Luxon Aeterna

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, June 16th, 2023 - 48 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, covid-19, Economy, health, law and "order", national, politicans - Tags:

I have met the enemy, and he is charmingly mild.

In a 0 centigrade night the Wanaka town hall was so full that they moved us all from a 60-seater to 200 seater auditorium with all the speed of a fire evacuation in a retirement village. They were 70+ average, all chopped bobs and tweeds and 100% whiter than Eastbourne, modern European SUV’s in the carparks, most within range of the Greens’ $4m wealth tax I’d venture.

If you ever went to a John Key post-budget briefing in his first term, he had a no-notes, wander-across-stage Tony Robins charisma that was hard to beat for the suit-set. Luxon attempts that schtick, with a wilful non-parliamentary naivety.

Luxon surprisingly uses almost no campaign rhetoric, no jokes, no cheap shots. No suit or tie; it was jersey over shirt. An effort not to smell political.

He started with standard anodyne bromides about New Zealand being a perfectly placed country that can achieve anything it wants, but is held back by a government taking it in the wrong direction. No repeats of the “wet snivelling lot” line tonight.

His three themes are Law and Order, One People, and the Economy.

He certainly mentions how much more the Labour government is spending on things like health, but never mentioned COVID once. Insofar as he mentions past Labour spending, it’s framed as waste.

When directly asked by Wanaka part time resident Ruth Richardson what his plan for the first 100 days in office, he made mumbly noises about holding public service chief executives to account, but otherwise simply didn’t have a plan at all. This was weird for a senior exec who had run plenty of turnaround plans before.

The one point of applause he got was for bonding health professionals to stay here for several years. He has very specific targets about educational attainment to get New Zealand reading and writing and mathematics standards back to what they were by specific years, and similarly specific targets for the public health system in terms of treatments, timing of specialist care plans, and vaccinations.

None of that registered with that audience.

Not unreasonably he plays hard on the rise in gun crime and gang member increases.

Unfortunately there is functionally no crime in Wanaka other than a bit of recreational meth for the skiers and tradies, so that didn’t connect either much.

No jokes, no jabs, no acknowledgement that he’s in the National Party. He has zero of the rhetorical punch you’d get from Winston Peters of the 2000s or that Jacinda Ardern could muster with a script and a decent runup. Someone get him a speechwriter with some heft.

He is particularly keen on his experience as a retail group manager bringing in stronger anti-cartel regulators that he saw in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

But he has so little political experience you can’t sense whether he could get a bill or a budget through. He  has no muscle.

He is similar to Key in that in policy terms he is a mile wide and an inch thick.

I was very surprised for a Wanaka audience he had that he didn’t go straight to defending family trusts, defending more specific tax cuts, and defending housing equity from capital gains taxes. He didn’t mention retirement savings or public spending on retirements either in subsidy or in NZ Super.

If he had done his research on Wanaka he would have recognised how few in that audience were voting Labour or Green, how rich on average they were and hence how wealth-controlling, how much in short he was in white haute-bourgeoisie heaven. Key had that depth of audience research, that ability to pick the cues and pitch back to them.

The audience wanted to be more charmed than they actually were. Which was weird after Labour’s month showing all signs of just coming apart.

Wanaka being a gated community without the gates, he knocked but despite those who came to see him, the crowd didn’t let him in. The Waitaki electorate went Party vote Labour last time with Labour on 43.8% and National 31.6% and it’s hard to see anything but a complete reversal. Wanaka will vote National irrespective.

In evangelical terms he missed the appeal to the crowd to come to the front and repent. That’s because unfortunately Wanaka people believe they’ve already got to heaven.

48 comments on “Luxon Aeterna ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    The meta of all this is this election really is shaping up as a gunfight between fading boomers making one last attempt to keep NZ the way they made it and new forces welling up in the electorate.

    Given the economic circumstances, a victory for a Labour led coalition would surely signal the shattering of the boomer generations stranglehood on power that they've held for the last forty years. Even a narrow National/ACT victory, if accompanied by the sort of desperate attempts to shore up the bulwarks of boomer power that ACT wants, would simply push the country toward another Springbok tour level generational crisis.

    • Phillip ure 1.1

      Fully agree with the prediction of springbok level disruption should ac-nat win..

      It'll be gloves off on matters environmental… especially..

      At least with grn-lab there is hope of some attention to this critical imperative..

      With ac-nat..not so much..

      So with no hope there…should they win…buckle up… it's gonna be a rough ride..

      Those concerned about climate change will have no other pathways.

      Direct action will be the only option..

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        Exactly, new gens need to find their mojo alright, but not in the way Luxo means.
        Generations rent and student loan have the numbers now, and hopefully the political organisation by 2026–and enough turnout on October 14 to keep Baldrick and Seymour well away from office.

        Direct Action, community organising, turning from 39 years of “me–me–me” to a more collective Aotearoa NZ…TPM and Greens are doing some good work in that respect, and Jacinda Ardern’s legacy Matariki public holiday will resonate down the years.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    When directly asked by Wanaka part time resident Ruth Richardson what his plan for the first 100 days in office, he made mumbly noises about holding public service chief executives to account, but otherwise simply didn’t have a plan at all. This was weird for a senior exec who had run plenty of turnaround plans before.

    The idea that public servants have chief executives seems novel. I wonder if any of them know that. Is it true, or merely his speculative hypothesis? I'm open too the possibility – perhaps someone will front up with proof of how the top dudes & dudesses execute stuff.

    The no-plan approach to life is pragmatic – just respond to situations instinctively as they happen to you. Can't fault that in him, but I bet RR did. She'd be looking for evidence that he knows what he's doing. Does any improviser know what they're doing? Of course not! Biology rules reasoning all the time.

    However I do sympathise with RR in her tacit assumption that action plans are real cool things to have, especially for a PM – her desire to discover if he is actually cool enough to have such a plan must have been unsatisfied. She ought to tell him what to do. Lux seems the kinda guy who would relish obeying orders, like a spaniel.

    • Cheryl McLeod 2.1

      Spot on! No plans, no Policies, not much to anything, really.

      Just lots of blithering and insulting all NZers with his wet whiny, whinging comments about how insular we all are- NOT wise comments from a political wannabe.. not the sort of comments we relish from a "potential " PM! Heaven help us!

  3. Bearded Git 3

    It was a choice between going to watch Luxon or quiz night at the Albert Town pub for me. We came second in the quiz.

    I disagree that Labour is "coming apart". They made a couple of minor administrative errors in parliament that the opposition has exploited ruthlessly with the help of the MSM.

    The economy has been hit hard by Covid, then by the inflation inducing Ukraine war, then by the cyclone. Any government would be up against it in these circumstances, yet the economy is basically flat, unemployment is low, government borrowing is low and the current account deficit is starting to improve as tourists flock in again, exports are improving and immigration rockets.

    As I said last week, the government needs to stress that, according to the World Bank, NZ is the easiest place in the world to do business in.

    Luxon is pretty useless-I would be more worried if Willis was in charge. But the Left has a good chance in October while Luxon is there, and if climate change votes flow to the Greens.

    • Ad 3.1

      BG we should find a way to connect.

      • Bearded Git 3.1.1

        I like my Hermit Kingdom status Ad, but we will probably work out who each other is at some stage and happy to share a beer at that point.

      • Phillip ure 3.1.2

        Ad.. could your first line read..'mildly charming'..?

        • Phillip ure 3.1.2.1

          I'm a bit disturbed to hear that luxon owns/rides a piaggio scooter..(piaggio are the vespa house-brand..)

          That's'cos I too ride a 'p' (as the scooting-cognoscenti call them)..

          And am now grappling with the question of do I have to invite him to join the riders club..?..called (obviously) 'the flying p's'. .

          Tagline: 'born to be mild'..

          • higherstandard 3.1.2.1.1

            Tagline: 'born to be mild'..

            Oh that is very good Phil.

            Are the Vespas more easily accessible/cheaper than they used to be in NZ ?

            • Phillip ure 3.1.2.1.1.1

              I see piaggio more than vespa..

              Vespa still expensive..but beautiful..

              The Lexus of scooters..

              And I do have vespa envy..

              But seriously…I learnt from a review that the piaggio is essentially a rebadged vespa .

              The base model..but vespa nonetheless…

    • alwyn 3.2

      As you also pointed out it wasn't that "according to the World Bank, NZ is the easiest place in the world to do business in." it was really that the World Bank said that back in 2019 we were pretty easy to do Business in and that the survey became so discredited that they stopped publishing it.

  4. dv 4

    Was that the nat Ruth Richardson?

  5. tsmithfield 5

    A fair, balanced aritcle, Ad.

    I wouldn't knock the 70 year olds though. They are very diligent in getting out to vote. So, definitely a demographic worth persuing.

    • Muttonbird 5.1

      It highlights the philosophy of the National Party.

      Backward-looking, not forward looking. Reactionary instead of progressive. Pessimistic, not optimistic. Fortifying existing wealth, reserving it for direct descendants, rather than investing in all.

      To pursue that vote is pure Key political cynicism.

      • LibertyBelle 5.1.1

        Or perhaps the 70 somethings are worldly wise. They have learned the danger of excessive debt and poor quality spending. They are less idealistic and more interested in actual outcomes. Many have fought for social change, protested against the excesses of both imperialism and totalitarianism. Overall, the 70 somethings I rub shoulders with have earned the respect I afford them.

        • Muttonbird 5.1.1.1

          You completely argued against yourself there. 70+ are worldly wise having given up their earlier fight for social change?

          Breathtaking ego in your last sentence. Not surprised.

          • LibertyBelle 5.1.1.1.1

            Where did I say they had given up?

            Breathtaking ignorance in your part not to understand what they have contributed.

  6. pat 6

    An opportunity to see in the flesh the figurehead that may result from a vote for Act.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Right hand with the mic, left hand in pocket, am I right?

  8. Anne 8

    "No jokes, no jabs, no acknowledgement that he’s in the National Party."

    That's because he's been told to steer clear of them. His ability to joke, jab have thus far failed. He has to spend ensuing weeks walking back on them or clarifying which one he was indulging in. He also does not seem to be well versed in reading audiences and it often comes across as though someone has primed him in advance what he has to say.

    If he does make it to the top job I suspect it will become apparent he's not up it and we will see a leadership spill well in advance of the 2026 election.

  9. Kat 9

    "He never mentioned COVID once…."

    Most likely his deputy reminded him that if you mention and repeat something often enough such as "wasteful spending" more people will start to believe it, so not mentioning COVID will have a similar effect but in reverse.

    By completely ignoring COVID the blame for high inflation, cost of living and other socio-economic crises can all be blamed on the Labour govt.

    Red meets Blue in Christchurch this evening………. I read its a “grudge” match….

  10. weka 10

    beautifully written post Ad, nice one.

  11. DS 11

    If he had done his research on Wanaka he would have recognised how few in that audience were voting Labour or Green, how rich on average they were and hence how wealth-controlling, how much in short he was in white haute-bourgeoisie heaven

    Wanaka's indeed very posh. Which, apart from the preponderance of Nats, also means it's rather more sympathetic to the Greens than you would generally see in the Waitaki electorate. Poor people do not vote Green.

    • bwaghorn 11.1

      Poor people do not vote Green.

      Why?

    • Dennis Frank 11.2

      The impression I get is that poor people don't vote – due to a lack of civic consciousness (or whatever the latest academic framing is). Democracy is, at best, a marginal part of their collective world. Their lack of class consciousness is an ongoing marvel. Karl Marx probably gave up on spinning in his grave – after getting it so wrong – ascended to the astral plane & took off for a better world instead.

      Dunno if kiwi social scientists have measured the extent of alienation from politics on a class basis but here's a glimpse into the UK from a decade back: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/16/poverty-election-vote-apathy

      At the 2010 general election, there was a gaping 23 percentage points gap between the turnout of the richest and poorest income groups. Why? Because those living in poverty who choose not to vote often feel completely excluded and disconnected from the political process.

      Over the past six years, I have done academic research with a small group of individuals in Leeds directly affected by welfare reform. Most of those I spoke to did not vote. Sam, a young jobseeker when we first met, explained why: “Whoever I vote for, the country’s going to the dogs anyway so I don’t bother”, she said. I heard politicians spoken about with contempt, words dripping with anger and mistrust. They were vehemently criticised for their readiness to talk as experts on welfare and poverty: areas on which they in fact appeared to know little.

      So the poor are as alienated from the political left as they are from the political right. We can surmise why this is so. Track record. Performance vs rhetoric, etc.

      • Shanreagh 11.2.1

        “Whoever I vote for, the country’s going to the dogs anyway so I don’t bother”, she said. I heard politicians spoken about with contempt, words dripping with anger and mistrust. They were vehemently criticised for their readiness to talk as experts on welfare and poverty: areas on which they in fact appeared to know little.

        Very interesting DF.

        What I have heard, and surprisingly, or not, from the 1970s former activist crowd is really a paraphrase of

        Whoever I vote for, the country’s going to the dogs nothing's going to change anyway so I don’t bother”

        The Woodstock idea of being able to chnage the word has well and truly been beaten out of them by the reality of life.

        Many were damaged by the neo lib restructurings which were not voted on/in as far as Labour was concerned. Then carried on by the Nats, for whom this anti worker/people approach was more predictable.

        The parties seem clustered around the centre with little really between them, policy-wise, yet. I think many who were around with the unvoted for neolib stuff saw a parallel with the unvoted for self ID that apparently was one of the Greens bottom lines for a coalition or Confidence.

        We need some how to get the idea back that every vote counts, that is is worth it perhaps not immediately but for children or grandchildren. I actually don't think it matters if people vote for this or that party……the exercise is of democracy that manyof our forefathers/mothers have died to protect.

        Classes in Civics/how govts work etc etc seems a low key but useful start. smiley

        • Dennis Frank 11.2.1.1

          My hunch is that a new type of mass psychology is required. I agree re education in how democracy works as a system ought to be taught to youngsters, but a network effect is required to scale up solidarity and make it politically effective.

          You're right that established parties market themselves to the center rather than the margins. Understandable since that's where the numbers lie (bell curve).

          Sharing common motivations is difficult in our individualistic culture, so organising to make it happen can only come from serious altruism combined with commitment to spend time & money pulling together folk often dismissed as losers into a mass movement…

          • tWiggle 11.2.1.1.1

            There's the lower the voting age to 16, which increased turnout in the following election in Scotland (this is a download doc).

            '[Lowering the voting age to 16] has maintained a boost in electoral engagement among first-time voters enfranchised at 16 or 17. Seven years after the initial lowering of the voting age in Scotland, we observe that young people who benefited from the lowering of the voting age to 16 in Scotland were more likely to turn out to vote in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections than young people who were first eligible to vote in an election aged 18 or older.'

      • Belladonna 11.2.2

        That doesn't seem to be the whole explanation, however.

        Setting aside the undisputed fact that poor people vote less than more wealthy ones.

        Relatively 'wealthy' electorates have a much higher percentage of Green voters, than relatively poor ones.

        Compare Wellington Central (30% Green party vote in 2020) and Hutt South (9% GP party vote in 2020)

        Or Epsom (heart of ACT territory) – 10% Green party vote in 2020; with Manurewa – 3% GPV in 2020.

        It seems that those poor people who vote, disproportionately, don't vote Green.

        • Dennis Frank 11.2.2.1

          So now the Greens are experimenting with a scheme designed to help the poor. The nature of the experiment is a gamble: will the poor respond to the scheme by actually voting for it?

          The Greens appear to believe that they will. I suspect they won't. If I'm wrong, the polls will show an upward trend in those intending to vote Green, right?

          So the space to watch in the next few months is any discernible trend upward in the prospective Green vote. Will the Greens simply have faith in the judgment of the poor or will they undertake a massive marketing campaign to connect with that segment of the electorate? If they do the latter, they'll get credit for the attempt, even if not for the eventual (non)result that I'm anticipating.

  12. observer 12

    Thanks for the match report.

    Perhaps Luxon, or his advisers, have finally worked out what every savvy politician knows – there are two audiences, one in the hall (hundreds) and one outside (millions). The pandering and the 1950s golf club jokes might get a round of applause inside, but they only generate bad headlines, and yet more awkward "clarification" afterwards.

    Unfortunately for Luxon, in an election campaign the audience is always those outside millions.

    • Mac1 13.1

      This is where Ad gets to show off his classical education and says, "Ad sum. Adsum." 🙂

    • Sanctuary 13.2

      He is up the back, between Peter Williams and Ruth Richardson.

      • Anne 13.2.1

        Ooh I got him yeah. That's Preb just in front of him isn't it?

        Still. Very interesting post from Ad.

    • joe90 13.3

      lol

      shaun
      @slow_tri_guy
      ·
      12h
      Starting to understand why he thinks the country is whiney and inward looking.

    • ianmac 13.4

      By my count there are about 150 people in the hall.

      The white-coated lady in the near front seat has gone to sleep for some reason.

      What a great post Ad. Invigorating.

      • Anne 13.4.1

        They don't exactly look hyped up and invigorated do they.

        I’ve just watched Matthew Hooton on The Nation. To the politically uninitiated he appears to be even handed, doling out bricks and bouquets to political parties. But in reality he’s kicking the centre left parties in the rear. He does it with snide remarks dropped in – seemingly by accident – such as his degrading of Jacinda Ardern (almost spitting on camera with hate) and her ‘kindness’ approach.

        He’s a piece of s**t.

        • Patricia Bremner 13.4.1.1

          Before Labour and Jacinda were elected Hooten was on the radio with Kathryn Ryan. He was almost screaming with rage, and Kathryn had to shut him down. He sounded unhinged.

          He has not returned since, but at that stage he was supposed to be even handed, like Boag and Trotter lol. We know now those "Panels" are put together like a clap board house.

          I agree Anne.

  13. Patricia Bremner 14

    "I have met the enemy and he is charmingly mild."

    Perhaps you need to study photos of Luxon's expressions when faced by situations and people he wishes to defeat. Far from charmingly mild.

    He was "with his own" at that meeting, so quite relaxed.

    To underestimate the threat of what his view of this country represent, would be dire.

    He avoids admitting some of Act's Policy would be tacked on to National Policy through a Coalition arrangement. Mild and charming outcomes are unlikely.

    • Phillip ure 14.1

      He wasn't so mild and charming when jack tame grilled him on the conflicts of interest around the seven properties that he owns…and national party policies that fill landlords pockets…

      He was more grim and sour on that occasion… practicing his rictus grin..

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  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    7 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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  • District Court judges appointed

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