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Luxon’s little experiment

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, February 12th, 2023 - 30 comments
Categories: chris hipkins, Christopher Luxon, labour, Maori Issues, maori party, national, same old national, treaty settlements - Tags:

It is really difficult trying to appear to be Prime Minister material and inclusive and to appeal to racists at the same time.

Christopher Luxon this week has shown how difficult it is.

Waitangi day has now been and gone but it pays to reflect on what he said, using cards, so that his words were uttered accurately, he made soothing noises but then described Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a little experiment.  He backed this up by repeating a Don Brash policy and said there should be full and final treaty settlements by 2030.

Then on Waitangi Day, the day that historically Labour cooked everyone breakfast Luxon did something peculiarly National like.  He went and had breakfast at the Takapuna boat Club.

By contrast Chris Hipkins managed to be at the dawn service at Waitangi and then be at West Auckland to celebrate Waitangi at Waititi, an event organised by John Tamihere’s Waipareira Trust and Hoani Waiti Marae.  The two organisations have very strong and deep links with the Maori Party.  The mutual respect between Tamihere and Hipkins was clearly strong.

Luxon then had to perform yet another U turn on what he had earlier said.

From Radio New Zealand:

One part of Luxon’s speech … caused some controversy: “We started on the 6th of February 1840 as a little experiment, and look at us now – the 21st century success story able to tackle the challenges that come our way.”

Today, Luxon clarified that he did not mean to say that the treaty was an experiment.

“What we’ve done here in New Zealand is incredibly special, I mean if you think about the goodwill of those people who were here negotiating that treaty, it was unprecedented in many ways.”

Looking at what happened in other countries and how they have developed over time the treaty what had been done in New Zealand was incredibly special, he said.

“So it was a brave experiment to set up a treaty as a foundation for a whole new country, that didn’t happen if you think about it pre-1840 around the world.”

Hipkins has also shown this week that he is different to Jacinda Ardern.  He threw a couple of jabs at Luxon and both of them connected.

About co govenance he said this:

“Those who seek to use misunderstanding around it for political advantage need to reflect on their own behaviour.

“I certainly think the Opposition – National and Act – have used, as they have done in the past, uncertainty to try and stoke fear.”

And about National’s criticism of Labour’s reset he said this:

“Look, I mean, I’ve come to accept that the National Party just like to sort of whinge and moan about things, it’s difficult to have a contest of ideas with them when they don’t really seem to have any,” he said.

“We’ve been very transparent about the things that are not going to happen and the things that we’re taking some more time on, to have another look at to make sure that we’re doing the right thing there.”

The pressure will be on National.  They have to come up with some policy soon.  Right now their relentless negativity will not persuade people that they are a Government in waiting.

And National supporters must go through the same sorts of emotions I went through when former Labour leader David Shearer was interviewed on morning report, wondering if he would come through unscathed.  The latest interview of Luxon by Guyon Espiner would suggest that the comparison is valid.

This year’s campaign will be very interesting.  Luxon is flat footed and once you strip away his programmed talking points he descends into nonsense and becomes easily flustered.  He clearly relies on his briefing notes and in this interview repeatedly called Guyon Espiner “Corin” because that was what was written down.

By way of contrast Hipkins is very deft and nimble.  He may not have Ardern’s emotional attraction but the current political dynamic may suit him.

The battle of the two Chris’s will win or lose the election this year.  So far Chippy has a clear points advantage over Luxon.

And Luxon’s dog whistling may not provide him with the advantage that he is hoping for.

30 comments on “Luxon’s little experiment ”

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    He (Luxon) really is an empty vessel, and like most empty vessels, makes a lot of sound!

    . . . "signifying nothing." McBeth.

    • Roy Cartland 1.1

      And that's not even the most accurate bit of the quote… his rantings are, of course, "a tale told by an idiot"! Hopefully he'll strut and fret his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.

      [My fave speech in all Shakespeare, btw, nice pick! 👏👍👏]

  2. Macro 2

    So far Chippy has a clear points advantage over Luxon.

    The birds here certainly agree with you. All I hear every morning is "Chippy! Chippy! Chippy!" 😁

  3. Ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Luxon is pandering to the high value donors when he goes on these absurd little excursions into nonsense.

    The odd word here , the hanging phrases there, its all deliberate

    The other week it was the talk about 'double voting', which is how MMP works but he wanted to give a different coded message.

    • woodart 3.1

      the only coded messages luxon is giving are saying" help me". he is so obviously out of his depth that even the nat hacks on granny herald are talking about it.

  4. Reality 4

    Micky, your posts are always sensible, reasonable, and perceptive. In the current climate of extremism, thank you. Our new PM is handling his role very well and people I know seem happy about how he is performing.

  5. That 'photo flatters him, as it was taken when he was slim!!

    Luxon's face showing his displeasure in some 'photos is not flattering and actually reveals his thinking imo.surprise

    Find some of those photos where he is clearly calculating Micky.devil

  6. PsyclingLeft.Always 6

    repeatedly called Guyon Espiner “Corin”


    Have to say…I wanted to hear it for myself. And, oh boy , Mr Luxon was sure getting off his (pre?) prepared track. Gotta wonder..would he maybe have preferred "Corin"… and not Guyon?

    Hopefully more questioning of him…will reveal all. Such as it is. A hollow man ?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1

      Key called housing 'a crisis' in 2007 – eight years later he's full of excuses – it won't wash

      A hollow man ?

      Could be. Luxon has a lot to be hollow about – seven houses for a start.

      The full list of how many properties New Zealand MPs own
      [2 Dec 2021] (is a more up-to-date list available?)

      Five Labour MPs , three Green MPs and one ACT MP don't own a property.

      Hey Luxon, how about giving that ACT MP a hand-up – the Nats have done it before.

      National gives ACT a free pass in Epsom [7 September 2017[
      It will be make it the fourth consecutive election in which National has stepped aside in the electorate to allow Act to gain seats in parliament without meeting the five per cent party threshold.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1

        National has always run a candidate in Epsom electorate, so dont 'step aside' in your words. Their candidate doesnt campaign must be what you mean, but the ACT member would still win even if National made a bigger effort. Its that sort of electorate.

        The MMP flaw is the party threshold is a bit high ( it should be taken from the viable party size 4 or 5 Mps rather than fixed 4 or 5%) and the coat-tail should go.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          "Stepped aside" [in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014 GEs] are Kirsty Johnston's words.

          The increase in % and number of Epsom voters who cast their electorate vote for Hide did soar in 2005 (when ACT's party vote collapsed to from 7% to 1.5% nationally) and 2008, and yes, the influence of any Nat "hand-up" (my words) in 2005 under Brash (later leader of ACT), and in 2008 under Key, is debatable.

          2002: 22% (7059 votes)
          2005: 43% (15251 votes)
          2008: 56% (21102 votes)

          Agree about lowering the threshold (maybe in cautious 1% increments, to ~2%), and ditching coat-tailing.

          • Ghostwhowalksnz

            The party threshold should the minimum number of votes to have a viable party , at least 4 maybe 5 Mps. I think about 4.2% will give you 5 Mps

            An electorate MP is just that mostly on his/her/there own. But if you are going to be a party it needs to be viable for sittings in the house , committees and the staffers that do all the work

            A variable % as a minimum to achieve a certain number of MPs then means something . Theres no rationale behind say 2% or 3%

            • Incognito

              A candidate can win with a majority of only one vote over their nearest rival and become an Electorate MP. Yet, a Party needs to receive 100,000 or more votes to be a ‘viable’ party and allowed to be in Parliament at all!?

              If it is about the workload and efficiency of one MP on their own then Parliamentary Services need to ensure that they receive sufficient support to fulfil their duties & responsibility as a representative of the people. This should not depend on the size of a party. You got it completely wrong – the resources & efficiency should not limit representation in Parliament, only the number of votes received should limit it!

              Whether one MP on their own calls themselves a Party or Independent is a red herring – irrespective, they represent a number of voters and that number is much greater than one.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Imho, your comment @ contains a trivial inconsistency. As you say:

              Theres no rationale behind say 2% or 3% [party vote vote threshold]


              The party threshold should the minimum number of votes to have a viable party, at least 4 maybe 5 Mps.

              Fwiw, a "no rationale" 3% will give you 4 MPs. You’d be on former ground if you changed “at least 4” to ‘at least 5’.


    • Anne 6.2

      … repeatedly called Guyon Espiner “Corin”

      I expect a staffer prepares his briefing notes for him and he/she assumed Corin Dann would be the interviewer. Luxon just follows what he’s told.

  7. mary_a 7

    The picture above of Chris Luxon doesn't look right. His head looks as though it's been planted on to another body. Even his hand on the fence looks odd in comparison to the rest of him. But it's good to see his followers behind him, bleating away about nothing, like their leader!

  8. Thinker 8

    Meanwhile, Luxon is National's "…little experiment…" wink

    • Graeme 8.1

      Can see the phrase "…little experiment…" coming back to haunt the boy. Probably very soon after the window for a by-election closes and they can get rid of him cleanly, kinda…

      The Nat voters I know can’t stand the guy, say he’s not up to the job and going to loose a dead cert election.

  9. Incognito 9

    The words “little experiment” evoke so many negative connotations that are diminishing and misleading of Te Tiriti. I could write pages about it but in the end, it all comes down to Luxon’s personal set of values and expectations. For example, one would assume that to Luxon faith, family & friends, marriage, and parenthood, for example, are not ‘little experiments’ but long- if not life-time commitments that endure and overcome inevitable obstacles and difficulties. But each of these examples are also dynamic, they change over time, they grow, develop, and evolve. And the commitment endures, or doesn’t it, Mr Luxon? Luxon seems to view Te Tiriti more as some kind of (business?) contract or deal …

  10. Luxton is National's Little Experiment which has gone horribly wrong.

  11. Peter Bradley 11

    Tax cuts and racism – as a political strategy this is the gift that keeps on giving and has proven highly successful in overseas elections from Brexit in the UK (getting rid of filthy Eastern European workers) to Modi in India (responsible for the massacre of over a 1000 Muslims) and Netanyahu in Israel (responsible for the deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians). Nothing galvanizes the average voter more than the opportunity to kick the "underserving" in the face.

    Luxon may not have blood on his hands (yet) but the forces he is tapping into are extremely dangerous to civil discourse and race relations, but likely to garner him huge amounts of support across the electorate.

    • observer 11.1

      Disturbing, yes. But is there evidence that it works in NZ?

      Brash lost in 2005, Key won in 2008 by toning down the "Iwi/Kiwi" rhetoric.

      "Huge amounts of support"? No polling evidence to suggest that. The loud are not the crowd, and headlines are not votes.

  12. observer 12

    The more that voters learn about Luxon, the less they like him:

    Latest poll numbers

    Tick, tock … pick the date the cold blue knives go in his back, I'm sticking with May.

    • Tricledrown 12.1

      Luxon is a biggus dickus a wind up dildo who can't think on his feet.if he debates anyone of substance he will be found out.He sounds like a nagging school boy.He has had his time to impress and that plane has flown.there is no way back.National have no body to replace him so will have to stick with this luddite bellend.

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