Later Stuart

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, August 20th, 2023 - 12 comments
Categories: election 2014, elections, politicans, stuart nash - Tags:

Stuart Nash has delivered his valedictory speech.

These are important speeches.  What did you actually achieve during your time in Parliament.  What policy changes did you manage to achieve?

Stuart’s speech was interesting.

There were a few eye raising parts.  Like when he lauded his rich mates and essentially dissed left wing activists.

The truth is, you can’t run—let alone win—a political campaign without money. I have been extremely fortunate to have a group of exceptional mates who have simply supported their mate. Notably, Ned Kelly and Troy Bowker were very generous over this time. Without their help, the team wouldn’t have achieved what we did during that campaign. But also great mates and lifelong friends like Phil McCaw, Marty Verry, Greg Loveridge, and Bob Jones have funded me campaign after campaign, and I thank you for supporting me and am forever grateful. As mentioned, just mates backing a mate in a very Kiwi way.

Yep the splash of campaign funding is always great.

But Nash was exceptionally good at raising money from wealthy benefactors and he has an interesting choice of friends.

Troy Bowker for instance.

As noted by Redfed in 2014 Bowker paid for a report strategising the setting up of a centrist party in competition with the Labour Party.  Simon Lusk, he of dirty politics pedigree, was commissioned to write the report and Stuart Nash was implicated in elements of the attempt.  Nash said he torpedoed the idea and did not know about it until the report had been prepared.  Bowker disagreed and says Nash told them to see him when the report was completed. Why Nash was having anything to do with one of the people most implicated in Dirty Politics is hard to understand.

Bowker also wrote a dumpster fire of an opinion piece in the Herald that I analysed in this post.

Bowker was really upset that the Government had extended the bright line test thinking that the Government wanted to inflict financial hardship on landlords.  He claimed that this Government is a socialist Government and said that Labour had a major chip on its shoulder against property investors.

Why after all of this Nash would still accept donations from Bowker in 2020 I am not sure.

Matthew Hooton is another supporter and arranged a fundraiser for Nash at the Northern Club in 2018 that Nash cancelled at the last minute.  Nash sure had some interesting friends.

He lauds the fact that he won Napier in 2014.

Although he did there were a few pieces of luck.  Like the then MP Chris Tremain standing down and Sentencing Sentence Trust’s Garth McVicar gaining a significant number of votes.

If you look at the 2011 and 2014 election results in Napier you will see that his proportion of the electorate vote barely changed but National’s plunged by 19% points because of McVicar.  His success was directly due to McVicar’s presence but hey, in politics winning is all important.

And the share of the party vote in Napier went down by 3.13% compared to the countrywide figure of 2.35%.  It is the ABC of proportional politics that winning electorate campaigns do not actually help, the level of the party vote like winning is the only thing that matters.

Vainglorious campaigns in an MMP environment where electorate seats are won and the party vote goes down are a waste of time.

More laudible was Carmel Sepuloni’s almost win of Waitakere in 2011 when the tide was well and truly going out.  She did this on the back of a huge activist effort.  No rich pricks were required in the near winning of that campaign.

Nash claims credit for putting cameras on fishing boats.  I beg to differ.

He has a couple of observations which made me wonder which party he was a member of.

First up:

I love this country and I believe in its potential, but the growing acceptance of mediocrity has become a disease that has crept into society in a way that is highly counter-productive. We need to banish the belief that it’s not about winning, but rather it’s about participation: that’s just bullshit. Play fair, but always play to win. Fight for it. Be there to be the best. We must instil a passion and a pride in all New Zealanders—starting in the classroom with teachers and students, based on principles and objectives of excellence and success.

I beg to differ.  There is no growing acceptance of mediocrity.  There is an increasing insistence that privilege should not be self replicating.

And his second observation made me wonder if Mark Mitchell wrote this:

Secondly, in this country, we tend to put our judges on a pedestal. Of course, they play a very important part in maintaining the social fabric of society, but if a Minister whose name is on a piece of legislation can’t comment on a decision that is so far outside the expectations of the community that both the Minister and the Judge serve; then who can? Well, apart from Mike Hosking. Judges need to be as accountable for their performance as MPs are. Of course, as a legislator, I understand the principle of judicial independence—but as a legislator, when I occasionally see members of the judiciary seemingly ignoring the very clear guidance Parliament’s legislation has sent to both them and our communities, then I think as an elected representative, I have earnt the right to call that out.

I am relatively unique in that I have had dealings with a number of MPs and a number of Judges over the years.

My overwhelming impression is that most Judges have a very keen and sophisticated understanding of the law and a very keen and compassionate view of society.  They rightfully do not take instructions from individual politicians and they are not there to bow to public pressure.  They are there to observe the law and to ensure that justice occurs.  MPs being upset with original cases when they do not know the full details are not uncommon but also not conducive.  Especially when they blow off in public.

Nash was demoted as a Minister because of as spectacular an own goal as you can imagine.

He is returning to corporate life and will work for an organisation “whose culture embraces excellence and whose values are totally aligned with mine”.

12 comments on “Later Stuart ”

  1. Ad 1

    Labour needed a lot more business-friendly Ministers, but we needed zero who leaked pre-Cabinet paper recommendations.

    It was an egregious political crime and he was given plenty of chances by the PM. He should have apologised in his final speech.

    • tc 1.1

      An apology would be hollow coming from Stu given his track record as he always appeared to not give a toss.

      Hooton as a backer….say no more.

    • newsense 1.2

      Presumably also leaked by the Bowker guy who was backing him?

    • newsense 1.3

      It’d also be interesting to find out what business-friendly means to you.

      Anti-climate change action?
      Reducing labour costs?
      Signing free trade agreements?
      Not building any infrastructure that is at all inconvenient in its construction period ?

      Joining military practices and buying more military stuff?

      Having transparency in government departments and procedures?

      someone who has large donors and is keen to further particular causes related to those donations? Say the racing industry or the fisheries?

      Someone who does whatever primary industry wants?

      More investment slush funds?

      Or someone who not only takes no action that inconveniences dominated markets, but also doesn’t even favour reports suggesting that banking/supermarkets/petrol etc are overpriced?

      Or a labour inspectorate that has around two inspectors so it doesn’t catch any modern slavery or under the table payment and exploitation of those on temporary visas?

      New Zealand is a fairly good country to do business in, but it’s also a massive challenge to scale up in our markets.

      I think it mightn’t hurt as well to find some business leaders who don’t want to abolish the customer and return us to the Pinochet-inspired era of the Employment contracts act. Or who are making a substantial difference in their climate change leadership. Or have a vision for a sustainable New Zealand economy which isn’t simply immigration without infrastructure. Growth! Growth before all else without analysis or reason! Scoreboard, scoreboard, scoreboard.

  2. Blazer 2

    Good riddance .The way he used to gush on when he and 'Mitch' were on radio together,was…embarrassing.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    As another online pundit put it…“Nashy got the slashy”…and well deserved.

    39 long years now of Rogernomics and 33 of Ruthanasia…NZ Labour are you listening to the people?–the bottom 50%, not the top 10%–even David Parker was compelled to send the Caucus a telling message over wealth tax.

  4. Visubversa 4

    I had the misfortune to be involved in one of his earlier campaigns. It was always just about him. The Electorate Committee had to tell him very solidly what has job was in that Electorate at that time. And we raised the majority of the $$$$ even though we were still paying off debts from the previous "show pony".

  5. Patricia Bremner 5

    So "gotta be a winner" no time for losers.

    What a crock. Trojan horse?

  6. newsense 6

    That anti-mediocrity spiel: did he list any of his achievements or anything he did in his time as an MP to reverse this tired rhetoric he diagnosed as a major issue?

  7. Mike the Lefty 7

    I've said it before that Nash could well have been a National member for Napier and your average elector would have noticed little difference other than the colours of the banners.

    His local popularity was probably from a hardcore gang of voters who always supported him because he wasn't considered much of a threat to the status quo. I believe he was the only sitting Labour MP in a general electorate who suffered a reduced % vote when most of the others were gaining 10% plus in the one-sided 2020 elections.

    I class him as one of parliament's great under achievers. Was there a long time, but you have to wrack your brains to think of anything significant he did.

  8. Corey 8

    Wow that's a horrendous valedictory.

    For someone whose career ended the way it did, this just makes it obvious, he doesn't think he did anything wrong.

    Still petulant, saying ministers should be able to attack judges and interfere in court cases and skiting about his rich friends.

    Also for such a mediocre man to be calling the country and it's teachers mediocre.

    God I'm glad to see this man leave parliament.

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    I always used say Nash was the best National leader they never had….of course Hipkins now nicely fits that bill.

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