as Grant?

  13. Tracey 13

    “where want nz to go”

    exactly where is that ben/grant?

    where does grant think nz wants to go!?

    • Tracey 13.1

      “where we want it to go”

      does he mean caucus? or some of caucus? or members? or something else?

      • Ben Clark 13.1.1

        By ‘where we want Aotearoa to go’ I mean lefties, talking to my Standard audience… (I certainly don’t mean caucus, as I’m not a member of caucus, so ‘we’ wouldn’t make grammatical sense)

        If you want to know where Grant thinks NZ wants to go, read the policy platform, he had quite a hand in it…

        • Tracey

          wont help me. i even read thevision and then watched as greens were side lined and nzf courted… i have no ideawho the lp party stands for and it seems many close to labounr find it hard to articulate it.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Yet Ben says we have FOUR great LEFTIE leadership candidates. I can count about one and a quarter.

            BTW the disintegration of Scottish Labour is interesting.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          If you want to know where Grant thinks NZ wants to go, read the policy platform, he had quite a hand in it…

          Yet I haven’t heard Grant accept his share of the blame for the massive election defeat in 2011, and then again in 2014 (including the dismal party vote in his own electorate) even once .

          Why is that.

          Is it because Grant is the kind of politician who always likes to be proximal to good news, while ensuring that bad news is always owned by someone else?

  14. Dont worry. Be happy 14

    In the abscence of any kind of answer Ben, I will just go with “Yes.”

    Yes, Grant Robertson belonged to/led/encouraged/worked for the Anyone But Cunliffe gang.

    If the strategy of the ABC gang was “lose the election but gain Grant Robertson as Leader” then the backers of such a strategy and anyone who might benefit, need a good swift kick.

    • Ben Clark 14.1

      I have answered and I don’t think anyone was aiming to lost the election – they all want to be in power, opposition’s no fun…

      And I certainly don’t think he led the ABCs even if that existed in anything like the concrete form Paddy Gower likes to think. Shearer and Goff would be much more keen on that role…

      • leftie 14.1.1

        @Ben Clark

        A lot of people say that Robertson is the leader of the ABC’s.

      • phillip ure 14.1.2

        @ ben clark’..

        “.. Shearer and Goff would be much more keen on that role…”

        ..but didn’t you say before this faction didn’t even really exist..?

        ..was a media imagination-figment..?

      • ankerawshark 14.1.3


        Your comments on this Ben Clark and Keir? Was it good instincts to say one week after the election “I could have won:”

        See the thing is I don’t believe that this (“I could have won”) occurred to Grant in the days after the election. My best bet is that he was thinking that all along since the last leadership campaign. If I am right about that, then I think the comments about the caucus not backing Cunliffe, which is what NM said in an article with Claire Trevitt are spot on and that the apply to GR.

        So those of us who voted and supported Cunliffe aren’t too thrilled about your boy Grant and being told “we must all unify”. Although I agree with it, is somewhat hard to stomach, when the calls to do this are coming from Grant’s camp, after Grant makes this sort of comment.

        BTW Cunliffe was often accused of being arrogant, although I saw little if any evidence for this and in my opinion an arrogant or narcissistic person doesn’t apologize at all, let alone reasonably frequently, as Cunliffe seemed to do. But in my opinion Grant has demonstrated in the above article by his own comments just how flamming arrogant he is.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Cunliffe is a good man, but also has room to improve in terms of leadership and management style. (Who doesn’t).

          Grant is a highly capable operator, but has been a central player behind every one of Labour’s recent leadership changes. He wants the iron throne.

        • Anne

          Cunliffe was often accused of being arrogant, although I saw little if any evidence for this and in my opinion an arrogant or narcissistic person doesn’t apologize at all, let alone reasonably frequently, as Cunliffe seemed to do.

          It was interesting to note that during the blitzkrieg on Cunliffe by the [former] ABCers after the election, I never saw or read one single negative utterance about them by Cunliffe. So, if the arrogant or narcissistic shoes fit, then it is the [former] ABCers who need to wear them?

    • leftie 14.2

      @Dont worry. Be happy

      Totally agree with your post.

    • ankerawshark 14.3

      Don’t worry be happy 100 + @ 14

  15. Sable 15

    The TPPA is looming over the horizon and all that matters is which idiot is next going to head the Chardonnay and Camembert party. Or National 2.0 as I like to call them.

  16. Tracey 16

    if the leaking stops under the new leader does that mean the new leader has successfully controlled caucus or the leakers got their man in

  17. Ron 17

    Maybe it’s time that we take a leaf out Australian leadership battle. All those that don’t support the leader should get the fuck out of the party.

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.1

      How about the UK Labour Party? Get so out of touch with a large number of your supporters that your provincial leader leaves while firing broadsides and your support in the province collapses and goes to the left wing SNP.

  18. leftie 18

    Robertson is ranked last at number 4 on my list.

  19. Ron 19

    What happens if you only vote for two or three candidates?

    • Jenny Kirk 19.1

      Your vote gets discounted. You HAVE to vote for all four candidates. In the order that you would like to see them – first the Leader, second, etc .

      • Just to add: if you vote electronically (if the Party has a valid email address for you you pretty much have to as they won’t send out paper ballots) you can’t submit your vote until you’ve ranked all four candidates.

        This is pretty good practice because it means your vote won’t be spoiled! But if you’re voting on paper, like Jenny said, you have to number all 4 candidates. I’ve heard anecdotally that a number of paper ballots were spoiled last time because of this.

  20. Jenny Kirk 20

    What Labour needs, and what I would like to see happen, is to have a Leader (and deputy) who is able to turn the caucus around so that all members work together for the good of the Party (not themselves) and for the good of the people we purport to represent. I don’t think Grant has that capability, nor the experience outside of the political workforce, to do that. I prefer someone like Andrew Little who has had real experience in working with a dysfunctional workforce and turning it around. That is the type of experience we need in the Labour caucus.

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.1

      Hi Jenny, there are a number of MPs in caucus who are poor followers to the core and utterly unmanageable careerists. I expect Little to be utterly stuffed as Leader not because he isn’t a good man for the job, but because Ghandi himself couldn’t lead this lot.

    • i have come to the conclusion little is the least odious of a very smelly bunch…

      ..and that all the others have tried and failed..(in ministerial/opp-spoksperson roles)..

      ..so we already know what they can’t do..

      ..whereas little is an unknown quantity..

      ..and i guess taking that chance is better going for what you know won’t work..

      ..so..even if only for that (valid) reason..

      ..little wd seem to be the best/only choice..

  21. Dont worry. Be happy 22

    So the ABCs didnt exist eh? You are are a little pathetic Ben. Memory is fleeting but not quite that fleeting. Sadly for your man Robertson lacked the quality we in Labour value highly….solidarity.

    • leftie 22.1

      @Dont worry. Be happy

    • SDCLFC 22.2

      The funny thing about your name is I recall in 1989 a Radio piece where they adopted popular songs to represent different people in the Labour Government re their crisis. Can’t recall who Don’t Worry, Be Happy was…might’ve been Geoffrey Palmer. Not meant to be a dig, I just keep stumbling over it each time I see it. 🙂

  22. Sirenia 23

    What a hate-fest on Grant. So unfair, cruel and based on malicious rumour and falsehoods. Do some self reflection guys. Would your poisonous words and spite against someone with solid Labour values and principles and considerable personal skills, really inspire anyone outside the party to vote for Labour again? Where is the solidarity you accuse others of lacking? Would any of you have the courage to put your name forward to lead the party?

    [lprent: If you want to whine about someone – point to specific comment(s).

    Otherwise all general comments about stuff on this site refer to me (see the policy). There is a reason for that policy, it is to stamp out idiots like yourself who try to smear the large number of people who comment here with quite differing and disagreeing opinions by creating a generalising strawman interpretation.

    BTW: As you are probably aware, I’m the kind of sysop who really doesn’t take kindly to being told I am smearing someone with “poisonous words and spite”. I’m more the type of person who expresses *my* opinions with all of the subtlety of a brutal kick in the genitals as I express why I hold these views. They may not be right, but you have to argue against what I said, not some fictional straw man interpretation you care to place upon it or on the site.

    This is your only warning. Don’t ever try that troll tactic again, or you will lose the right to comment for quite some time.

    And in answer to your last point. I find politicians I care to support, then I support them. As far as I am concerned they are there so I don’t have to do the boring task. ]

    • wekarawshark 23.1

      Instead of broadly slandering everyone in this conversation, perhaps you could point to the specific comments that you feel are cruel, and those that are based on malicious rumour?

  23. Bill 24

    When Penfold covets the role of Dangermouse…

  24. Anne 25

    Sirenia. I think you are being quite disingenuous.

    Yes, there will be some who go too far with their criticisms of others on sites like this – or anywhere for that matter. That is always going to happen where people have differences of opinion. Its easy enough to ignore them by scrolling over the top. On the other hand, others have made legitimate and valid criticisms based on factual evidence – Olwyn @ 2.1.1 and Puddleglum @11.2 are two good examples. I suggest you go back and read them.

    It would be wise if you opened your eyes wider… and showed a little more discernment when making comments such as the above.

  25. les 26

    Grants got alot going for him…except his sexuality counts him out as a possible P.M…that will be the reality.Has a western,english speaking nation ever had a self confessed homosexual P.M?

  26. ankerawshark 27

    Sireina………………..not a hate -fest on Grant R

    Here once again are some points to things GR said that I believed undermined DC.

    DC going on Campbell live re his “mansion” GR makes some comment about living in an ordinary house.

    DC’s trust being disclosed after the leadership campaign GR “I only got $500.00 donated”.

    GR after the election “I could have won” see the link I posted about. This is all behaviour GR has done that is undermining. And we are not even talking about the rumour and speculation here!

    I was open to putting GR as my number two, because as someone else posted he is fluent, but having read comments here and gone back and researched, he has now gone to 3, which Parker in 4.

  27. Chooky 28

    Grant is not a Glenn Greenwald!….lets face it!….there is more going against Grant than his sexuality…as people have stating again and again

    • Colonial Rawshark 29.1

      Again. *Yawn*. None of the ABCs can count. And most have no feel for the mood of the membership. OK perhaps maybe Grant has a chance of squeezing in. On 3rd preferences.

  28. honey_T 30

    I wouldn’t be gutted if Grant gets the leadership, but my first preference is going to Parker. And this has actually surprised me, myself! I didn’t go into the hustings thinking I would feel that way. But after hearing him and the others speak at both Masterton and Wellington (we were lucky and got a special extra meeting) that is the decision that seems to be cementing in.

    Grant has a slick campaign, cheer squad and glossy flyers. Is personable and a good speaker, certainly passionate for labour values (as they all are!) … However didn’t find him to have much substance. I mean is he really saying anything other than quips an add buzz-words? Will he fall into the trap of trying to beat Key at his own game, and sink to that level?

    Whereas Parker offers a point of difference … Maturity! He’s not going to even engage in that game. He’s above it. He’s brought the LP back to a place of fiscal credibility. I really liked what he said about the list selection process and the long-standing hurts it’s creating and how that needs looking at. He wiped the floor with English on the Nation.

    He’s moderate and mature, but also quite metro and modern. I think he can appeal to middle NZ to bring those votes back that have gone to National. He’s actually a cool guy and arguably the most attractive out of the contenders, if that counts for anything lol

    My 2 cents.

  29. ankerawshark 31

    Thanks Honey T. Yes GR’s pledge card!

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  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    17 hours ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.

    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Women in Space.

    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13

    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

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

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

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

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

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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions

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