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!”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=166422

    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 7.1.1.1

          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.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10607737&pnum=0

    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

  • APEC finance ministers focus on inclusive, sustainable COVID recovery
    APEC finance ministers will continue to work together to respond to the effects of COVID-19 and ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery while capitalising on the opportunity to build a more resilient future. The New Zealand Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson chaired the virtual APEC Finance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital on track
    Improvements to child and maternity facilities at Timaru Hospital are well underway, and the next stage of the project will begin next month. Health Minister Andrew Little visited Timaru Hospital today to view progress onsite. “The improvements are part of South Canterbury DHB’s four-year refurbishment project and will create a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Govt responds to independent review into WorkSafe
    The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says. The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) today released the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Prevention funding to reduce tamariki in care
    A new iwi-led prevention programme will receive funding from Oranga Tamariki to help reduce the number of tamariki and rangatahi coming into state care, Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has announced. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Te Rūnanga) will receive $25.9m of Oranga Tamariki funding over three years to improve outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Transforming New Zealand’s mental health legislation
    Public consultation is now open for Aotearoa New Zealand to have a say on the repeal and replacement of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992. “’He Ara Oranga, the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction’ made it clear that we needed to replace ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework
    Kia ora koutou katoa Today I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders to share a plan that will help us stay safe from COVID-19 into the future. A future where we want to continue to protect people’s lives, but also to live our lives – as safely as possible. Our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Business boost to transition to new COVID framework
    We know that over the last twenty months the approach New Zealand has taken to COVID and Delta has saved lives and livelihoods. Along with one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, we have also had strong economic growth, low unemployment and one of the lower levels of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • COVID-19 funding boost to protect maōri communities
    Tēnā koutou katoa As you have heard from the Prime Minister, the new protection framework will support us to keep people safe especially our vulnerable communities and minimize the impact COVID-19 has on business and our day to day lives. If you want to protect yourself, your whanau and your ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New COVID-19 Protection Framework delivers greater freedoms for vaccinated New Zealanders
    New COVID-19 Protection Framework provides pathway out of lockdown and ability for businesses and events to re-open to vaccinated New Zealanders Simpler framework to minimise cases and hospitalisations without use of widespread lockdowns Auckland to move into the new framework when 90 percent of eligible population in each of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New fund to accelerate Māori vaccinations
    The Government has established a $120 million fund to accelerate Māori vaccination rates and support communities to prepare for the implementation of the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. The new Māori Communities COVID-19 Fund will directly fund Māori, Iwi, community organisations and providers to deliver local vaccination initiatives for whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government extends hardship assistance for low income workers
    Income limits for Hardship Support through the Ministry of Social Development have been temporarily lifted so more people can recieve assistance. “Cabinet has agreed to make it easier for low income workers to recieve assistance for items such as food and other emergency costs,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “We know the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • More support for learners with highest needs
    Students most in need of extra help in the classroom are the focus of a new review that gets under way today, Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti says. About 50,000-80,000 children and young people are expected to benefit from a Ministry of Education review into Highest Need Learners that will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Parts of Waikato to stay at Alert Level 3 for next six days
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 will remain at that alert level till Wednesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Based on the latest public health information, maintaining level 3 in those parts of the Waikato continues to be the most prudent course of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hon Peeni Henare September 2021 Proactive Diary Release
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ passes world-first climate reporting legislation
    New Zealand has become the first country in the world to pass a law that will ensure financial organisations disclose and ultimately act on climate-related risks and opportunities, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced today. The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister NZ UK FTA opening remarks
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. I am delighted to announce today that following a conversation with Prime Minister Johnson last night, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have Agreed in Principle a historic high-quality, comprehensive and inclusive free trade agreement. I’m joined today by the Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand secures historic free trade deal with the United Kingdom
    A boost of almost $1 billion to New Zealand GDP, unprecedented access for New Zealand exporters to the UK market UK to eliminate all tariffs on New Zealand exports, with over 97% being removed the day the FTA comes into force NZ exporters to save approx. $37.8 million per year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show more people in work
    Benefit figures released today show a year on year fall of 9,807 people receiving a Main Benefit in the September Quarter.  “The Government is working hard to tackle COVID-19 and it is clear our strong response to the initial outbreak has created a resilient labour market which is providing opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health reforms bill introduced to Parliament
    Legislation central to fixing the health system has been introduced into Parliament by Health Minister Andrew Little. “Rebuilding the public health system is critical to laying the foundations for a better future for all New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said. “We need a system that works for everybody, no matter who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams to proceed
    NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Limited change to onsite learning – for senior secondary students – in Level 3 regions
    Onsite learning at schools in Level 3 regions will start from next week for senior secondary school students to prepare for end of year exams, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Secondary schools in these regions will start onsite learning for years 11 to 13 on Tuesday 26 October,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers
    The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector. “Our world-class workforce is vital in rebuilding the health system and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Little said. “Whether it’s bringing doctors or nurses in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities
    Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said. The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago