Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, September 21st, 2017 - 179 comments
Categories: accountability, labour, national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , , ,

For the second time this week Patrick Gower calls National on their campaign of lies:

Patrick Gower: National playing ‘post-truth politics’

The National Party is deliberately spreading misinformation that Labour is raising income tax – when it’s not.

Bill English is sticking by the claim, when asked on Wednesday if he could say hand on heart that Labour will raise income taxes he replied: “From 1 April next year.” But a fact check shows this is not true. If National wins, tax are cuts planned for April 1 next year. If Labour wins, it will cancel the tax cuts – but it will not raise taxes.

Jacinda Ardern is calling it out. “People want to hear a debate on the issues and that means the issues as they stand, not fake news,” she said.

This is what’s called ‘post truth politics’, where deliberate lies and falsehoods reign supreme.

And now, with Steven Joyce’s false claim of a $11.7 billion hole, and false claims about income tax rises – post-truth politics is here.

The truth is – for Bill English – the truth on tax doesn’t matter anymore.


Patrick Gower: National guilty of biggest campaign lie

My verdict is in: National is guilty of the biggest campaign lie. It has been deliberately spreading misinformation that “Labour is raising income tax”. This is not true.

I think this is a worse piece of misinformation than Steven Joyce’s fiscal hole.

This is all part of National’s scare tactics.

The real problem is that bald lies seem to be working for the Nats – at the very least they are not being punished for it as they should. Should the political left fight fire with fire and get down in the gutter too? Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

179 comments on “Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?”

  1. So disgusting it makes my skin crawl. How the gnats and bill english can look themselves in the mirror without puking I’ll never know – they have zero morals and any semblance of honour is a foul joke – the real enemy is shown and known – liars who would sell everything and anything to get their dirty paws on power to enrich themselves and their mates. This shit has to end – and it will.

    • Hanswurst 1.1

      How the gnats and bill english can look themselves in the mirror without puking I’ll never know

      How do you know they can? Have you ever actually seen one of them looking at themself in a mirror?

      • marty mars 1.1.1

        there is no reflection for them

      • Johan 1.1.2

        Number one Gnat cheerleader Hosking is in love with his own image so must do a lot of self-gazing. Typical, me-me-me Mike couldn’t help placing his fore-finger constantly to his upper lip, showing off his body language that yesterday’s whole exercise was all about himself.

        • tracey

          But he confirmed the 11b lie

          • Brendon Harre

            The benefit of the lie for National was it derailed Jacinda’s positivity and aspiration for a better NZ message. It stopped the media discussing issues which concerned the public and how Labour was going to address them. The public being concerned about health, mental health, housing, water etc.

            Instead we got days and days of Joyce dominating the media with his big fiscal hole lie or others attacking the fiscal hole claim as an obvious lie. Jacinda was repeatedly asked if the fiscal hole lie was true or maybe just a little true etc.

            So what happened is Joyce made an outrageous lie and despite overwhelming evidence he was wrong he kept repeating it because sucked media oxygen away from everything but the big fiscal hole lie.

            This then opened up space for National’s other big lie -being Labour were increasing income tax and this would crash the economy. Voters should vote National because they are the better economic managers.

            This being an obvious lie because actually it is National which intends to cut taxes rather than fix up social problems in health, housing……

            It is all a nonsense, the liars should be ashamed of themselves, but they are not because they think it will work and maybe it will……

            Forever I will think of Joyce as the $11billion liar and English as the tax cutting liar. I have no respect for them -they have shown to have no integrity and the message to everyone on the left should be -don’t give any respect to those who lie and have no integrity.

            If Joyce and English do get back into power they deserve to be boo’d at every event, laughed at, distrusted (esp their numbers), they should be made fun of at every opportunity because they have shown no respect to us the public, so why should we show respect to them.

            Check out my article here.
            View at

            • tracey

              Well said. Sadly it appears 47% of our fellow kiwis will applaud them. Many of the same who villified Turei

      • A.Reed 1.1.3

        Is this supposed to be funny??

      • Matt 1.1.4

        I imagine Simon Bridges favourite place is in front of a mirror!

      • Unicus 1.1.5

        No – but the Tories who decide to vote for him knowing him to be a barefaced liar may find it a little diffucult for a day or two .

        The choice has not been clearer in this campaign – swallow your morals and vote for a disfunctional politician who revels in dishonesty

        Or vote for honourable and principled truth and a leader who represents the best aspirations of today’s world

    • reason 1.2

      The Nats are dishonest dogs

  2. Incognito 2

    I’m afraid the answer is “yes”. Democracy is based on mutual respect & trust, for each other, and for our leaders. This has been eroded faster than a Kaikoura rock fall burying a road of National significance. The further we go down this spiral the worse things will get. If we all go full-Trumpian like National we will effectively speed up the downward process and the outcome won’t be good. But winning is everything; you have to be in power to be able to change things for the better or so the reasoning goes. To me this sounds like a perverse hybrid of TINA and the trickle-down effect. We are controlled by the dominant narrative; it is not just in MSM or social media, it is in our heads and minds!

    • popexplosion 2.1

      Civil society. Where citizens, instead of lashing out, reward others and avoid harmful citizens. Thatcherism taught we could ignore the harm we do as profits and markets naturally produce public goods, of course nonsense. Why, for example, are gang communities so hard pressed, simple surely. Good people see what gangs do, want, and don’t want to involve themselves, so instead of adding to the spiral of negatives target those the gangs dislike with help. Gang communuties, families, lose out, become harder places to get by, poorer. Why gay marriage, or abortion, simple surely, religious zealots are as loathsome as murderers and despots. Sensible sentencing makes me want to help crims learn to read. Judith Colins should have resigned long ago. Religious people want the sin, so vote conservative, to feel sinful, something to pay for next parish meeting. The problem however is all these negatives are compounding the societal, economic, environment crisis-es, take climate change, it’s like a truck accident, once it’s impossible for the truck to avoid you, the momentum to great, your dead, you see your doom. Climate change is like that, once indisputable its too late to stop, avoid. Welome to Thatchers legacy, instead of using the massive wealth growth, no, not from neo liberal market theories, but from gushing cheap high density liquid energy, in a conservative considered conscientious progressive way, we dumped all sense for the cult of profit wh8re. Welcome to the mess. Ardern is a start but ain’t the solution. Party vote Green

      • Sans Cle 2.1.1

        Popexplosion I agree in the main with your post, though don’t think it’s just down to Thatcherism and neoliberalism. It has a longer legacy in the capitalist system, but raises it’s ugly head time and time again, when society is on cruise mode and becomes complacent. Throughout history, progressive policies have been hard fought for. They were never conceded easily from the ruling class de jour. Society and progressives suffer much pain before the system gets ‘tweaked’, and power or resources are redistributed. Low income and vulnerable New Zealanders are suffering TOO much now, such that this system has to change.

        • popexplosion

          Oh please the farmers are a socialist block, farmers on the westcoast won’t be paying any water levy as they have enough water. No, in order to keep in with their socialist brothers and sisters in Canterbury, who take water at equivilant 10% Wellington municipal supply, racking in market at advantage. We don not have a xapialistic system when globally govts legislate pollution rights which are effective taxes on all of us. Taxes that stop us swimming in rivers, taxes they make us unhealth, taxes that reduce time parenting, communing, socializing.

          Our global socialism if only Green low taxes party win power tomorrow.

  3. You don’t have to ‘fight fire with fire’ and lie to win.

    You just need to be aggressive , and keep asserting and drawing attention to failures, and lies. Even more so when those lies have been used as a cover for cronyism and oblique methods of using the poor as a resource for enrichment and deliberately denying them social equity.

    Lies are one of the biggest weapons used by National and all one has to do to counter lies is keep reinforcing the truth.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Simple: enforce the oaths they took when they entered Parliament.

  5. tracey 5

    I hope not. It is how they are countered. When Bill says you are raising taxes the answer should be

    You are taking money from Lifeline, Dunedin and Waikato Hospitals, Mental Health workers to give some kiwis 20 a week.. and make the list longer

  6. roy cartland 6

    It can be countered, but we need to denormalise lying in all areas of society.

    Advertising, for instance. This is simply corporate fraud, and quite openly so. It used to be called propaganda (until that became a dirty word).

    PR is another area. We have come to expect, and embrace, it.

    Banning advertising and enforcing a journalistic framework of high integrity would be a start, but of course this would cause other problems in a consumption-based economy.

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Like Gower, I’m sick of hearing Bill talk about his fiscal hole

  8. Ant 8

    A Nats-favourable surge at the polls despite the blatant and widely exposed post truths of Joyce and English is a saddening reflection of the tone of our country.

  9. Pat 9

    ‘Is New Zealand doomed to lying politics now?’ you ask….

    Now?? where have you been the past nine years?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Yeah well said: if National told the truth they’d never get elected.

      • KJT 9.1.1

        National are not going to come straight out and say “we will give tax cuts, but you will never get on the waiting list for that hip operation. GDP will go up, but only because of the 100 000 houses we need every ten years for our immigration policy. Borrowing will have to continue, to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and irrigation schemes for corporate farming. Wages and per capita income will reduce so National supporters can have cheap Labour. Get used to homeless and beggars, to cut welfare costs. We will just make laws to keep them out of your sight, so your conscience is not bothered.”

  10. Keith 10

    The strategy was not complex, throw mud and some will stick. Even the most guilty people in history have people who think they were somehow innocent no matter what the evidence against them.

    This National government have been dishonest from the beginning, incredibly dishonesty, but no one ever really took them to task on it. The Saudi sheep bribe revelations this week nailed the coffin lid shut on their integrity but it went by with little comment. By now these liars words should be totally disregarded but time and again they have been let off the hook.

    Jacinda’s finally saying it, ever so politely, but its taken this long.

    But nevertheless English has totally sold his soul with the bare faced lies to cling to power and the winding up of polluting farmers and we will all be worse off for it.

    Labours absolutely positively campaign only took it so far, they had to tear into National. They didn’t, they merely explained away the accusations and explaining is losing.

    But having said that I hope the last poll was wrong.

  11. Pete 11

    I differentiate the lying.

    In the first category I have what politicians say they are going to do and what that will mean.

    In the second I have politicians saying what other parties are going to do and what that means.

    In both of those cases there is a need to have a thinking, questioning, analytical electorate. An electorate with the ability to think rationally will have more ability to discern propaganda and spiel and have a healthy level of scepticism. It is stuff we can take or leave.

    There is a third category. This is when politicians lie about something they have done, been involved in or have knowledge of.

    To me this is the most egregious. In a sense this means taking their word as being honest. It paints a context in which everything they say can be placed.

    John Key, GCSB, Judith Collins, China, Bill English, Clutha, Murray McCully, Saudi dollars.

    If NZ is doomed to lying politics it is because partisan views have allowed instances like those to simply pass by. NZ is doomed to lying politics when instances like those did not have perpetrators hung drawn and quartered (metaphorically of course.)

    (Partisan views ironically from those who want bootcamps, vehicles crushed and other punishments so stern that they and any other would be miscreants will be in fear of ever transgressing again.)

    The populace went hysterical, berserk, at the silly behaviour of a halfback yet have blithely allowed the rotting of our political fabric.

    Simply the political fabric? When senior leadership in a country shows that honesty and truth is merely a peripheral part of the business of having and staying in power what does that say about our moral fabric and compass?

    is it right to lie under oath in a court? Is it right to lie in an affidavit? Why? Why not?

    In recent years surely we have learned, been taught by our political masters and their ardent followers that the truth is what you say it is, what you want it to be.

  12. Jon Jones 12

    All parties lie, stretch the truth or speculate, whatever you want to call it, but what I find interesting is that I’m sure most people also know this so also know National are not being 100% truthful on this and yet it seems to be working

    Is it because the lie “allows” people to vote for National, as an excuse, rather than Labour?

    • McFlock 12.1

      Some, maybe.

      But there’s the old thing that mud sticks. And arguing about the lie stops discussion on national’s fuckups.

      I disagree with your statement that all parties lie – some might be wrong and correct themselves, but the 11b hole in joyce’s accounting ability is an extreme and now completely intentional outrageous falsehood. It might have been pure incompetence initially, but now it’s outright standing there and telling people that the sky is bright green and the grass is red.

      • Jon Jones 12.1.1

        It was interesting to note bill changing from 11b hole to theres a hole and we can argue over the size of it

        Which is possibly what Joyce should have said in the first place

        • McFlock

          So bill’s stepping to a slightly smaller lie because nobody believes the outrageous lie?

          There’s no hole. Joyce either knew that and lied from the get-go, or fucked up and doubled down on a mistake he decided to continue lying about. That’s where we are with these pricks.

          • Jon Jones

            Yet a large majority of people (at least equal to Lab/Green support) seem ok with it

            • McFlock


              A third either don’t know, don’t care, or vote for reasons other than pure policy accuracy. The first two at the least are actively encouraged by tory lies.

              A third vote leftish, which does not preclude reasons other than policy accuracy.

              And a solid third or quarter (dunno from memory, somewhere around 30%) are so alienated from the system they don’t even participate.

        • lprent

          You mean before he made himself and bill look like they were just lying?

          But hey – it gave us a new word – Billshit.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Which is possibly what Joyce should have said in the first place

          It still would have been a lie.

        • tracey

          He might have meant there will be a zero budget. But maybe he didnt want to say that cos Bill English ran 2 zero budgets in 2014 and 2015 and the sky didnt fall.

          • red-blooded

            And beside, even that’s not true. There’s room in the Labour budgeting for new expenditure. Not billions, but (from memory) about $250 million.

    • Sans Cle 12.2

      Is it because the lie “allows” people to vote for National, as an excuse, rather than Labour?
      No, it is because the lie would hit people in the wallet.

      Not everyone makes rational choices….Not everyone reads party political policies….not everyone calculates fully the effect of said policies.

      Sound bites matter, and National know this well. Lie or no lie.

  13. Psych nurse 13

    The lying works, I was told by a low waged woman, not an hour ago that she wouldn’t be voting to pay more tax.

    • tracey 13.1

      Exactly… let us not forget National wants to legislate to stop mental health workers getting paid a few more dollars an hour

    • mpledger 13.2

      It’s ironic because it was the low waged that got hit the hardest by the tax increase that National imposed but had promised they wouldn’t i.e. the increase in GST.

    • Sans Cle 13.3

      Snap Psych. I couldn’t believe an Uber driver – who candidate voted Labour, but party voted National as he didn’t want to pay more tax.The irony of Uber drivers paying 25% of their earnings to the mothership – an effective tax to parent company, not to government for redistribution – didn’t pass me by.

  14. cleangreen 14

    NZ has lost it’s soul if Nats win as it legitimises ‘lying’ as a political tool that any party can then use in future and that bodes badly in future for all of us.

    • Ant 14.1

      This is correct. Then (as now) voters will be increasingly swayed by the skill of professional spinners and truth as once revered, cherished and honoured will go the way of the moa.

  15. ianmac 15

    The simple answer lies in the fact that most people have just a passing interest in politics. They do not analyse the pros and cons. So they take their “informed line” from sound bites.
    When they hear repeatedly that “Labour will increase taxes” or that Labour has “an $11 billion hole” that is enough to swing their vote. Add to that the full page ad in Daily papers from the Taxpayers Union (Ha!) which tell us that it will cost each household $46,000 if Labour gets in (some households earn less than $30,000), then this set of lies tips over the casual voter.

    Lies work. Bill English is a liar.

  16. What gets to me is the fact that over 40% of voters are happy to play along with the National Governments lies.
    How can they be so oblivious to the facts ?

    I know we live in a democracy and all that it involves and voters are entitled to vote for whoever, but to be so blind and also, they must be deaf not to hear these lies, is beyond me.
    It was all started by J Key and he got away with it, now they are all in on it.
    And it is so blatant.

    It must be pure bliss to be so ignorant.

    • Jon Jones 16.1

      Is it because the lie “allows” people to vote for National, as an excuse, rather than Labour?

      Meaning that people consciously want to vote Labour but subconsciously want to vote National are just needing a reason, any reason to vote National

      • tracey 16.1.1

        Do you think it is cos of the Trump on everyone? That is, we all lie and we know it is wrong but if we can get away with it… so we kind of know we “should” vote Labour cos they say they care about the vulnerable but National lets us pretend that world doesnt exist and give us money toward the Fiji winter hols?

    • Mickey Boyle 16.2

      In fairness Labour lied when they said National has introduced 18 new taxes also, lets all just get out and vote people.

      • WILD KATIPO 16.2.1

        Just make sure its not for the party and friends of :


        Ian ‘ I see you ‘ Fletcher

        John ‘showerpisser’ Key


        Dildos hole

        Bridges brides

        Collins ‘swamp girl’ Kauri

        Toddles ‘ tapes ‘ Barclay

        Sweetie Benefit and her motel chains

        Nick the squatter

        And all the rest of their wallflower backbenchers.

  17. Stuart Munro 17

    Democracy is the price the oligarchs pay to avoid being guillotined every few generations. Lying in office, and not answering ministerial questions are not consistent with Westminster descended democracy. They just need that once every century or so reminder.

    • Jon Jones 17.1

      I assume you’re only joking about wanting to lop peoples heads off

      • Stuart Munro 17.1.1

        Democracy is not about lying to your countrymen – it is about striving to make our country better.

        Current economic settings are killing thousands of New Zealanders every year.

        It is regrettable that the crooks in power are unlikely to start doing their jobs without facing an existential threat. I would be happy if they proved me wrong.

        Lying is no substitute for the hard work of governing. It doesn’t suffice.

      • tracey 17.1.2

        Why would that be worse than lying to gain control of billions and power?

  18. Gristle 18

    We should never have a Truth and Reconciliation commission over past government activities and political lies. But things like:
    McCully and Saudi Arabian corruption needs to be examined
    The leaking of Winston Peters superannuation payment mistake need to be examined
    SAS activities in Afganistan needs to be examined
    Children in State care needs to be examined

    The probity of Ministers and Governments needs to be extremely high or else the value is diminished. Anti Corruption, rule of law, due process are all things that are now lensed as being flexible.

    Lying for political gain is one thing that needs to be challenged. An 11B hole is not a reasonable opinion to hold and some sort of censure should be applied. I laugh at Donald Trump’s claim of having the largest inauguration crowd and think less of him. Politically it has no impact on Donald. (Sort of makes me wish for an interventionist God.)

    And then there are all the things that Bill English will claim mandate for, like selling off Transpower, ACC, Schools. Using Public Private Partnerships to hide public costs. Signing into TPPA11 with little change as possible. Continuing to consider people who need state assistance as being one step from the dead sheep hole.

    • We should never have a Truth and Reconciliation commission over past government activities and political lies.

      The only applicable laws are the ones that existed at the time. Retrospective laws, like the one that National passed so as to make the GCSB spying on KDC legal, need to be illegal and come with a jail sentence for an MP even mentioning the idea.

      I’ll note that there are times when retrospective laws are necessary but they are few and far between.

      McCully and Saudi Arabian corruption needs to be examined

      Corruption in NZ, which is far more widespread than most people believe, needs to be examined and adequate laws written and enforcement provided.

      Lying for political gain is one thing that needs to be challenged.

      Lying for political gain should get a sentence with a maximum period of more than two years.

      • srylands 18.1.1

        and come with a jail sentence for an MP even mentioning the idea.”””

        Even for you, this is jumping the shark.

    • srylands 18.2

      An 11B hole is not a reasonable opinion to hold and some sort of censure should be applied. “”

      I can assure you it is very real. Well it i a $10.7 billion hole at best estimate, but call it 11 if you like.

      • Gristle 18.2.1

        Stephen Joyce will be overjoyed. The number of people believing in an 11B hole has now increased by 50%: Bill, Stephen and now you.

        Oh wait on, the Joyce 11.7B has now shrunk to your 10.7B hole. Is this the same hole? Is it a whole new hole? Are no longer best buds with Stephen?

      • McFlock 18.2.2

        It’s a bold liar who suggests that people can call things whatever they please. You open yourself up to all sorts of epithets, all of them accurate (unlike your $10.7billion lie).

      • tracey 18.2.3

        You know he is really talking about running a zero budget which English did in 2014 and 2015?

  19. The real problem is that bald lies seem to be working for the Nats – at the very least they are not being punished for it as they should.

    Yep. For some strange reason we’re not jailing the fuckers.

    Should the political left fight fire with fire and get down in the gutter too? Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

    No and no. Just need the new government to put in place the necessary laws so that we can jail politicians that lie to the NZ public. I doubt if National would survive the next term in opposition.

    • srylands 19.1

      “”For some strange reason we’re not jailing the fuckers.””

      Because we are not the Central African Republic perhaps?

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        Much to your chagrin – people like you can find innumerable ways to profit in a war zone. Slaves, diamonds, weapons, drugs – all in a free market…

      • We’re not talking about a difference of opinion here. We’re talking about actual lies.

        Why should politicians be allowed to lie to the people?

      • marty mars 19.1.3

        There are only a handful (not trump sized) of dirty liars that would go inside. They could learn a lot in there – probably only from their banker mates sharing the cell mores the pity lol

  20. srylands 20

    If Labour wins, it will cancel the tax cuts – but it will not raise taxes.””

    FFS you are dealing with semantics here.

    • Gristle 20.1

      Wait until you see semantics in action.

      Family homes exempt. If a trust owns the house, guess what, it’s not a family home.

      • McFlock 20.1.1


        • gsays

          “Family homes exempt. If a trust owns the house, guess what, it’s not a family home.”

          What an attractive idea.

      • srylands 20.1.2

        I can assure you that most homes owned by trusts are family homes. Indeed if that home is one of your major assets you would be very foolish to not use a trust ownership structure. The main reason is asset protection.

        On this whole “lies” hysteria, I am not aware of any. At all.

        Rarely do politicians lie. Sometimes they might have poor policies or communicate them poorly but lying is rare. I have seen none in the election campaign. And I think The Standard as a Labour Party blog, is not serving the public well by making such allegations.

        [How long you been around here srylands? Long enough to know this is not a Labour Party blog, that it does not have any volition (being a jumble of code) and that you just committed a quite remarkable piece of martyrdom by way of spectacular idiocy. I’ll sort out your ban length tomorrow. Good-bye] – Bill

        • McFlock


          [gets popcorn, waits for moderator]

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Ok, I’ve finished the popcorn. Refreshing beverage’s going a bit warm & flat… 🙂

            • McFlock

              I totally thought that “Labour Party blog” thing would have mods on him like flies on shit (highly unfair to the hardworking moderators, but the other half is bang on 🙂 ) – folks must be busy with all the volume….

              edit – oh snap, there he goes 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • adam

          srylands you are an idiot.

          Have you never seen Mcflock and myself go hammer and tong over the labour party? (heated even)

          If this was a labour party site do you think for one second I’d be able to have those arguments?

          Mind you that said, I’d rather have a beer with McFlock any day of the week, over you. Even if we argued like cats and dogs.

          So back to my main point – srylands, you are an idiot.

          • marty mars

            Adam get over your stuff and go vote. We need the votes to get the gnats out. It is close and every vote counts. Please make a wise decision and vote. If you would vote gnat or right wing please disregard my words.

            • Union city greens

              Absolutely agree. Party vote green or labour.

              • adam

                Labour are not left wing in economic terms, so I confused why you would say vote labour if you are as left, as you say you are Union city greens.

                • McFlock

                  dude, it’s close. Vote green, I don’t care. Just vote to get these bastards out. You can’t eat smug, or the semantic arguments of who is or is not “left”.

                  Just, please, try to help get rid of these fucks. People are dying – that is not an exaggeration.

                  • Union city greens

                    Spot on reply.

                  • adam

                    That’s not my point McFlock, and I’m pretty sure you get that. My point is don’t tell me to vote labour, when I have pretty honest and sound reasons to not vote for them. That is my problem with Union city greens argument.

                    Sorry that was not clear enough. I don’t want to waste the next hour on that point either.

                    As for people suffering


                    • McFlock

                      That protestor immolated himself for whatever reason – others have an equivalent sacrifice forced on them by the lack of available medical care.

                      Again, keep bitching about Labour just before the election, rather than actually supporting a party that will change the current government on Saturday night.

                      USG said “Party vote green or labour.” He’s not telling you to vote Labour, just to change the fucking government. The Greens are also an option to do that.

                      They’re fucking awesome, or do you want to shit all over the Greens, too?

                      edit: just read some of the discussion below. Unimpressed. Changing the current government does not prevent you changing the system, and the mechanisms to do each are completely different. So while you’re changing the system, you’re happy to do nothing to ameliorate the damage the current system does to people in need.

                      Apparently you think they can eat your smug superiority at knowing there might be a better system while they wait for you to become half as much of an agent for change as Sylvia Pankhurst was (not that she managed to improve on parliamentary democracy, either).

                    • adam

                      Yes people are dying, they have and will continue to do so until we fundamentally change the system, that does not happen at the ballot box alone.

                      I’m sick to death it being solely about voting, and If my holding to a hard position of not voting, wakes up one person to the fact we need more than voting, we need to actually get organised.

                      Then all the abuse, and whinnying is worth it.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s the callous tyranny of collective nouns – we begin to think of “people” as a mass, rather than as individual mothers, brothers, partners, daughters, and so on. Because an individual only dies once.

                      The thing is that while “people” are dying and will continue to do so, there are individuals who will die earlier if we have another national government, but will not if we have a labgrn government. These individuals will outnumber individuals in the reverse situation.

                      And yes, changing the government is solely about voting.

                      Maybe you have some idea about how to change the system into a non-parliamentary system, and we’ll have statues to your brilliance fifty years from now.

                      But between now and the beginning of the Repulique du Adam, if you want to get that person a cardiac bed or give someone you will never meet food, all you have is a vote. Don’t waste it.

                      Ten years ago we were a bit shit at non-vaccine primary healthcare, but we could catch them at the hospitals and resuscitate them in ED. Now we’re still a bit shit at primary healthcare, and the hospital system is beginning to fail. We really need to stop the rot as soon as possible.

                      Please, for the love of anything you hold dear, vote for one of the parties currently in parliament who have never been in coalition with National. I don’t care which of them you choose.

                    • adam

                      Did you read what I said?

                      Simply, it’s not only about voting. It’s about having people, organisations, and collectives exerting pressure to make change. Change which is sustained and real, rather than piecemeal and quickly repealed.

                      I’m not talking about revolution structures, or anything like that, we don’t have that in NZ, mainly because most are besotted with the myth they are middle class.

                      What I am suggesting, is just voting is utterly useless, unless along side that vote, we have the organisations and power blocks to keep progressive change in place. Along side that, whanau feel involved and have the power to rule their lives.

                      WE DO NOT HAVE THAT.

                      And as it stands one election is not going to change that. A change of government will offer a modicum of breathing room, but unless we start to get organised, in 3 or 6 years the same national party is going to gain power, and once in power they will set about to crush the working class, and any, and all, structures put into place to protect the poor and working class.

                      So if my not voting pisses you off, then get organised. Offer somthing, come up here, help us motivate, and offer some hope to South Auckland. Because the feeding, finding homes, beds, and clothing is just no longer enough. It’s bigger than just a change of government, we need a movement to go along side it.

                      You will be happy to know my partner voted, two ticks greens. Here family have on the whole vote for Hone. With a good split, green and labour. My family down south are much the same, my Dad may split his vote this election and vote green with party vote, my Ma already did. My sisters and brothers have all voted labour(miner) or green (the non-mining ones). One brother in law voted NZ1, but you can’t win them all. They all vote when I put my foot down and say I won’t. So my one vote, mmm, happy to trade it for other people voting, and motivating other people to realise that just voting, is not enough by itself.

                      If my hard core miner of a brother can realise that voting is not enough anymore, why can’t people here?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, I do read what you write.

                      We have our issues in Dunedin, too. And voting is by no means all I do. Nobody, as far as I can see, has said that all we should do is vote once every three years. That would be an alien concept to pretty much everyone on this site.

                      But voting is probably the most effective thing most people can do, this year especially as it’s so freaking close. Sure, it’s only temporary but so is any solution you might eventually come up with.

                      All we will ever have is a society that maybe keeps the tories at bay for the next few years, until we’re all dead or technology makes the production of goods and services trivial in terms of energy and effort. If it’s not our homegrown tories, it’ll be the ones overseas paying countries to bomb us.

                      And while we’re waiting for the ideal society to eventuate, I think a fuckload of people would be better off doing it under a non-national government, three, six or nine years at a time.

                      Never confuse “not enough” with “pointless”. It frequently helps make “enough” attainable.

                • Union city greens

                  To change the government of course. It’s one or the other to achieve the goal.

                  Some compromise, even though they know they won’t get exactly what they want. Some just act like kids.

                  You’ll do what’s right for you. Do what’s right by all of us wanting the nats gone… And I’ll let you watch tele until 9pm. Your call.

                  • adam

                    Union city greens, being a condensing know it all, does not encourage people vote.

                    p.s I don’t watch telly. I read my news off a multitude of sources.

                    • Union city greens

                      “I don’t want a change of government”

                      Fake lefty. 🙄

                    • adam

                      See below you smug little turd Union city greens.

                      I’m well over you thinking you better than other people.

                    • Union city greens

                      Fake off, faker. Get out and vote, you lack wit.

                    • adam

                      You know I was going too, until you abused me. Now I think it is more important not to.

                      I’d rather have the Tory scum. Than a libtard like you, anywhere near power.

                    • Union city greens

                      Sure, any excuse you can come up with, faker.

                    • adam

                      You know Pluckish Rouge was better to argue with, at least he was funny.

                      You are just a angry little know it all. Who can’t read.

                      [why are you both getting moderation attention again? Do you know why? What do you think will happen next – weka]

                    • weka

                      Oi, read the moderation note (both of you please).

                    • Union city greens

                      I see it and acknowledge. I’m just really disgusted at the selfish attitude shown here.

                      [you can feel anything you do, but there is a limit on what you can say here and how you can behave. Once it gets to the point of two people basically just being mean to each other and no politics being discussed, then it’s time to take some time out. The biggest issue for me is that I am having use my time to moderate when I shouldn’t have to. I know what it’s like to be pissed off, but for the most part I try and channel that into writing political comments in response, it’s actually way more satisfying. – weka]

                    • adam

                      Seen it now weka, I’m sick of the abuse from this person. And I won’t be bullied by them.

                      [sure, and the two of you are going to have to figure out a different way to handle this, because once it gets to just being abusive comments on both sides, it becomes a problem for the site, and for the moderators – weka]

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Please consider voting, Adam – every vote counts and you strike me as someone who helps and inspires others.

                  “Therefore my challenge to each of you is that you ask yourself what you can do to make a difference. And then take that action, no matter how large or how small. For our children have a right to peace.” — Graça Machel-Mandela

                  “My goal in life is to leave behind a safe and healthy world for our children. Before I leave this world, I want to be satisfied that at least I tried. I know I can make a difference, even if it might only be a small one.” — Maisie Shiell

            • adam

              So marty mars a vote for the Maori party as my constituent MP left or right for you?

              • Union city greens

                It’s the party vote that really counts, and if you want to change the government, you know which two parties are committed to that.
                Good luck.

                • adam

                  I’ve said I don’t want a change of government, I want a change of system.

                  Sorry you can’t comprehended that Union city greens.

                  • Union city greens

                    “I don’t want a change of government, I want a change of system. ”

                    Okay, will you tell tell the hungry kids sleeping in cars tonight you won’t do fuck all to help them? Or shall we leave it to their beside themselves parents getting ever more depressed at the situation they’ve found themselves in trying to raise a family?

                    Ban or not, it’ll be worth it to call you the spineless, selfish arsehole you are. Proves I was correct about you all along.
                    Fucking hell, what an up themselves, self important wanker. 🙄

                    • adam

                      You are an absolute libtard union city greens, I will be helping them tonight, and ever other night that I can. I will go out and cook food, and organise to find homes and jobs, and in my spear time fight their bad bosses. All the time dealing with my physical disability.

                      As for you you condescending little turd, go back to the smug privileged little hole you crawled out of.

                      You know nothing, you up your self absorbed little prick.

                    • Union city greens

                      Easy to post hate on the internet, clearly much harder for you to vote out a national government.

                      Shame on you.

                    • adam

                      You abuse me then tell me I’m post hate, you need some serious help.

                    • Union city greens

                      You cry yourself to sleep over it. Just remember those kids in poverty as you hug your warm, cosy pillow.

                      “I don’t want a change of government”

                      You’re a disgrace.

                    • Bill

                      Just going to drop this here and see if those who would have one and all bend the knee at the ballot box “get it”

                      They (the Suffragettes) weren’t fighting for every woman in perpetuity to be guilt-tripped into supporting any political system that used the ballot box to legitimise itself. They trusted future women to make their own decisions. Sylvia Pankhurst, for one, lived to reject parliamentary democracy as an “out of date machine” and refused to cast a vote or stand for election herself.

                      So this polling day, whether you vote or organise or both, consider honouring the suffragettes’ memory by not using them as a stick to beat women with when they treat their vote exactly as the suffragettes did: as their own, to use or not, on their own terms.

                    • adam

                      Well said Bill.

                    • Union city greens

                      Sure, I get it, but then if those women who followed had a chance to immediately make lives better by removing an extremely vindictive government, even though not wedded in perpetuity to the system, don’t you think they should take it?

                      Seem hollow to put ideology in front of hungry kids and desperate people.

                    • @ Bill how in the hall is that supposed to help get the gnats out ffs think man think!

                    • adam

                      You know that twice you quote me out of context Union city greens.

                      The full quote is “I’ve said I don’t want a change of government, I want a change of system.”

                      Please learn not to quote out of context, becasue the Tory’s do it, do you think it’s alright to do it?

                    • Bill

                      @Ucg & mm

                      Why don’t you take the simple step of reading the short linked article and doing some simple google search on Sylvia Pankhurst, her politics and actions before spouting any more?


                    • Union city greens

                      It doesn’t really matter what it says about EP. It’s arguable if it’s even relevant to Saturdays election in NZ and the point in hand.

                      I’m under a moderator warning so I can’t argue it further, but knowing there won’t be a system changing revolution any time soon, the ballot box is the only real chance we have to remove the nasty party and stop the damage they do every day to us. My belief is that’s a genuinely ignorant position take.

                      For the sake of us all, I’ll take the vote over doing nothing but wishful thinking, any time.

                      Over and out.

                    • @ Bill

                      Whatever – you said one and all bend the knee at the ballot box didn’t you – i GET that.

                      My initial plea was to get the votes we need for victory – from Adam and blip who say they won’t vote and others. I’m not sitting around moaning I’m taking action to get the gnats out and make life better for most of us AND I don’t resile from that or bend the fucken knee.

                    • Bill

                      Adam already stated that he was throwing his electorate vote at MP. Seeing as how that’s how the MP will get elected representatives, I fail to see your problem.

                      Adam’s also stated he’s involved in day to day activism that makes real and immediate change in peoples’ lives. That’s more than most people do in the three years between ballots.

                      And (just to show you how this works), how does voting in one Liberal party in place of another Liberal party do much by the way of anything with regards Liberalism? It’s arguable that voting, through legitimising existent power structures, does nothing much besides encouraging a sense of powerlessness, (leave it to our betters) while acting as a road block to significant degrees of change.

                      There have been hungry, starving and dying kids “since forever” under liberal capitalism. Millions upon millions of people have voted at every opportunity over their entire lifespan hoping for change …and still the same churn of blighted humanity roils on.

                    • weka

                      The full quote is “I’ve said I don’t want a change of government, I want a change of system.”

                      I took the full quote to mean that you want system change and you won’t act to prevent National from having a 4th term.

                    • weka

                      @Bill, that argument has some legitimacy (although personally, I’ll take change because it frees up activists and I don’t see enough people not voting to undermine the system). But the difference this time is that the Greens are offering the chance of a way out.

                    • McFlock

                      a half-arsed “liberal” government might not eliminate need and hunger or early death, but will lower them more than the current set of enthusiastic bastards.

                      Sure, Adam might be a great guy in every non-voting aspect of his politics, but failure to vote in this election is deliberately neglecting an easy opportunity to help thousands of people for the next few years.

                      A lifeguard can save dozens of people, but it’s still a dick move to then look one struggling person in the eye and refuse to throw them a floatation device.

                    • Bill


                      I agree with you. But the other side of the coin is that one (is it two?) people not voting is not going to make the slightest bit of difference to the election result.

                      And if 1000 people who feel iffy about voting are reading the comments that are slamming into those people, I’d say the effect will be to make them dig their heels in. (I doubt if many non-voters read here given the general focus of the blog, but hey…).

                      So, unless some seat or other swings on a vote (which I guess is possible) the whole ‘pile on’ stuff is pointless and, for the most part, thoughtless abuse with nothing but negative consequences.

                    • Bill

                      @ McFlock

                      Is NZ doomed to lying politics now?

                      Which I take as Adam’s influence on the vote will be somewhat more than the 1/2 500 000th or so that any party vote will have.

                      Hmm. So he’s lending a louder voice to a change of government than those of us who live in electorates with pointless electorate votes, yes?

                      And yet “hammered”.

                    • McFlock

                      @bill Don’t forget that he’s also publicly arguing in favour of inactivity. Some people might be persuaded by the ego trip that refusing to vote is okay if you have greater plans to “change the system” 🙄

                      But even if he was playing it secret-squirrel to his chest that he wasn’t going to vote, he’s still refusing to take five freaking minutes to use his 1/1.25mill vote. He can’t be bothered standing up against the current government in the only way that counts and is literally counted.

                      I’ve been listening to people talk about “changing the system” for twenty years or more. Yeah, votes do more.

                    • weka

                      Hmm. So he’s lending a louder voice to a change of government than those of us who live in electorates with pointless electorate votes, yes?

                      Depends on which electorate he is in, but I wouldn’t’ say his vote is louder. We have two ticks for a reason. He’s wasting one of them, which in effect in a tight election is a vote for National.

                      And yet “hammered”.

                      I agree with you on that one. I disagree with what adam is doing, but I think a lot of the criticism has ignored the fact that he is highly political.

                      I wasn’t thinking about readers so much (but fair point). I was thinking about the people in adam’s life that he is convincing to not vote. I’m watching GP activists working very hard getting out the vote, this is what lefties have been talking about for years, and now there is someone actively working against that. That’s hard to take tbh.

                    • For me I see a lot of non voters as like someone watching their fellow humans drowning but they won’t save them because they might get their shoes dirty and ruin their look.

                      If you dont vote you are simply propping up the gnats and no activist I know and I know a few would do that. Their internal moral fibre which makes them activate for change couldn’t handle the incongruity. The it’s only one vote line is feeble imo – yeah it’s only one suicide or malnourished baby ffs.

                    • Bill

                      @ weka.

                      Well, he’s obviously on the Maori roll. And that means his electorate vote counts as one in whatever thousand within that electorate and the electorate vote actually counts for getting the MP into parliament.

                      My electorate vote is fairly meaningless given my electorate and the fact that all choices on the electorate vote are on party lists….and my party vote worth 1 of 2 500 000 (assuming two and a half million people vote).

                      Can’t say I’ve seen anything from Adam actively or explicitly encouraging people not to vote or seeking to convince people not to vote (questioning the efficacy of voting is another kettle of fish and legitimate imo) .

                      Meanwhile, in the real world beyond this here screen, I dare say he’d be talking positively of the MP candidate in his electorate if the occasion arose. But I dunno.

                    • Union city greens

                      Why did you vote, Bill?

                    • weka

                      “So any hypothetical Nat supporters there would vote Taurima, which is what adam did.”

                      Not sure what you are getting at there Andre. If you think adam is a National supporter you should just say, but it would be a bonkers thing to say.

                      Taurima will still be bound by the party which has said it will consult its members. Word is that the members prefer Labour if given a choice. The Mp hasn’t had the option of choosing Labour in the past 9 years, you know that right?

                  • weka

                    Well, he’s obviously on the Maori roll. And that means his electorate vote counts as one in whatever thousand within that electorate and the electorate vote actually counts for getting the MP into parliament.

                    I don’t know what roll he is on (don’t know if the Mp are standing in general seats). The influence would be meaningful if the candidate he votes for is likely to win.

                    Can’t say I’ve seen anything from Adam actively or explicitly encouraging people not to vote or seeking to convince people not to vote (questioning the efficacy of voting is another kettle of fish and legitimate imo) .

                    I was under the impression he was from previous convos, but am happy to be corrected by him on that.

                    • adam

                      I have not actively encourage people not to vote. Inside my own family, my none voting has motivated them all to vote, and vote early, which was not the case the last 3 elections.

                      I would say, and repeated say, voting is no longer enough, just voting is like being a keyboard warrior, mildly useful to the point of pointlessness. If we do not get organised, collectively and in our whanau, we are going to face a government very soon hell bent on rolling back all progressive gains.

                      As for my electorate vote

                      I live in Tāmaki Makaurau with limited options.

                      Marama Davidson who I like a lot, and would make a great constitutant MP, is only going for party vote. Shame really, do think she could win it.

                      Peeni Henare has been one of the worst constituent MP’s in the country. Right down there with Sam Lotu-Iiga, who effectively gave up the roll when he got demoted, and chose retirement. So he could never get my vote.

                      Shane Taurima gets my support because he puts Maori first, and gets that the underlying economics is the problem. I also think he would be a fine constituent MP.


                      I See Marama Davidson is polling 21% of the vote without trying – I do think if the greens actually stood up in this electorate, they might actually take it.


                    • If you’re not voting, who you like means shit. Get over yourself and save the people drowning mate.

                    • adam

                      I’m sorry you can’t read marty mars, I did vote in my electorate, I just did not party vote. I’m really quite sick of repeating myself to people who can’t be bothered reading, but it seems quite common here of late.

                    • Andre

                      Adam, so you electorate voted for the Maori Party candidate for your electorate, and chose not to party vote.

                      Congratulations. Of all the voting options open to you, you chose the second-most-likely option to return the Nats to a fourth term. The only Nat friendlier option you had would have been to party vote Nat.

                      That makes all your words on this site ring hollow.

                    • weka

                      Thanks for clarifying adam.

                      I would say, and repeated say, voting is no longer enough, just voting is like being a keyboard warrior, mildly useful to the point of pointlessness. If we do not get organised, collectively and in our whanau, we are going to face a government very soon hell bent on rolling back all progressive gains.

                      It’s way easier to organise under a LW govt (even a centrist LW one) than it is under National. A 4th term National govt will be heinous for activists and people who support them. I’ve seen this shit before, it’s exactly what happened in the early 90s when National took over from the Rogernomes. There were big protests and National hobbled them all – benefit cuts, cuts to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs funding, undermining the unions, refusing targeted funding for Māori, reforming health, pushing lots of people’s backs against the wall. And people struggled to survive and effect change. It’s just too hard. I fully expect National to double down on this.

                      I don’t see any evidence that NZ’s response to that will be to rise up. I think people of conscience will continue to resist, but that’s different to making proactive change. And we have the chance at proactive change for the first time in a long time. The middle classes as they continue to get squeezed will move to protect their remaining security and assets. I think there will be brave people that will continue speaking out, but their energy will be taken up with defence.

                      I agree there is a danger that a Labour govt will make people complacent until the next time Nat get in, but that’s why I’m voting Green. This isn’t just a choice between neoliberal parties, esp as the Greens are now signalling they want to change how politics is done.

                    • weka


                      Adam, so you electorate voted for the Maori Party candidate for your electorate, and chose not to party vote.

                      Congratulations. Of all the voting options open to you, you chose the second-most-likely option to return the Nats to a fourth term. The only Nat friendlier option you had would have been to party vote Nat.

                      Not sure about that. The Mp will go back to their members on who to choose if there is a choice. I don’t think it’s inevitable that they would choose Nat. I think they’d rather have Labour.

                      I agree about the party vote though. Not voting in a close election is akin to voting for National.

                    • Andre

                      weka, the candidates in Tamaki Makaurau are Marama Davidson (Green), Peeni Henare (Labour), and Shane Taurima (Maori). That’s all of them. Greens and Labour are absolutely committed to changing the government. The Maori Party might support National, and have been in coalition with them for the past nine years, or might not. So any hypothetical Nat supporters there would vote Taurima, which is what adam did.

        • Gristle


          1. I am quite aware of the benefits of transferring assets into family trusts; and,
          2. I think you will find that a working definition of family home will be along the lines of ‘owner and occupier’, as to make it more open will introduce too much opportunity for nullifying the CGT’s purpose; and,
          3. One of the benefits of having trust ownership of the house is that you don’t own even though you do occupy it.

          Even a man on the Clapham Omnibus would recognise that logic then leads us to the position that all trust owned properties would be encompassed by the extended CGT.

          I think we should name this test as the “Srylands’ Test.”

        • tracey

          Foolish or poor srylands. Most cannot afford the lawyers fees and the mortgage

        • One Anonymous Bloke


          Now you’re claiming that people don’t back their assertions with evidence?! When Steven Joyce got Labour’s budget peer-reviewed by six or so more economists for free, and they all agreed he was lying, and we pointed and laughed, were you too busy authoring some dishonest sophisticated argument for your next taxpayer-funded report to pay attention?

          Never mind the stupid self-martyring drivel about The Standard, it’s pretty clear that you and facts parted company some time ago on a number of fronts.

        • Steve Rylands says
          Rarely do politicians Lie..

          I would say, other than the National Politicians, you may be correct.
          You certainly cant have been taking much notice of the election if you think that English, Joyce, Bennett, Coleman and Co haven’t been telling Porkies, and many of them.
          As I have suggested to you a few times, get back to your natural home where truth is not required, with the WhaleBlubber.

        • Johan

          There is a very wealthy religious group run as a trust, pays very little tax and thus taxpayer subsidized the the hilt. Remember the smear campaign they ran against Helen Clarke?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.3

        What a good thing you’ve raised this before any legislation has been put before Parliament.

        Trust owns one house, beneficiary (of the trust) family lives in it. Pretty obvious it’s a family home.

        Trust owns multiple houses for the exclusive use of family members…could get interesting, but not so difficult it couldn’t be accommodated in law.

        • weka

          That last one needs to be sorted, because the whole thing of a single person or couple owning a single house for a home is very Pākehā and very mainstream. There are Māori trying to change that so they can share land, and people on the edge too, people who are doing non-mainstream solutions to housing.

          That means we need to rethink what family means. I’d be interested if it’s already defined in law.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Yeah, I was think of tangata whenua when I made the comment.

            And then what happens when the children of two such trusts marry? 😈

      • gsays 20.1.4

        What an attractive idea.

    • Wensleydale 20.2

      If tax right now is, for the sake of argument, 30%, and National, should they get elected, plan to reduce it to 25%. Labour, should they get elected plan to leave it static, at 30%. How is Labour raising taxes?

      Either it isn’t, or you dwell in some bizarre parallel dimension where gnomes ride flying toads to castles made of jelly babies and candyfloss.

      • Ed 20.2.1

        National are lying.
        That’s how they hope to win.
        I’ve words for English and Joyce and I don’t want to be banned from the site so I’ll think them instead.

    • tracey 20.3

      I wonder why National didnt introduce the tax cuts before now?

    • red-blooded 20.4

      Most people here get the difference between “not increasing” and “not decreasing” = “staying the same”. I think we all know that that’s not what our friends in blue have been saying, though…

  21. Apart from the lying which is bad enough those scum gnats lied to create FEAR. Just think on that for a moment – they want people scared and frightened. They don’t care about this country or the people – they deserve our greatest disgust.

  22. rhinocrates 22

    Probably useful here.

    A discussion with guests from the Republican Party or former Republican officials on their impression of the Trump presidency.

    The first segment looks specifically at the ‘norms’ of behaviour that T has broken and what lasting effects this will have on the government during and after the current presidency. The second looks more at tensions within the Republican Party.

    Note on framing this discussion: The Atlantic is pretty representative of the East Coast liberal establishment and the two main guest correspondents are pretty representative of the Republican party establishment. All of them consider T appalling, which is no surprise, but it’s interesting to see exposed and analysed the tensions in the American right. There is an expectation – perhaps wishful thinking – that Generals Kelly and Mattis are ‘the adults in the room’ and once T is gone, things will return to normal because T’s behaviour has been so demonstrably self-defeating. I’m not so optimistic, myself.

    EPISODE 11
    Will America’s Institutions Survive President Trump?
    In his short time as commander in chief, he’s broken countless norms. Has he broken the executive branch?

  23. savenz 23

    Not only is Bill English a liar, but his and National party policies are killing people and undermining the Health system. Bill English has been a key player in the health system’s destruction by transferring money off services and into mindless bureaucracy.

    from Werewolf.

    “The Health Gravy Train

    While English demanded ongoing cuts and layoffs, the health sector transformed into a bottomless hole for money — so long as you were a bureaucrat. The extravagant waste of the health care bureaucracy contrasted with the austerity imposed everywhere else.

    English took a $24,353 trip to Calcutta to attend Mother Teresa’s funeral.57 A new health agency paid a PR firm $18,750 a month despite employing 13 full-time communications staff.58 The number of bureaucrats more than doubled between 1993 and the end of 1997, even as health workers lost jobs, reaching a ratio of one manager or administrator for every five medical staff by March 1998.59
    English claimed this was justified by greater community consultation.60 Yet that claim was undermined when later, one fellow minister and others were surprised to find out a hospital in his electorate was being closed down.61

    It wasn’t just the number of bureaucrats — it was their price. Personnel costs at the HFA nearly doubled to $30 million between 1994 and 1997.62 Twelve Health Funding Authority (HFA) managers had salaries over $120,000.63 The debt-ridden Capital Coast Health paid five consultants, some part-time, close to $300,000 for less than five months work, while its chief executive at one point received a salary of nearly $500,000, which the Dominion called “preposterous.”64 Absurdly, its own executive chairman was paid consultant’s fees for advising on its restructuring, receiving nearly $200,000 in fees that had been personally set by English.65 (By contrast, as prime minister, Jenny Shipley received $199,000 a year).66 By 1998, the cost of running the Health Department had quadrupled since 1992 to $105 million.67

    English said he was fine with this.68 Yet he also argued against giving health workers a 1 percent pay rise, calling them “inflated pay packets,”69 and insisted that nurses’ pay rises be fiscally neutral.70”

    • Wensleydale 23.1

      And that’s pretty much all the evidence you need to adequately demonstrate Bill English is a steaming great (insert rude word of your choice here.)

  24. UpandComer 24

    This whole spectacle of a 37 year old who has never had to handle a dollar telling the world’s best finance minister of the past 30 years who has run 8 budget’s he’s ‘lying’ because she has no money for almost everything govt does outside health/edu for the next 3 years is bizarre, and ludicrous, and makes National look good, not bad.

    It’s incredible that The Standard of all places believes it is acceptable during surplus to run vicious fiscal austerity on most of the public service and government for the next few years. Yeah, that’s totally on purpose. Grant always intended that.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1

      Jacinda Ardern said Michael Cullen is lying? I don’t believe you.

      Oh, now I get it: you think Bill English is competent and honest. Funny.

    • Pat 24.2

      “….the world’s best finance minister of the past 30 years ….” lol, you are joking arn’t you?

  25. cleangreen 25

    Try life under the next National Government (credit to John Campbell on tonights Checkpoint.

    Just watch this clip tonight from Radio NZ as they cover the urgency of no housing for our retired folks now. at about -52 mins stage

    Absolutely discusting how the Government treats our elderly today, we hope labour does better for the elderly.

    Also note the issues of elderly with this Radio NZ clip also when the dental urgent repairs are now beyond any hope of most elderly getting any dental treatment.

    Dental was part of health treatments funding by the Canadian government in Ontario when I worked there and now I cannot afford dental repair so I have now blood poisoning!!!!

    Great isn’t it? – as National want us dead so they don’t have to pay any super any more to us, the sick bastards they are.

    I want Winston’s ‘seniors care for the elderly,’ do I have any choice?

    At least Winston will save our East Coast rail now closed so I can get a train when I cant drive again and rail is better for our environment.

    If we can have a Labour/greens/NZ First Government all will be good for us oldies to we hope.
    BREAKING: LAST TV3 POLL – Nat 45.8% Lab 37.3% Green 7.1% NZF 7.1%

  26. mosa 26

    Life is full of ironies like Gower who has suddenly realised that the Natz are lying.

    Where has this chipmunk been all this time , Media works must do so real great drugs.

    They and Key have done nothing but lie for nine years ( and some years before THAT ) has been as obvious as cow shit in the Waikato !!!

    This country is a JOKE pure and simple like all the idiots voting for this bunch of self serving shits.

    They need their head read !!

  27. Keepcalmcarryon 27

    The sad truth nationals deliberate lies work because most people aren’t interested enough in politics to know.
    Case in point, conversation with a mate today ” I’m voting National because they get us out of debt”
    ” what about National running debt over 80 billion dollars?”
    “Eh? Where did you here that? They are running a surplus”

    • Ed 27.1

      Lazy ignorant people….

      • Keepcalmcarryon 27.1.1

        Most aren’t. They just don’t do politics.
        Gutter rats like the nats exploit that, its pointless beating up uninformed voters.
        It does highlight how important the media is and how we need balanced investigative reporting back.

        • Ed

          I would not allow corporations to own the airwaves.
          Give them to the grassroots and the government.

        • TootingPopularFront

          And civics taught in school – National are presiding over an education system that is slowly dumbing down our children, their plan is to rule in perpetuity as there will be no-one sufficiently well-educated to take them on.

    • Wensleydale 27.2

      People are busy. And stressed. And worried. And exhausted. And preoccupied with the minutiae of their daily lives. And some of them… some of them are just stupid.

  28. Duncan 28

    If I had one wish right now it would be that certain people in the Media stand up and be counted tomorrow.
    Make your voice heard and damn the consequences.
    There is too much at stake to remain silent.
    Be a hero.

    • Ed 28.1

      They are too compromised to do that.
      Big fat salaries mean Garner, Hosking, Espiner et al will (like the 40 % voting National) put their own selfish interests above those of the country’s.

  29. mosa 29

    There was a time in this country when we had a sense of the good that makes us KIWI.

    We must get that back and it is still there in every one of us that is good , decent and principled , independent and TOUGH.

    Do it for your country and the generations to follow.

    Show your pride and true colours and vote Labour -Green at this election.

    Jacinda my girl you have done us proud.

  30. The Doc 30

    Hmmm, not a lie really. Position is relative therefor so is movement. If your point of reference is National’s tax cuts then reversing them is making taxes higher. If your point of reference is current rates then reversing the cut is keeping taxes the same. The former’s not even that unreasonable a reference point because it’s the law as it stands now.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 30.1

      How do you reverse something that hasn’t happened – time travel?

      The government could commit to making all rivers safe for drinking, all of NZ ‘predator’ free, and owning the moon by 2050 – there have been a depressingly large number of political ‘porky promises’ over the last 9 years…

      • Keepcalmcarryon 30.1.1

        Lol yes. It appears now National can promise anything and if labour don’t promise same then they are taking something away.
        It’s as dumb as it sounds and needs media to be calling it, not Hoskings ” labour and national agreeing to disagree”

  31. geoff 31

    crosby textor

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    16 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    17 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    17 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    19 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    1 week ago