Imperator Fish: Winning in 2014: a prescription for Labour

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 pm, June 10th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: humour, parody, Satire - Tags:

Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish is well known for his inciteful insightful analysis of many issues. However he has really really outdone himself in this repost of his original work. With its clarion call for rioting clarity it will bring war unity to all parts of the political spectrum outside of Labour advising them on their strategy. Who can wait to read the few lines of commentary by David Farrar giving the 9th floor position as he quotes this post. Indeed!


Labour should be prepared to do a deal with Hone Harawira (pictured above), but any sort of deal with the Mana-Internet Party would be electoral suicide for Labour.


As a Labour Party member I get so frustrated at the constant negativity about my party. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what the party ought to be doing, and barely a day goes by without some blogger on The Standard, The Daily Blog, or Pundit, opining stridently about the strategic errors Labour is making.  It seems as if all is in turmoil, as those within the party and on its fringes debate the direction Labour should take.

But if the various factions would only stop denouncing each other for a moment, they would see that it’s bloody obvious what Labour needs to do to win the 2014 election. It doesn’t take a genius to work any of this out.

And yet it seems as if every day someone new is giving the party advice on what it should do, which demographic it should target, and which policies it should adopt. Honestly, reading the blogs these days usually leaves me with a headache.

It’s not rocket surgery, guys! Just get it together, will you?

It’s startlingly obvious. All Labour needs to do to win is move to the left and capture the support of all those disaffected voters fed up with our failed neoliberal experiment, while staying firmly in the centre where all the middle class votes are. Labour has been failing precisely because it has struggled to work out what it is about, and what it stands for, but it needs to stand up for the working classes and the poor, while remaining a party predominantly for middle New Zealand.

Hundreds of thousands of young people did not vote for Labour last time, because they could not see any point. Most of these young people are uninspired by Labour, because it offers them nothing new. In their minds, Labour is largely indistinguishable from National. Labour must therefore position itself as offering something quite different to National.

There are also hundreds of thousands of middle class voters who went with National instead of Labour last time, so if Labour wants to win these voters back it must look to steal some of the territory currently occupied by the Nats. These people want a steady reliable government focused on fiscal prudence. They’re largely happy with the way things are.

Labour is a broad church, and it cannot hope to win power without carrying the majority of the voting public with it. That means policies that address genuine middle class concerns. But Labour is also a party for the workers and the poor, and was born from the union movement. At its heart must be a concern for the welfare of workers and those struggling, even if this has to be at the expense of the middle class.

Labour also has an image problem, but that can be fixed easily enough. Many voters are frightened off by the perception that Labour is a party run by gays, feminists and minority groups. The party has driven off good blokes like John Tamihere and now Shane Jones, blokes who offer a different perspective and can communicate with working class males in a way that the current party leader cannot. Many voters are also frightened off by the perception that Labour is still a party struggling with its attitudes towards gays, feminists and minority groups, as evidenced by the Neanderthal attitudes of past and current caucus members, like John Tamihere and more recently Shane Jones. Labour needs to embrace all perspectives, while driving utterly from the party anyone who happens to have the wrong opinions.

Labour needs to end its obsession with identity politics, while remaining a fearless and unashamed champion of the rights of women and other traditionally oppressed groups in our society.

The policies that Labour adopts will ultimately determine whether it wins this election. David Cunliffe needs to be brave and adopt bold policies that get this country up and running again. But he can’t afford to scare the centrist vote by doing anything drastic. Indeed, although we need firm and decisive action to right this sinking ship, the economy is on the mend and there really is no need for a radical change of direction. We need to accept that our free market economy has failed ordinary New Zealanders utterly and completely and needs to be abandoned, while accepting that our free market economy is here to stay. Labour should focus on policies that moderate the worst aspects of the free market but otherwise allow businesses to prosper, while at the same time returning to an economy heavily controlled by the government.

People will respond to a leader who offers a bold and clear vision of the path ahead, so long as they realise that big government isn’t the cure for all ills. People have to take responsibility for themselves, because the world doesn’t owe them a living, and they should also expect the government to care for them when they fall upon hard times or are disadvantaged. The role of Labour leader is to promote policies that allow the government to take an active role in society, while accepting that people don’t necessarily want more government in their lives.

The world has changed, and we simply can’t afford as a nation to try and return to some golden age when health and education were free for everyone. But the world is changing, and people are finally realising that the only reason we can’t all have free health and education is because the elites who run this country don’t want to pay more tax.

Labour must promise to be fiscally prudent, so as not to alarm the markets, and so as to encourage people worried about government spending to vote for them. That doesn’t mean, however, that Labour should focus too much on controlling government spending. An increase in government spending will provide a much needed stimulus to the economy, so long as it is done in a way that doesn’t increase government expenditure. Government debt is an ongoing problem and has to be kept under control, regardless of who is in power, but this country has quite low levels of government debt and we can afford to loosen the purse strings considerably.

In the end the difference between victory and defeat may come down to a few percentage points on the night. It may also come down to the results in a few electorates. Labour should be prepared to do deals with other parties on the left in key electorates, such as Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau. But people just don’t like Hone Harawira, and any sort of deal with the Mana-Internet Party would be electoral suicide for Labour. Labour needs to campaign on its own values and just refuse outright to do any sleazy deals, while being smart and strategic in the messages it sends to voters in key electorates like Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau.

Only by shifting left while remaining firmly in the centre, and breaking from the past while adopting a steady-as-she-goes approach, will Labour win back all those voters who abandoned it because the party was too radical or not radical enough.

But it’s all so obvious that I’m surprised I even have to tell you this.

38 comments on “Imperator Fish: Winning in 2014: a prescription for Labour ”

  1. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1

    LOL!
    Now that really is insightful.
    😆

  2. Mike the Savage One 2

    I have been waiting for exactly this!

    Yep, promise everything and (deliver) nothing, and all will be well, the people are used to it anyway. Nothing to worry, this is great advice, very “insightful”, so deep, I cannot see the bottom of the well.

    Great stuff, we now only need to print the leaflets and banners.

  3. anker 3

    Brilliant. I was trying to write something on open mike that conveyed this. SY has done this for me!

    I have been thinking a lot lately, that Labour gets criticized every which way, by almost everyone, included on this site. Including being told they are the one’s sabotaging a win this election. This came after many of this site criticized the deal between Mana and IP (prior to we knew about Ms Harre) and supported Sue Bradford for walking away from Mana if an agreement happened.

    • Tracey 3.1

      i guess the thing is many of us now voting green or looking to mana, ip etc were probably labour voters once. So, you have a point. Maybe we all need to stop pining for labour to become again what it used to be. For me it is its apparent snubbing of some of its obvious partners that is a little difficult to stomach, but that could be it aiming for the middle class vote 😉

      • lprent 3.1.1

        Labour as a party really doesn’t make much accommodation at the voting level.

        Some of its candidates and volunteers have been known to. I always used to plan campaigns to roust out the green supporters for instance. From memory Stuart Nash as candidate made a statement in Epsom in 2005 when he saw that he didn’t have the numbers to defeat Rodney Hide (who ran a frigging good campaign).

        And very late in the campaigns, usually days out from the election, you’d sometimes get Labour leaders pointing out the obvious electoral logic for a particular seat when asked. This is usually after a poll in that seat showing Labour well behind and in 3rd place. Coromandel in 1999 being the clearest example.

        Seats are far too important as a centre for organisation to give up. Parties have to hold them against Labour or to take them off Labour. I’d also point out that it is damn good for the other party as well. Look at the remanent results of making deals with National. The husks of mostly dead parties.

        But generally you’ll find the pre-election accommodations are rare.

        Labour will usually make their accommodations at the parliamentary level after the voters have made their choices. As it stands, they have excellent past working relationships in government with the Greens, NZ First, Peter Dunne, and the current head of the IMP.

        The obvious exception was the purported MOU with the Alliance in 1999. It was apparently a response to Winston working with National after the 1996 election because the Alliance and Labour were having problems with their post-election coalition and/or support agreement.

        The trick always is going to be for any party in an MMP environment to win enough places at the table to get a place in the formation of a government. Everything else is dangerous for both parties. Just look at what happens to parties that depend on deals with National.

        Roust out your own vote should be what every political party does.

  4. Tracey 4

    Very clever, and amidst the satire a big grain of truth… Labour doesnt know who it is trying to represent and many others dont know either. Be something. Anything.

  5. Chooky 5

    ” But people just don’t like Hone Harawira, and any sort of deal with the Mana-Internet Party would be electoral suicide for Labour. Labour needs to campaign on its own values and just refuse outright to do any sleazy deals, while being smart and strategic in the messages it sends to voters in key electorates like Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau.”

    WHAT A LOAD OF BULLSHIT!…Labour needs to be forging links with Mana /Internet

    “Only by shifting left while remaining firmly in the centre, and breaking from the past while adopting a steady-as-she-goes approach, will Labour win back all those voters who abandoned it because the party was too radical or not radical enough.”

    IS THIS FOR REAL?!…How can you shift left and at the same time stay in the centre?

    This is a joke piece right?…imo not helpful because it is confusing to the naive and unsophisticated (like me)

    For Labour, my prescription under Cunliffe is ….as my Father used to say when out at sea with his diesel motor …. “Steady as she goes”

    BTW…David Cunliffe has been sounding exceptionally good on radio lately ( i dont watch tv much …but I hear the same on tv)…also John Key is looking increasingly flustered and fat around the gills in the newspapers

    • Tracey 5.1

      ” This is a joke piece right?”

      Right.

    • Tracey 5.2

      ” This is a joke piece right?”

      Right.

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      the humour parady and satire tags give it away…

      • ianmac 5.3.1

        Too right satire. Obviously satire but it does illustrate the problem in having a democratic party system. Everyone believes that their opinion matters. Good? Bad too because the variables become grounds for debate and dispute.
        The answer this far down the Election track is to support the leadership. David and Russel are doing a great job so as far as I am concerned, so no quibbling over detail. Just a collective “Hear, Hear!”
        (Unless you are a Right Wing Mole intent on sowing seeds of disharmony!)

    • Treetop 5.4

      I am not a fan of coat tailing and it has to go. Dealing with reality is necessary for Labour to coat tail in Harawira’s electorate and Sykes electorate. The minority party with the most electorate seats is going to be the Mana Internet Party.

      Key is in no hurry to do a deal with the Maori Party because I do not think they will win an electorate seat. Key has not embraced the Maori Party, now that Banks is gone.

      I hear Cunliffe’s principles over coat tailing. I also hear him not being prepared to prop up the Mana Internet Party in at least two electorates. Labour candidates will get the party vote in most of the Maori electorate seats, (except for Harawira and Sykes seat) because there is a long history with Labour compared to the Mana Internet Party.

      There is a dilemma here for Cunliffe and he has to swallow a couple of dead rats (which are in the rules). Key got into government by swallowing two dead rats.

      There is a definite trend that swallowing two dead rats is required to win an election.

      Labour need to thrash housing and to grab the center vote by saying they will build 5,000 mixed and single dwellings to accommodate those on NZ Super and benefits. Labour need to make clear statements for the build e.g.

      The 50% who cannot afford to service a mortgage.
      We will house the elderly who cannot afford to live on the NZ Super.
      A healthy home is vital for all children so they can concentrate better at school.
      An insulated double glazed home saves power so people can eat better.

      I do not think that there are many landlords who are center voters either.

      • Shrubbery 5.4.1

        We have to deal with the reality that electorate seats are still FPP rather than preferential voting, and also that there is a high threshold for parties to get list seats without an electorate. This system means that parties with substantial support can miss out on electorates and their votes are undemocratically wasted. The coat-tailing clause allows the election to be more democratic than otherwise, as at least parties winning an electorate get to have their party vote count.

        The electorate system also encourages two candidate races. When the left splits its vote between two candidates, it can lose a strongly left leaning seat to a right leaning candidate, as in Waiariki last election. Similarly, voting for Green in Ohariu stopped the Labour candidate beating Peter Dunne, but if the green votes had all gone to Labour, a left wing candidate would have won a significantly right leaning seat.
        Shenanigans involving cups of tea will continue until the election system is fixed to remove the threshold and to allow PV in electorates – don’t blame National for using it better than Labour. Blame them instead for refusing to fix it. It would be nice if the left made them pay the consequences for not fixing it.

        Until such time as there is preferential voting in electorates, the parties of the left have to work together in electorates and where the are multiple left candidates likely to get votes in key electorates, pick one to be the focus of the campaign. Kelvin Davis shooting his mouth off in Te Tai Tokerau helps no-one, and the left should also be looking to get Annette Sykes in in Waiariki.

        • Tracey 5.4.1.1

          is it wrong that whenever i see your handle i think of monty pythons holy grail

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4.1.2

          The minor left wing parties only get to have Labour/Green approved candidates?

          I think you’re ignoring the power of cynicism.

  6. Jenny 6

    I.F. is conflicted. IF Labour go Right they are criticised if Labour go Left they are criticised, if Labour throw Epsom and Te Tai Tokerau they are criticised, if they don’t they are criticised.

    If Labour drive out intolerant anti-environmental misogynists like Shane Jones and John Tamahere, Labour are critised, if they embrace these self styled champions of ‘masculinist culture’ Labour are criticised.

    Like all good art, this satire piece holds a mirror up to the reality, accurately describing the bind that Labour are in.

    The way out of this bind is obvious. For good or ill, a clear direction is needed. A clearly defined separation between the Nats and Labour, or between the Greens, Mana/IP and Labour.

    Are Labour part of the Centre Left/Right, or are Labour part of the wider Left.

    If Labour are part of the centre that is what they will be, a part of the centre, if they throw in with the Left they will be biggest and leading part of the Left.

    Party of the Centre or Party of the Left.

    Those who support Labour remaining a Centrist Party argue that if Labour move more Left they will become unelectable, even if this is true, the question remaining is this; Is it better to vote for something we want, and not get it. Or, vote for something we don’t want, and get it. Faced with this mind and spirit numbing conundrum is the reason I feel that many don’t vote.

    What is needed is something to inspire them.

    As the ancients said; “Man does not live by bread alone”.

    What is needed is somehting to inspire us all.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Of course the “move to the left” is a National warning to undecided voters. But it doesn’t have any meaning at all.
      So let us avoid debating the Left/Right and go for “it is in the interests of all New Zealanders who want a fair and equal society.”

      • greywarbler 6.1.1

        Jenny pops the question?
        Labour – Party of the Centre or Party of the Left?

        Let’s hear the answer. We are on our knees, will you be ours Labour or the inconstant companion thinking to dilly-dally between us and the flashy flirt in the up-market apartment on the hill?

        This is the song for now.
        No I don’t believe in ‘if’ any more
        It’s an illusion
        ‘If’ is for children, building day dreams.>/i>
        Roger Whittaker

        Time for commitment, constancy, and depth of passion to the people.

        If I knew then what I know now
        (I thought I did you know somehow)
        If I could have the time again
        I’d take the sunshine leave the rain
        If only time would trickle slow
        Like rain that melts the fallen snow
        If only Lord if only

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Let’s hear the answer. We are on our knees, will you be ours Labour or the inconstant companion thinking to dilly-dally between us and the flashy flirt in the up-market apartment on the hill?

          A centrist, pro-capitalist party with left leaning historical roots.

    • Tom Gould 6.2

      Labour has been successful in winning elections in the recent past, in the modern era, only when it has a leader the public warm to and like. Kirk was one. Lange was one. Clark was one. Sadly, for the left and the centre left, Key now occupies that space. And there is pretty much nothing that can be done about it. Until he gets tired of the gig, and until the left can organise themselves a leader the public can warm to and like. And moreover that the media like and can follow.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Winning in NZ politics has rarely been about superficial likeability Tom. Instead, it is about smarts, gutsiness, and an ability to make political values very real in every day life.

        The Labour Party wins when it stands for what it believes in. The electorate always punishes Labour harder when it appears to be less than sincere in it’s aim of advocating for the bottom 80% of NZ society.

        The majority of this group earn less than $35K pa. They are in households with a total household income of around $60K pa or less.

        When the Right (in National and in Labour) talk about middle class votes they are always talking about the top 20% in this country, typically those earning say salaries of say $75K pa or more.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        Given the chance, I believe the public will warm to Cunliffe. He has an endearing side to his nature that the public has yet to see. If the membership had been listened to, he would have become the leader two and half years ago and the public would know by now he was a leader in waiting.

    • Tracey 6.3

      the only people i saw sad to see jones and tamihere go were from tge right

  7. Jenny 7

    <So let us avoid debating the Left/Right and go for “it is in the interests of all New Zealanders who want a fair and equal society.”
    ianmac

    Ian, before we shut down the debate could, you be a weeny bit more specific about, what you think is “.. is in the interests of all New Zealanders want a fair and equal society”?

    • ianmac 7.1

      Jenny. What I believe is that it is a bit late to debate what is a fair and equal society. The Election is so close so I will applaud and defend the official announcements of David and Russell. The finer debate about fairness and equality starts again in October.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        Yes, let’s us all keep the politics out of politics, for those not ideologically partizan, or interested in politics that should make the elections a really gripping contest, Not.

        Aren’t elections supposed to be the forums contending parties debate issues like fairness and equality?

        Hmm, I think I see the problem….

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.1

          There are a lot of things that we could be discussing in the run up to the elections.
          1. Whether we should be eating meat.
          2. Ditto sugar.
          3. Legalising cannabis.
          4. Tightening up on alcohol.
          5. Getting another constitution.
          6. Whether we should even try for a constitution at the risk of a plague of giant borer beetles arising to eat away at the fractured one we have.
          7. Christchurch
          8. Auckland
          9. Roads of notional significance, or decent rail.
          10. Getting anything made in NZ instead of going for cheap overseas.
          11. to 111. I won’t go on. My point is that we have to narrow down our dissent and get concentrated on the goal. Ianmac is right as so often.

          And Jenny you can enjoy yourself disagreeing and bringing up this and that point – you can win your argument but I think most of us now want to win the war. And the battle is on for retaining what’s left of our country and hope for a return to better lives.

          We won’t get that through National even though they trumpet themselves as being centrist, with a socially responsible leaning. Labour isn’t all that we want, but it’s more than National so we need to keep our eyes on the goal of getting them in whether they are perfect or not. It’s quite clear to me, and I believe that is what Ianmac and a significant number here think.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    The worrying aspect of where we sit today is many of the debates raised in IF’s satire are not too far from the truth.

    Here we are, weeks away from the election and still “everyone seems to have an opinion about what the party ought to be doing”.

    That debate is well and truly over for every other party contesting this election. From Mana to ACT, they are all going in with a consistent message which their respective activists are screaming in tune with each other.

    You only have to look at the recent immigration cluster fuck to see how confused the Labour message is this close to the election.

  9. greywarbler 9

    Farrar’s 9th floor position. Is that a yoga posture? Somehow the mind slips to Yogi
    and then Jabba the Hutt. Likeness?

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    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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    3 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    6 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    7 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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