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Luxon’s triple backward summersault on Labour Day

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, April 21st, 2022 - 72 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, labour, making shit up, Media, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

There is this media beatup occurring currently which suggests that National is now viable and a government in waiting.

If you want proof then Radio New Zealand’s weird attack on the Government yesterday for delaying the reduction of MIQ requirements while Omicron threatened.

And Luxon is getting away with saying some pretty strange stuff.  Like yesterday when he initially said that Labour Day should be abolished but then backtracked on it.

This is not a new proposal from National.  During the debate on the Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill last month Paul Goldsmith said this:

Now, of course, everybody wants more holidays. I can understand that, and I can understand why all the submitters think it’s a good idea. And, like I say, the principle of having a Matariki holiday we agree with, and we’re very happy about that, but what we would have liked to have seen is just some recognition—just a moment’s recognition from this Government—of the difficulties of staying in business and staying afloat, and recognising that now maybe—maybe—this is just not the time for yet more entitlements in this country.

And maybe they could have considered Labour Weekend as a good alternative to remove. I don’t know why we don’t have a “National Weekend” that I’m aware of. We don’t have an “ACT Weekend”, but we have a Labour Weekend, and maybe it’s time in history that it’s moved on, and we replace Labour Weekend with Matariki, and that would be fine. Then we would have been able to support this piece of legislation.

And fellow conservative Scott Simpson said this at the third reading stage of the bill:

My good friend and colleague Paul Goldsmith suggested in an earlier debate that maybe we consider looking at removing Labour Day. That’s probably something that should at least be considered. I don’t think this Government even considered it. In fact, what we know from the impact statement and speeches and contributions made at earlier stages of this legislation passing through the Parliament—we know that actually no consideration has been given by this Government to even thinking about rationalising the range of statutory public holidays in New Zealand. I think that’s an opportunity lost and an opportunity missed.

During the passage of the Bill they even proposed an amendment that would remove Labour Day from the list of public holidays.

Support at the time for National’s proposal was muted at best.  I can confidently say that the proposal was opposed by the vast majority of ordinary kiwis.

So what does Luxon do yesterday?  He floats the idea again.

From Glenn McConnell at Stuff:

Now that Matariki is recognised with an official public holiday, Christopher Luxon has continued to call for another public holiday to be scrapped.

The National Party leader says he loves Labour Day, but he and his MPs want it to be axed.

During a visit to Whāngarei, Luxon was asked if he stood by the idea to get rid of Labour Day. He said doing so would add hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses, at a time when costs were increasing.

“Love Matariki, love Labour Day, love every other public holiday we’ve got in New Zealand, but we’re choosing to make a decision to add $450 million of costs to small businesses that have to pass through to customers,” he said.

Te Rā o Matariki would be New Zealand’s 12th public holiday – including regional anniversary days.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment estimated adding a public holiday would cost up to $448 million. But official advice also said the public holiday could have a positive economic impact – with benefits estimated to be between $310.4m to $496.1m.

Note the dodgy use of statistics.  Luxon’s claim the holiday costs $450 million is based on a very narrow view of the data and ignores the societal benefits giving workers a day off has.

But later in the day Luxon did a triple backward summersault with a degree of difficulty of 9.0 and completely changed his position, claiming that earlier in the day he was being facetious.

From Thomas Coughlan at the Herald:

National leader Christopher Luxon said he would not get rid of any public holidays if he won the 2023 election, saying he could not “follow through on the commitment” of removing holidays.

Luxon has repeatedly said the Government should consider axing a public holiday to pay for the cost of Matariki, which National supports.

When questioned whether he would cancel another holiday if he came into Government in 2023, Luxon said “that’s what we’ve been saying since this bill’s come to Parliament”.

Luxon later suggested Labour Day would be axed to pay for Matariki, a joke National MPs have made before, given Labour Day’s significance to the Labour movement and by extension, the Labour Party.

However, on Newstalk ZB, Luxon clarified that if he won the 2023 election he would not axe holidays, saying the Matariki change was “irreversible”.

So in the space of a few hours Luxon shows his anti worker world view by proposing to get rid of Labour Day essentially because it has the word “Labour” in it, then he backtracks completely on his stated position.

Gordon Campbell’s earlier comment on Luxon’s recent public transport utterance is just as relevant here.  He said:

If a female politician said something as laughable as Luxon’s proposal on transport subsidies and defended it on the basis that she hadn’t thought about it too deeply, she would never survive the fallout. She would be roundly damned as a scatterbrain and a show pony, and deemed plainly unfit for higher office.

This is becoming a pattern.  And I have said this before but it is becoming increasingly clear that Chris Luxon is no John Key.

72 comments on “Luxon’s triple backward summersault on Labour Day ”

  1. Ghostwhowalksnz 1

    So Luxon has reneged on a promise even before getting to election time

    Same with the ending of public transport subsidies, it was unpromised later the same day. And included weird comments about the called' $100 mill yearly subsidy' for the Te Huia Auckland Hamilton passenger train.[ yes He did say yearly in the reports]

    Thats included the roughly $50 mill capital and setup costs which all up with subsidy came to $80 mill not $100 mill. Yet Luxon was happy about covering capital costs for public transport.

    he must have been a similar disaster at Air NZ when he arrived as a captains pick CEO in waiting after spending 25 years in the soaps, shampoos and deodorants business at Reckitt and Colman

    • Blazer 1.1

      I believe Luxon worked for Unilever….and his father for Johnson&Johnson…same products .

  2. Nic the NZer 2

    I support Paul Goldsmiths proposal for new National, Labour (added because Labour day is actually dedicated to the struggle for an 8 hour working day), Green, NZ First, ACT, Māori Party, Opportunities, Advance NZ, Legalise Cannabis, New Conservative, ONE, Outdoors, Social Credit, Sustainable NZ and Vision NZ public holiday days.

    Lets do this!

    • roy cartland 2.1

      And everything with 'National' in it can have those other parties represented (RNZ National, National Identity, National Parks, International whatever…)

      • Nic the NZer 2.1.1

        I thought the new holidays should be expressly dedicated to members of the public auditing the political party named by the holiday. I don't think that leaves any time to enjoy National Parks on National day given the state of Nationals public finances, is all.

      • Descendant Of Smith 2.1.2

        The party that inflicted Building Blue on the public service a second time.

        Don't you wish you had a job at Human Synergistics, a consulting firm paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Ministry of Social Development to colour-code its workers changing them from red to blue..


        "David Lange’s reluctance to promulgate any more products derived from Douglas’ neo-liberal disconnection from reality eventually resulted in Douglas stepping down. A year later and it was game-over for David Lange. Its almost as if Human Synergistics had done its work. David Lange was pigeon-holed into its fabricated Circumplex Red Zone while the members of Labour’s Caucus had affiliated their self-actualisation into the equally fabricated Blue Zone. The “Caucus Team” was operating at the “higher-order satisfaction needs level” where its “Humanistic-Encouraging” behaviour was “sensitive and supportive of it own members.” Accordingly, by voting their fellow Blue Zoner, Roger Douglas, back into Cabinet, Caucus told Red Zoner David Lange to fuck off . So he did, weeping for his fellow New Zealanders and what lay ahead."


        From memory Lange got someone else to fill out his forms.

      • Peter 2.1.3

        Don't forget 'National Standards' in schools.

        They high jacked 'standards' so that anyone arguing against the programme could be accused of being against standards

        Reality hit when the last PISA test results came out and our kid's results were down. The cohort that went through with God's gift, National Standards, had results that were down the tubes.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.2

      National "The Party of cuts"

      • Or, as an Honest Government ad puts it, the Party that puts the 'n' into 'The Party of Cuts.'

        Though they’re talking about Scottie from Marketing. Still, birds of a feather, and all that!

    • Christopher Randal 2.3

      You forgot my favourite – Magillicuddy Serious Party day!

  3. roy cartland 3

    The man's a f*ckwit. Without being facetious, I say it's time for the unproductive rich to give up something. More than a few somethings.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.1

      Entitlements are for special people? More like him?

      He has talked of a "business perspective" the window he is looking through with a narrow view.

      "Governing for all" is a concept beyond the man. imo

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        Framing it as “entitlement” is clever because it plants a seed of doubt about whether it is truly deserved (as in: earned). Entitlement, in this context, is in the head of the entitled one only, at the expense of others. This kind of framing is, of course, polarising and potentially divisive, but that’s exactly the game Luxon and National are playing, in my opinion. Don’t underestimate the ‘egg-head’.

  4. Reality 4

    Luxon seems to open his mouth and say anything to keep "business" happy and then belatedly no doubt be told by his advisers that he has said something stupid. He seems to need daily coaching on what is or is not stupid.

    As for no subsidies for public transport operators, I well remember when the railways were sold. The private owners never spent any money on upgrades or maintenance. Consequently the Labour government had to spend millions and millions of taxpayers money to keep the railways functioning. Luxon's business mates do not always make good decisions.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Whatever you think of him, Luxon isn't stupid. And National have their own group of public relations people helping shape the National message.

    Discussing the rationale of an additional public holiday with the prospect of dropping one is definitely controversial, and probably not popular amongst most, taken on its own without context. But it is a relatively minor issue that will be forgotten about soon enough.

    But the effect is that it gets lots of media attention, and the chance for interviews.

    Which, as per his interview last night on ZB, gives him the chance to push back with his messaging focused around a government he is framing as irresponsible and needlessly increasing costs for businesses a time of high inflation, and the cumulative effect of government decisions on the cost of living.

    • Nic the NZer 5.1

      Your saying Luxon at first put the latest public relations message across, but then realized he isn't stupid and walked it back across several appearances?

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        No. Walking the comment back would make perfect sense if the strategy I outlined is being applied.

        Get the conversation going, but remove the political fallout of actually carrying such an idea through.

        • Nic the NZer

          Got it. So it's don't blame Chris for his jarring media personality and opinions, he's only doing what National party marketing arm tell him to do.

        • Incognito

          Exactly! He’s trying to come across as a reasonable man with common sense who appears to listen & explain.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.2

      But the effect is that gets lots of media attention, and the chance for interviews. Yes TSmithfield.

      I agree that is the framing, but he is not adept and forgets to be "charming" when discussing ideas.

      He is a "one man band" and is used to having his way, he finds democracy difficult and a block to the business agenda he is promoting, so in these interviews we see a man full of hubris and dogma. His body language is that of challenge not accommodation.

      Politics is the art of compromise. That is extremely difficult for him and may be his undoing.

    • McFlock 5.3

      The curious thing is trying to suck up to business. They're not exactly known to be floating voters, so I guess he's hoping to claw some back off ACT.

      The incessant cost of living problems will hurt the government, but those are the times we live in. Even without the rest of the world in the economic shit, if the govt had let hundreds of thousands of people get thrown on the job heap with almost zero notice because of covid things would be much worse for govt popularity.

      edit: the other thing is that if he steps on the wrong issue, he becomes the party leader who “couldn’t even sort himself out over Labour Day, and he wants to run the country?”

  6. Luxon: "but we’re choosing to make a decision to add $450 million of costs to small businesses"

    This is a weird statement. Apart from the obvious catastrophic errors in calculating the cost (and MBIE says "up to $448m") while ignoring the benefits, pointed out by Micky in the post, he says the costs will only fall on small businesses, which is inaccurate.

    If Luxon really believes this rubbish he may one day support a policy to cancel 4 public holidays. After all he would argue that this would add $1.8 billion to the economy, remembering he sees no benefit in the holidays.

    • Brigitte 6.1

      Thinking about it, much of the cost will fall on larger organisations. Many small businesses (those in hospitality) may see additional money coming in on the holiday although that will be offset by the fact they need to give those workers a day off in lieu as well as paying them extra on the actual holiday.

      And just to note a typo in the heading: it's somersault.

      [Bugger will fix – MS]

  7. Incognito 7

    Let me act as the Devil’s advocate here (or as some would see it, a Luxon & National apologist). Their messaging is like a dog whistle and depending on what kind of dog you are you’ll hear a different message.

    Businesses, especially small businesses, will hear a consistent message of acknowledgement and support. Reduced income because of reduced consumer spending and increased costs due to higher pay rate of employees for a Public Holiday, for example, are much more tangible (as in: in hurting in the pocket) than increased productivity and improved service because of better-rested and more relaxed staff let alone “the societal benefits” at large. The latter will sound more like a conclusion from an academic study done elsewhere.

    I also reckon that each Labour Day or Matariki SME owners are more likely to be reminded of which Government they hold responsible than the people enjoying a day off and when they switch off their brains.

    • tsmithfield 7.1

      Yes. Consistent with what I was saying also.

      The statement by Luxon may seem counter-intuitive if taken in isolation. But if seen as part of a broader strategy, it makes more sense.

      Who knows. I guess only Luxon could answer that.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        You seem to think he knows what he is doing.

        The evidence is that he is all mixed up and clueless.

        Authenticity and integrity is the precious gold politicians aspire to find and cover themselves in it. Flip flops arent the aim at all.

        Just having an occasion to repeat talking points is exacatly what voters turn against.

        • tsmithfield

          It may not matter what the original intent was. Probably the effect is more important.

          It might be that the result is a combination of what Incognito and I have suggested. Whether it was intended that way in the first place is probably a moot point.

          • Ghostwhowalksnz

            The effect wasnt good, other wise he wouldnt have back pedalled so quickly and risk his 'integrity'

            The media commentators are staring to notice the 'gaffes ' and dont seem to think its a good outcome or master plan

            'Fran O'Sullivan: Gaffes won't help Christopher Luxon defeat Jacinda Ardern'

            The upshot is that he was later forced to dance on the proverbial pinhead and clarify just what he meant: "People that are in state houses that actually aren't paying the rents, that are trashing the houses, abusing the neighbours," he told other media.

            This was somewhat risible, as explanations go.

            So even the National friendly media dont see the upside that you claim ….hmm

            I suggest you and incognito are too one eyed see the wood for the trees

            • Incognito

              I suggest you and incognito are too one eyed see the wood for the trees

              Your irony is hilarious, as I was trying to see if from the other side of the fence. You should try it once, if you can find your way to the fence that is, but don’t get too close or it might zap you. You sound like a partisan hick.

              • Ghostwhowalksnz

                So good if you to be fair and balanced in a Fox news way over this .

                maybe send off your resume to NZ Herald ?

                Who really gives a flying F over what their respin will be, they really dont need your help to do this.

                • Incognito

                  It wasn’t news reporting, it was my PoV from a different angle; I was playing the Devil’s advocate, as I said at the beginning of this thread. To an uncritical lazy partisan hick such as you this may come across as taking a side, i.e. taking the wrong side. Your biased intolerance prevents you from considering any merit in any opinion that may not 100% agree with yours in your binary reality of Left vs. Right, right vs. wrong, or good vs. bad. In fact, you’re so scared that it (i.e. my alternative angle) might “help” the other side that you resort to pathetic ad homs and attacking the messenger. You have again proven my point that you’re a partisan hick with whom debating is futile because a mutually agreeable conclusion is ruled a priori because of your rigid convictions right at the start. No wonder debate is dying.

                  • Ghostwhowalksnz

                    Debate ? This is gibberish. if I want debate I would read the NY review of Books. Its a blog for goodness sake.

                    • Incognito

                      TS is a blog!? No shit, Sherlock. You come over here to bore us with your biased BS? Have you read https://thestandard.org.nz/about/ and https://thestandard.org.nz/policy/? Because this ain’t the cartoon section of your favourite partisan propaganda paper. When you grow up and can handle an alternative viewpoint without attacking the messenger you may want to comment here on TS starting with simple emojis and then work your way up to words of more than one syllable surprise

    • Kat 7.2

      That is exactly what National/Luxon are up to. They want to shore up the SME support. There are business that I have spoken with who traditionally vote National/Act that are wanting a change in govt, never mind being bailed out during the last two years with the present govts financial pandemic assistance. They can be easily swayed to become totally anti Labour, anti Ardern with the promise of palms being crossed with silver and more employer-centric policies.

      National/Act regard these SME's as lawful prey.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    “Luxury Luxon” actually deserves a media pile on from all channels…but he seems to be getting rose water and hot towels just like sirkey.

    • tc 8.1

      Nationals media delivering for the backers as usual.

      Rimmer gets a free ride being part of that club.

    • AB 8.2

      Yep – this is the point. He knows that he can stuff up almost with impunity. Best hope is that he is so emboldened by it all, that he crosses the line that defines "almost".

      My theory is that Ardern annoyed the media as a whole in 2020 by having so much support for her decisions and actions. And because of that, we (the public) hammered the media when they acted like silly, nit-picking arses with an overinflated sense of their own ability and relevance. Now it's payback time.

  9. mac1 9

    I Googled National holidays. This is what I got! Eleven of them! They even claim Labour Day as a National public holiday!

    National public holidays 2022

    • New Year’s Day: Saturday 1 January or Monday 3 January
    • Day after New Year’s Day: Sunday 2 January or Tuesday 4 January
    • Waitangi Day: Sunday 6 February or Monday 7 February
    • Good Friday: Friday 15 April
    • Easter Monday: Monday 18 April
    • Anzac Day: Monday 25 April
    • Queen’s Birthday: Monday 6 June
    • Matariki Day: Friday 24 June
    • Labour Day: Monday 24 October
    • Christmas Day: Sunday 25 December or Tuesday 27 December
    • Boxing Day: Monday 26 December
  10. mac1 10

    "claiming that earlier in the day he was being facetious."

    Luxon is not a funny man. Nor is he a thinker.

    This "but I was only joking", is a short step away from the standard bigot's response to being called out on some misogyist, racist, homophobic statement- "Can't you take a joke, gedda sensa humour".

    A person who is being facetious needs to be funny, so that the hearer can tell it's facetious. Re-telling a political attack line from a fellow National MP does not make that benchmark.

    Perhaps he needs to study his predecessor, Judith Collins, who used her eyebrows to show her facetiousness. https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/28-07-2020/eyebrow-comedy-all-the-times-judith-collins-made-a-joke-in-her-debut-leader-speech

    • Incognito 10.1

      I have no trouble at all believing that Nats would and indeed do joke about axing Labour Day, just like a misogynist might ‘joke’ about axing Mother’s Day or Woman’s Day even though they’re not Public Holidays. JC’s eyebrow was always in need of a stretch.

    • Charlie 10.2

      Luxon could raise his shirt over his head like a foreskin, that would send the best facetious messaging.

      • mac1 10.2.1

        I believe that's what soccer players do at the corner post, but not when scoring an own goal…..like Luxon.

        • Charlie

          Luxon would probaly put his soccer shirt up for auction saying his own goal was the hand of God.

    • Patricia Bremner 10.3

      mac1 more like fatuous.devil However he is really sending messages to the “Top Feeders".

      We should keep a list of his gaffes/displays of attitude.

      Bottom Feeders…"Who are they exactly Christopher?"

      • Blazer 10.3.1

        'We should keep a list of his gaffes/displays of attitude.'

        Where's 'Blip' when you …need him!

  11. Barfly 11

    IMO he wasn't being facetious he was being the entitled ring wing 'stuff the people' arsehole that he is.

    • tc 11.1

      Gotta retrieve those ACT voters back to the hive with some clear messaging.

      He's doing a job presenting supplied material knowing he will not be called on it.

      Nice work if you can get it, morally challenging but none the less easy money.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 11.2

      Yes. I can see the fellow travellors are trying to turn it into 'a joke' I thought this would happen.

      The scenario is more likely this is the sort froth he says when talking to donors and the private meetings with party faithfull. They lap it up.

      But the public comments are supposed to be more circumspect and hes been reminded of that by the real power behind the throne. Willis, Bishop, Goldsmith

    • Patricia Bremner 11.3

      yes Yep.

  12. Mike the Lefty 12

    National and ACT have always regarded Labour Day, and its associated public holiday, with barely concealed loathing. It is a reminder to them of how NZ workers won the right to have a balanced work/sleep/recreational lifestyle and how this (to them) signifies the end of the good old days when the employer said "jump" and the employee asked "how high".

    National should be reminded that Don Brash's pledge to take back one week from the minimum four weeks' annual leave in the 2005 election campaign may well have cost them winning what was a very close election.

    It could be argued, of course, that the 8-hour working day is now just history. How many people work 8-hour 40 hour weeks, with weekends off, anymore? Not many I would think. Employment now is described as casual, part-time, permanent part-time, on-call, contracted out, zero hours, weekends and more.

    But that doesn't excuse Luxon and National from their clumsy attack on NZ workers. It seem that National regards public holidays as a business expense rather than a reward for the "hard working New Zealanders" that they always claim to represent.

    As the CTU pointed out, if it was just a matter of cost, then why didn't National go after Queens Birthday holiday, which arguably means less to New Zealanders than Matariki and is near the same time. Then Luxon claims the Matariki public holiday will cost New Zealand businesses $450 million but gives no evidence for this. The hospitality and accommodation industries will tell you that public holidays are usually a boom time for them.

    Will National go after regional anniversary holidays too?

  13. Brendan Waugh 13

    Nat voter here.

    Own goal.

    Either make a small bit of noise to keep the base happy, or at least keep to message.

    In the big scheme of things an extra public holiday is not going to break the bank.

  14. Craig H 14

    If National were serious about it, the obvious holiday to suggest for replacement would have been Queen's Birthday, both practically as the nearest public holiday by date, and symbolically by suggesting we replace a colonial fossil of a holiday with an indigenous holiday.

    However, they weren't serious about it, they were grandstanding, and now they've been called out for it.

    Also, Labour Day predates the Labour Party, so if anything, the party is named after the holiday, not the other way around.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      I didnt know that but its correct

      'What the Liberals did do was make Labour Day a holiday. The Labour Day Act of 1899 created a statutory public holiday on the second Wednesday in October, first celebrated in 1900. The holiday was 'Mondayised' in 1910, and since then it has been held on the fourth Monday in October.'


      the party had a number of founding dates after that the earliest but short lived was 1910

  15. SPC 15

    A fly on the wall at the National Party Intelligence Unit meeting.

    1. I've got a new word association idea – Labour Day as a cost. Labour government spending as inflationary. Word associate Labour with higher cost.
    2. Brilliant, best idea since dancing cossacks, Kiwi not iwi and John Key's claim we were of an ambition to increase wage levels to that of Australia.
    3. Even Luxon could not stuff up something that simple.
    4. So its agreed.
    5. It's a majority but I suspect Luxon will just reveal why he was never a candidate for Finance.
  16. Dean Reynolds 16

    Luxon is a penis in a suit

  17. newsense 17

    Seems like some clever advice from someone. ‘Clever’?
    Continually get yourself in the news, stake out a series of clear messages hitting traditional conservative crap- race baiting, union baiting, public transport or f- the poor, lazy workers, government spending outa control.

    It might not be much of a manifesto, but let’s be honest it doesn’t seem to be one.

    On the other hand we could have seen the media smacking him down for having poor control of the details, for flip flopping, for playing politics with the violent occupation of the parliament precinct, for weak leadership, for being a dick, but they haven’t.

    More to see here I guess…

  18. Peter 18

    That man of principle, David Seymour, will be into it after the election. He has told us previously of the massive cost of a holiday for Matariki.

    He'll no doubt push from his position in Government, for getting rid of holidays on the day after New Year, Easter Monday and Labour Day at a minimum.

    If he is really true to his practical view, Good Friday will be gone, and Queen's Birthday. There you go David, by your previous reckoning of $400 mill or so for Matariki you can save businesses well over a billion.

    • Dean Reynolds 18.1

      Seymour won't be part of government after the 2023 election.

    • Mike the Lefty 18.2

      ACT in the past have made noises about reducing the number of public holidays. I remember Richard Prebble saying something like the only public holiday needed aside from Christmas and Easter was ANZAC day, although I am working with a memory from over 30 years ago and might not be spot on.

      ACT would also like to freeze the minimum wage (although this is a small climbdown on their earlier pledges to REDUCE it); reduce the minimum annual leave from four to three weeks and abolish the time and a half wage plus a day in lieu for working a public holiday.

      Wage workers who have any illusions that ACT actually give a monkeys about their welfare should remember this the next time they approach a ballot box.

  19. observer 19

    This is a familiar debate on political tactics, as discussed by several already in this thread. "Getting people talking", making headlines, all publicity is good publicity, etc.

    The problem with that analysis is that in the end, there has to be a party policy. Only one. The waffly word salad won't do.

    The 2023 election campaign will probably happen around Oct/Nov, including Labour weekend. Luxon will be asked: "Scrap Labour Day, yes or no?".

    And before that, in the pre-campaign period, he will be asked "Scrap Matariki, yes or no?".

    Luxon's answer will have to be "No", in both cases. First, because you don't promise to remove people's holidays, but more importantly because it's not the issue he wants the election to be about.

    Right now the confusion and contradiction doesn't matter much. But in a campaign it would only be a ridiculous distraction. A self-inflicted wound for the Nats.

    So I'd say this one is filed under cock-up, not conspiracy. And there's a limit to how many times Luxon can keep saying "I didn't mean it, I didn't express myself clearly". That's simply not an option for a PM – and on issues much bigger than the dates of public holidays.

    • Blazer 19.1

      Luxon is so under whelming.

      God,how easy it must be to …run an airline!

      Christofaux (pas )=hopeless,marginally better than that other management titan=Muller.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 19.2

      he cant say he 'didnt mean it' as the scrapping Labour day for Matariki was already being promoted and aired by National.

      It wasnt a true gaffe in that he meant to say something different. he really wanted to do this.

      This just shows Luxon isnt a conviction politician at all, but like Key a 'process politician' and it can be now said that he 'got into politics to take away peoples holidays' and other tricks learnt from a long management career

  20. Peter 20

    "Waffly word salads" will certainly do for many. The clarity offered from the start of coronavirus on is stark. There are many many dumb people.

    Anything will do. One word, one notion out of a word salad can be like the Sky tower piercing out of a fog. It will stab and stay, the overruling image and driver, erasing all existing reality.

  21. The question that needs to be asked of Luxon while rabbiting on that workers are worse off today with inflation, if he becomes PM and rolls back all wage rises given workers under Labour will they be worse off than they are now?

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 21.1

      Wages are an inflation follower anyway, as workers dont have a crystal ball. Although over a longer period they do rise more than inflation

      The minimum wage increase was example , following the inflation rate of the previous year.

      Guess who was avoiding answering the question when asked if supported or opposed the minimum wage increase ( according to Stuffs Henry Cooke)

      By playing games like that he will find himself in a doom spiral of being asked ' Do you oppose or support ……'

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    2 hours ago
  • NZ to provide additional deployment to support Ukraine
    As part of New Zealand’s ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, New Zealand is providing further support and personnel to assist Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We have been clear throughout Russia’s assault on Ukraine, that such a ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Prime Minister to visit United States
    Prime Minister to lead trade mission to the United States this week to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19. Business delegation to promote trade and tourism opportunities in New Zealand’s third largest export and visitor market Deliver Harvard University commencement address  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Anthony Albanese
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on winning the Australian Federal election, and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison. "I spoke to Anthony Albanese early this morning as he was preparing to address his supporters. It was a warm conversation and I’m ...
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    2 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Aroha Reriti-Crofts DNZM CBE JP
    Tiwhatiwha te pō, tiwhatiwha te ao. Tiwhatiwha te pō, tiwhatiwha te ao. Matariki Tapuapua, He roimata ua, he roimata tangata. He roimata e wairurutu nei, e wairurutu nei. Te Māreikura mārohirohi o Ihoa o ngā Mano, takoto Te ringa mākohakoha o Rongo, takoto. Te mātauranga o Tūāhuriri o Ngai Tahu ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boost for tourism networks as borders open
    Three core networks within the tourism sector are receiving new investment to gear up for the return of international tourists and business travellers, as the country fully reconnects to the world. “Our wider tourism sector is on the way to recovery. As visitor numbers scale up, our established tourism networks ...
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    2 days ago
  • Law changes passed stopping tax evasion on water-pipe tobacco
    The Minister of Customs has welcomed legislation being passed which will prevent millions of dollars in potential tax evasion on water-pipe tobacco products. The Customs and Excise (Tobacco Products) Amendment Act 2022 changes the way excise and excise-equivalent duty is calculated on these tobacco products. Water-pipe tobacco is also known ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government support for Levin community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to help the Levin community following this morning’s tornado, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by severe weather events in Levin and across the country. “I know the tornado has ...
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    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Quintet of Attorneys General in support of Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova a...
    The Quintet of Attorneys General have issued the following statement of support for the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and investigations and prosecutions for crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “The Attorneys General of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand join in ...
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    3 days ago
  • Andrew Little Budget 2022 post-Budget health speech, Auckland, 20 May 2022
    Morena tatou katoa. Kua tae mai i runga i te kaupapa o te rā. Thank you all for being here today. Yesterday my colleague, the Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, delivered the Wellbeing Budget 2022 – for a secure future for New Zealand. I’m the Minister of Health, and this was ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt helps supermarket shoppers get a fair deal
    Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The Commerce (Grocery Sector Covenants) Amendment Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986, banning restrictive covenants on land, and exclusive covenants ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister: Wellbeing Budget 2022 speech
    It is a pleasure to speak to this Budget. The 5th we have had the privilege of delivering, and in no less extraordinary circumstances.  Mr Speaker, the business and cycle of Government is, in some ways, no different to life itself. Navigating difficult times, while also making necessary progress. Dealing ...
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    4 days ago
  • Future resource management system implementation funding
    Budget 2022 provides funding to implement the new resource management system, building on progress made since the reform was announced just over a year ago. The inadequate funding for the implementation of the Resource Management Act in 1992 almost guaranteed its failure. There was a lack of national direction about ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding certainty for quality public media
    The Government is substantially increasing the amount of funding for public media to ensure New Zealanders can continue to access quality local content and trusted news. “Our decision to create a new independent and future-focused public media entity is about achieving this objective, and we will support it with a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding boost secures Defence capabilities
    $662.5 million to maintain existing defence capabilities NZDF lower-paid staff will receive a salary increase to help meet cost-of living pressures. Budget 2022 sees significant resources made available for the Defence Force to maintain existing defence capabilities as it looks to the future delivery of these new investments. “Since ...
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    4 days ago
  • Budget 2022 supports resilient and sustainable cultural sector
    More than $185 million to help build a resilient cultural sector as it continues to adapt to the challenges coming out of COVID-19. Support cultural sector agencies to continue to offer their important services to New Zealanders. Strengthen support for Māori arts, culture and heritage. The Government is investing in a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Minister of Finance: Wellbeing Budget 2022 Speech
    It is my great pleasure to present New Zealand’s fourth Wellbeing Budget. In each of this Government’s three previous Wellbeing Budgets we have not only considered the performance of our economy and finances, but also the wellbeing of our people, the health of our environment and the strength of our communities. In Budget ...
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    4 days ago
  • Wellbeing Budget 2022 Speech
    It is my great pleasure to present New Zealand’s fourth Wellbeing Budget. In each of this Government’s three previous Wellbeing Budgets we have not only considered the performance of our economy and finances, but also the wellbeing of our people, the health of our environment and the strength of our communities. In Budget ...
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    4 days ago
  • Coronial delays addressed by Budget 2022
    Four new permanent Coroners to be appointed Seven Coronial Registrar roles and four Clinical Advisor roles are planned to ease workload pressures Budget 2022 delivers a package of investment to improve the coronial system and reduce delays for grieving families and whānau. “Operating funding of $28.5 million over four ...
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    4 days ago
  • Paving the way for better outcomes for disabled people
    Establishment of Ministry for Disabled People Progressing the rollout of the Enabling Good Lives approach to Disability Support Services to provide self-determination for disabled people Extra funding for disability support services “Budget 2022 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to deliver change for the disability community with the establishment of a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Investing in education so all Kiwis can succeed
    Fairer Equity Funding system to replace school deciles The largest step yet towards Pay Parity in early learning Local support for schools to improve teaching and learning A unified funding system to underpin the Reform of Vocational Education Boost for schools and early learning centres to help with cost ...
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    4 days ago
  • Primary sector backed to grow and innovate
    $118.4 million for advisory services to support farmers, foresters, growers and whenua Māori owners to accelerate sustainable land use changes and lift productivity  $40 million to help transformation in the forestry, wood processing, food and beverage and fisheries sectors  $31.6 million to help maintain and lift animal welfare practices across Aotearoa New Zealand A total food and ...
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    4 days ago
  • More support for first home buyers and renters
    House price caps for First Home Grants increased in many parts of the country House price caps for First Home Loans removed entirely Kāinga Whenua Loan cap will also be increased from $200,000 to $500,000 The Affordable Housing Fund to initially provide support for not-for-profit rental providers Significant additional ...
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    4 days ago
  • Budget lifts up to 14,000 children out of poverty
    Child Support rules to be reformed lifting an estimated 6,000 to 14,000 children out of poverty Support for immediate and essential dental care lifted from $300 to $1,000 per year Increased income levels for hardship assistance to extend eligibility Budget 2022 takes further action to reduce child poverty and ...
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    4 days ago
  • A booster for RNA research and development
    More support for RNA research through to pilot manufacturing RNA technology platform to be created to facilitate engagement between research and industry partners Researchers and businesses working in the rapidly developing field of RNA technology will benefit from a new research and development platform, funded in Budget 2022. “RNA ...
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    4 days ago
  • Unleashing business potential across NZ
    A new Business Growth Fund to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow Fully funding the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund to unleash regional economic development opportunities Tourism Innovation Programme to promote sustainable recovery Eight Industry Transformation Plans progressed to work with industries, workers and iwi to transition ...
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    4 days ago
  • Securing the wellbeing of Pacific communities
    Budget 2022 further strengthens the economic foundations and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. “The priorities we set for Budget 2022 will support the continued delivery of our commitments for Pacific peoples through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, a 2020 manifesto commitment for Pacific ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers timely support for whānau
    Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives. More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education  Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers critical infrastructure
    New hospital funding for Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton 280 more classrooms over 40 schools, and money for new kura $349 million for more rolling stock and rail network investment The completion of feasibility studies for a Northland dry dock and a new port in the Manukau Harbour Increased infrastructure ...
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    4 days ago
  • A health system that takes care of Māori
    $168 million to the Māori Health Authority for direct commissioning of services $20.1 million to support Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards $30 million to support Māori primary and community care providers $39 million for Māori health workforce development Budget 2022 invests in resetting our health system and gives economic security in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Investing in better health services
    Biggest-ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget Provision for 61 new emergency vehicles including 48 ambulances, along with 248 more paramedics and other frontline staff New emergency helicopter and crew, and replacement of some older choppers $100 million investment in specialist mental health and addiction services 195,000 primary and intermediate aged ...
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    4 days ago
  • A Secure Future for New Zealanders’ health
    Landmark reform: new multi-year budgets for better planning and more consistent health services Record ongoing annual funding boost for Health NZ to meet cost pressures and start with a clean slate as it replaces fragmented DHB system ($1.8 billion year one, as well as additional $1.3 billion in year ...
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    4 days ago
  • Cost of living package eases impact on households – 2.1 million Kiwis to get new targeted payment
    Fuel Excise Duty and Road User Charges cut to be extended for two months Half price public transport extended for a further two months New temporary cost of living payment for people earning up to $70,000 who are not eligible to receive the Winter Energy Payment Estimated 2.1 million New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Budget highlights underlying strength of economy in face of global headwinds
    A return to surplus in 2024/2025 Unemployment rate projected to remain at record lows Net debt forecast to peak at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2024, lower than Australia, US, UK and Canada Economic growth to hit 4.2 percent in 2023 and average 2.1 percent over the forecast period A ...
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    4 days ago
  • Budget 2022: A secure future in difficult times
    Cost of living payment to cushion impact of inflation for 2.1 million Kiwis Record health investment including biggest ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget First allocations from Climate Emergency Response Fund contribute to achieving the goals in the first Emissions Reduction Plan Government actions deliver one of the strongest ...
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    4 days ago
  • Budget 2022: A secure future
    Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures. Our economy has come through the COVID-19 shock better than almost anywhere else in the world, but other challenges, both long-term and more ...
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    4 days ago
  • Health Minister to attend World Health Assembly in Geneva
    Health Minister Andrew Little will represent New Zealand at the first in-person World Health Assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday 22 – Wednesday 25 May (New Zealand time). “COVID-19 has affected people all around the world, and health continues to ...
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    5 days ago
  • New efforts to counter illegal timber trade
    New Zealand is committing to trade only in legally harvested timber with the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today. Under the Bill, timber harvested in New Zealand and overseas, and used in products made here or imported, will have to be verified as being legally harvested. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Deaths in New Zealand lower than expected so far during the pandemic
    The Government has welcomed the release today of StatsNZ data showing the rate at which New Zealanders died from all causes during the COVID-19 pandemic has been lower than expected. The new StatsNZ figures provide a measure of the overall rate of deaths in New Zealand during the pandemic compared ...
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    5 days ago
  • New law helps secure New Zealand’s maritime domain
    Legislation that will help prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including trafficking of humans, drugs, wildlife and arms, has passed its third reading in Parliament today, Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Today is a milestone in allowing us to respond to the increasingly dynamic and complex maritime security environment facing ...
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    6 days ago