web analytics

Light at the end of the tunnel

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 am, November 16th, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: honeymoon, john key, leadership - Tags:

do nothing johnWe’ve been in the tunnel of love too long. (You youngsters can go look it up.) The media’s affair with our personable but apparently useless PM has been a trying time for we lefties. But I think there are glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.

Those glimmers come in the form of several pieces that have started to voice criticism of Key, his aimless government, and his rogue MPs.  Perhaps it started with Rodney Hide letting slip that Key ‘doesn’t do anything’.  In any case, here’s a few that I’ve noticed recently.

In The Listener cover story pictured, Ruth Laugesen:

But in the wake of the global financial crisis, there is a feeling of drift in the Government’s economic policies. Is the Government really serious about catching up with Australia by 2025? And if so, where’s the plan?

Fran O’Sullivan:

The brute reality is that while our leading politicians are resorting to outright sophistry to justify their unconscionable plundering of the rapidly diminishing public purse, other Kiwis are struggling.

Despite the big-ticket Job Summit, there has been little real focus on the shameful explosion of youth unemployment. Figures out this week show 25.1 per cent of job-seekers between 15 to 19 years of age cannot get work. Just over 10 per cent of those aged 20 to 24 are in the same boat.

Tracey Barnett:

The scariest moment for any opinion columnist is when she discovers she doesn’t have an opinion – and I just got there. One year on from John Key taking office, and it feels as if New Zealand has entered the Age of Beige – and I can’t think of anything more terrifying.

Our new Prime Minister is friendly. He genially pays for his wife’s overseas airfares, his shirts are tidy, his comments evenly modulated. When my American family asks if I like him, I reply, “he’s fine”, like someone’s inquiring about how your school uniform fits. After that, I lose the plot. I can’t tell you what he stands for or against. … Admit it: John Key’s most memorable moment in one year of office was seeing him on the stage of The David Letterman Show, smiling like somebody’s brother-in-law you’d forgotten you went to school with. … I’m waiting, waiting for this Prime Minister to fill in his paint-by-number canvas so I can see some kind of the bigger picture.

Brian Fallow (and Treasury):

The Government seems to have it in for taxpayers. Not today’s taxpayers so much as those who will be footing the bill in, say, the 2020s. 

First there was superannuation. … If that [maintaining the Cullen fund] is no longer possible, it is clearly craven and irresponsible for the Government to refuse to even discuss a reduction in the entitlement parameters of the scheme, such as pushing back the age of eligibility. Instead it plans to just pass on the now much larger bill to future taxpayers.

It is the same story with the costs of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the cornerstone of the official response to the challenge of climate change: a multibillion-dollar post-dated cheque on future taxpayers. … Conspicuously, and for the first time anyone can remember, the Treasury has refused to endorse a regulatory impact statement for the legislation. The quality of the analysis, it says in the bill’s explanatory note, “is not commensurate with the significance of the proposals”.

Michael Laws:

[The Maori Party] are a party that harbours a membership that thinks like Hone. Prime Minister John Key similarly has sticky fingers this morning. Because he has been weak from the get-go. Instead of quickly and forcibly expressing the outrage of a country, he unsuccessfully sought to employ his shooing policeman persona. Move along folks, nothing to see here. …

But one voice that has been missing this week and perhaps would have been the strongest is that of Helen Clark. This was one week when she was missed. One week when her steely outrage would have played so well. And one week when she would have taken the opportunity to hammer Hone hard. Ah yes, it’s been a bad week for the government when you start to nostalgise over Helen.

Well golly. Is this the beginning of the end of the affair?

21 comments on “Light at the end of the tunnel ”

  1. Noko 1

    About bloody time, too.

  2. IrishBill 2

    I wouldn’t get too excited, r0b. The Xmas break generally provides a circuit-breaker for this kind of thing and I suspect APEC will provide enough cover for Key to get through to then.

    On the other hand a competent opposition would be looking at the dearth of news over the silly season and lining up a few juicy stories to keep the momentum up. I reckon that’s too much to ask though.

  3. The light at the end of the tunnell is the increasing possibility that this lot will be turfed out at the next election.

    When Michael Laws starts being nostalgic about Helen’s reign you know that the tories are in trouble!

    It appears to becoming increasingly obvious that this particular emperor does not possess any clothes.

  4. outofbed 4

    Yeah but didn’t key score the winning goal that put us in the WCF?

  5. Is that light at the end of the tunnell or the headlight of the train of environmental and economic disaster hurtling towards us at great speed while under this leadership NZ Inc has its foot firmly wedged between the train tracks.

    And our leader is relaxed about it?

    • Bored 5.1

      Much as I would love to see these prats turfed out, the question is really why and with what would we replace them? NACT dont exist in a vacuum otherwise their lack of substance would be filled by ideas and policies etc sucked in from elsewhere. My take is that the Labour led left in NZ also suffers from the same vacuity of substance. This grieves me greatly.

      • felix 5.1.1

        While on one level I share your general sentiment, don’t forget that these clowns have all but promised to spend their second term flogging off our assets. A Labour-led govt won’t.

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    What are you complaining about, they’ve basically adopted the same policies as Labour- with a slight tweak of the neo-liberal rhetoric.

    Unless labour were to ditch NZ’s obsession with property wealth- it would be phyrric victory indeed.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Don’t expect media coverage to change much. Barry Soper explains why:

    “The beer flowed as the giant, succulent crabs were served for us to savor. He was one of the lads and clearly enjoyed the banter and what’s more, unlike any Prime Minister before him he, and not the taxpayer, picked up the tab!”


    Buying journalists (or “treating”) would be unethical – possibly illegal – in a robust democracy with a vigilant fourth estate. But not in New Zealand, it seems.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Actually, I think that may be illegal. I know that there’s some rules about such actions somewhere although they may be limited to the “electioneering period”.

      • gobsmacked 7.1.1

        Legal or not, no reputable news organisation would allow its reporters to accept such bribes. Sadly, Soper works for APN.

        What next? A Christmas bonus, from the Prime Minister to the press gallery? (“it’s OK, it’s not from the taxpayer, it’s my own personal slush fund”).

        • Draco T Bastard

          Oh, definitely unethical and our law already recognises that it’s just that it may not apply in this case. It’s the problem you get when laws are too tightly prescribed.

    • sk 7.2

      Interesting. It actually suggests he had nothing to do at APEC if he had time to take journalists out for crabs. What the NZ press is missing is that Key is not a player at this level. I am sure the other Asiapac leaders see him as a lightweight>

  8. Jasper 8

    And their policies – what policies?

    Shanks holds a “policy meeting” each month in Ohariu for constituents to go along with policy ideas for them.

    Labour does the same thing, but over a three year period… the fact that Nats are doing this right now means they really have no idea what to do, nor what’s affecting normal people.

    While it can be seen that they’re “listening” to me it smacks of desperation.

  9. Jenny 9

    These “glimmers of light” may turn into the shocking flash of realisation that for many the recession is far from over.

    U.S.A. Youth Unemployment at 52.5%

    According to the Sunday Star Times, 15 Nov. 09, though this story is not getting much headlines, youth unemployment in the US is reaching fearful levels.

    According to the New York Post the figure is even higher, and is not expected to improve in under 15 years.

    Generally New Zealand has been a year behind the rest of the world in experiencing the worst effects of the recession, and already youth unemployment here is at 25%.

    Will the Nats take this growing tragedy seriously? Or try and follow the American media and government’s example and ignore this looming social catastrophe.


    From the NYP;

    The number of young Americans without a job has exploded to 53.4 percent — a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. — meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/the_dead_end_kids_AnwaWNOGqsXMuIlGONNX1K#ixzz0WsYUeITz

  10. BLiP 10

    heh! the “Age of Beige” – I just love that.

    I only hope that the light at the end of the tunnel you see is, in fact, a freight train heading our way.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago