Mergers and acquisitions

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, November 19th, 2023 - 105 comments
Categories: act, Christopher Luxon, david seymour, national, national/act government, nz first, same old national, winston peters - Tags:

Christopher Luxon has always talked the big talk about his corporate experience and his time at Air New Zealand.  In fact it became something of a joke so often did he make this comment.

Of course Government is an entirely different beast.  Instead of being under the control of a small group of wealthy individuals demanding that their return is maximised you have to look after the aims and aspirations of a country of diverse individuals.  Or at least this is what should happen.

Luxon keeps talking up his experience with mergers and acquisitions.  If you had a chocolate fish for each time he used this phrase you would put on a great deal of weight.  If you had a drink every time he said this you would be very drunk.

But it appears that his skills and experience may have been overstated.

From Lloyd Burr at Newshub:

When Luxon was the boss of Air New Zealand, his acrimonious relationship with Virgin Australia’s boss John Borghetti saw him quit Virgin’s board and sell Air New Zealand’s stake, losing tens of millions of dollars.

“I’ve done a lot in my business life at Unilever and also at Air New Zealand.”

But how many were success stories and how many were failures?

“I’m not going into them specifically.”

Tova O’Brien has also been digging and has some background.  From Stuff:

Air NZ and Virgin Australia entered into a marriage in 2010, that was before Luxon was Air NZ CEO. In 2013, as CEO, Luxon upped Air NZ’s shareholding in Virgin from 15% to 23% and then to 25.9%.

In 2016 Luxon attempted a coup to oust Virgin CEO John Borghetti but wasn’t successful. Luxon resigned from the board and sold Air NZ’s stake.

As for Unilever, Luxon worked with the mega multinational from 1993 to 2011 across five countries and eventually held the role of president and chief executive officer of Canadian operations.

Luxon was reluctant to go into detail about his merger and acquisition experience with the company, “Well it was a company that actually bought a lot of different companies so Unilever is one of the largest companies in the world,” Luxon explained.

Asked again how many M and As he oversaw at Unilever, Luxon simply replied, “A number of them.”

Unilever has been approached for comment and clarity.

Matthew Hooton has been scathing about Luxon’s performance labelling the recent photograph of the three leaders as being issued with all of the transparency of the North Korean Ministry for Information.

The really strong impression is that Luxon has overestimated his personal skills and has displayed a complete lack of understanding of the nature of the different parties.

Winston’s games this week was a direct message to Luxon of Peters’ disapproval with the process.

And there is no downside for Act or NZ First if the coalition discussions fail.  As Hooton points out if the negotiations fail they can sit on the cross benches and play things issue by issue.  And if it fails Act can say it stuck to its guns on its treaty referendum policy and NZ First can say it stuck to its guns on stopping sale of residential land to foreigners.

And it would make National look weak.  Its funders would not be pleased.

I am confident that the media are pouring over every single merger and acquisition that Luxon was involved in.  To see if his rhetoric matches reality.

105 comments on “Mergers and acquisitions ”

  1. Stephen D 1

    We don’t have the resources to analyse whether our media is biased left or right. What we can tell is that they are incompetent.

    What Tova O’B is doing now, should have been done by any competent reporter prior to the election.

    • Anne 2.1

      Funny you should mention DK. He's not the only one afflicted with the condition. His Deputy also has a problem with DK, and I suspect a good proportion of the new ministers will be similarly affected.

      And it looks like I was not the only person wondering about the following:

      Yes. it is convenient cos they all live in Auckland but iirc, Helen Clark, John Key and Jacinda Ardern did not have problems conducting their negotiations at the appropriate place – parliament.

      • Kat 2.1.1

        And from behind a couch in Karori a finger nails on blackboard sounding voice is chanting …… wasteful spending…..wasteful spending……wasteful spending…….

      • Grey Area 2.1.2

        Me too Anne, though I wasn't wondering too much. I was sure we are paying for it. Mr Mergers and Acquisitions says in your linked item that it's "a price of democracy and I think that's entirely appropriate."

        But – Luxon, Seymour and Peters are acting in their roles as leaders of their respective political parties. They are just trying to put a coalition government together. They are not the government, just wannabes.

        So until the Governor General agrees they have crafted a strong and stable workable government and gives them the green light, aren't they just pollies doing pollie stuff and they should pay?

        • Ghostwhowalks

          Probably the precedent from 8-9 previous elections means the travel is paid for by Parliamentary Services.

          Its also the unique circumstances this time of all 3 party leaders living in Auckland otherwise parliament itself would be the center and the hiring of hotel meeting rooms in Auckland is paid for by PS

          • Grey Area

            All true, but most politicians have been sticking their snouts in the public trough since forever. It's still hypocritical for Mr M&A and Mr Cut Wasteful Spending in particular to be so freely jetting up and down the country and meeting with Peters (sometimes) in a flash hotel at our expense.

            It would have been nice to see these people who want to cut government spending set an example. Not likely I know from the man who took a Crown BMW limo to parliament when he could have walked. Tone deaf.

            It would have been refreshing and they could have scored brownie points by saying we expect government departments and services to tighten their belts and we are too, but nah. Privileged and hypocritical.

            • Anne

              It would have been nice to see these people who want to cut government spending set an example.

              Yes. That is the point. If a PM and his Govt. propose to cut so-called wasteful spending and throw a lot of people on the scrap heap in the process, then it is incumbent on them to also make sacrifices.

              Its the hypocrisy and sense of entitlement which appalls me.

  2. Thinker 3

    Which leaves us wondering…

    Did the National poo-bahs who appointed Luxon as the man to take them through the election camapign, know all that's now been uncovered but decide he made a good poster-boy anyway, or

    Did they only scratch the surface before they were satisfied and not disturb any sleeping crocodiles?

    I'm open to other options, but I can't think of many.

  3. Well, let's just wait and see what really happens. At some stage, the Unlikely Lads,aka the 3 Stooges, will emerge boasting scanty details of a disagreeable Agreement to favour the Lords, Lasses and Larrikins and further disempowering the Bottom Feeders.And, Nasty Nicola cannot wait to get her grimy hands on the books to implement chaos! Ginny Winnie, whether we like it or not, we are in your hands for leadership to steer this country to common sense recovery and keep the Bald Eagle and Dodgy Dave at arms' length and accountable for stupidity. That's the way it is !

  4. pat 5

    Surely no one believes that the only input to nationals negotiating position belongs to Luxon?

    There will be considerable input from others within (and possibly without) the organisation.

    Luxon may publicly carry the can but it is naive to believe that the failures (assuming such) are his alone.

  5. alwyn 6

    An alternative viewpoint is given in a thoughtful post by Philip Crump, aka Thomas Cranmer.

    He suggests, and my working life would lead me to agree with him that it doesn't matter in the slightest how long the negotiations last as long as you get a well thought through outcome.

    Did the 2017 negotiations give a good result when we see, from Ron Mark's description, that Labour gave NZF everything they wanted but managed to neglect any commitment from NZF to support any of Labour's plans? As Ron says "Jacinda was ready to sell her grandmother – and she did"

    Was that really a great result for Ms Ardern and her cohort?

    • SPC 6.1

      Which policies of the 2017 Labour manifesto were blocked by the agreement with NZF?

      How many of the Labour manifesto polices were carried out despite not being in the agreement?

      You do understand the point of these questions?

      The lead party in government will expect support for its manifesto policies unless the agreement specifies otherwise.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        You can go through Labour's 2017 promises here and do the checklist.

        Your last premise is just flat wrong. The coalition agreement from 2017 was an integrated and signed document between the parties, not a mere reflection of Labour's manifesto (such as it was).

        • Ghostwhowalks

          Yes. I think the 3 strikes repeal was a labour commitment in 2017 that was sidelined

          I would think looking at NZF manifesto from 2017 would show they 'didnt get everything'. Eg Provincial Growth Fund was already in Labours manifesto but the spending was upped for NZF. The whole program was badly managed and national with its large provincial cohort of MPs pulled out all stops to feed negative stories to the willing dupes in the media ….. feeding the chickens Queensland style.

          Cant have given NZF everything as we know Shane Jones wasnt made First Citizen/ Consul …/sarc

        • SPC

          Your last premise is just flat wrong.

          No it is not.

          The coalition agreement from 2017 was an integrated and signed document between the parties, not a mere reflection of Labour's manifesto (such as it was).

          Where did I claim that it was?

          • Ad

            The coalition agreement didn't "… specify otherwise". It integrated two sets of promises together. Nor was there much proportionality to it: some budgets went up ten times.

            • SPC

              1.You are aware that I was responding to Alwyn's claim that NZF got what they wanted and gave Labour nothing right?

              2.The lead party in government will expect support for its manifesto policies unless the agreement specifies otherwise.

              Are you claiming that no policy in the Labour manifesto not mentioned in the coalition agreement was implemented?

              For example the only coalition policy on housing was

              • Establish a Housing Commission


              Most of us can cite other things in Labour’s 2017 manifesto as per housing policies.

              • alwyn

                "The lead party in government will expect support for its manifesto policies unless the agreement specifies otherwise."

                Labour might have thought that New Zealand First would do this but they had no reason for such an expectation, They never even thought to put it in writing and if it wasn't in the signed agreement NZF saw no reason at all to do it.

                Here is the agreement.


                The only mention of what parties will support is "The Parties agree to support and promote the matters and issues which have been subject to agreement between them"

                NZF followed that statement. If it hadn't been identified in the agreement they weren't bound to support it. If you read the agreement there was nothing in the Labaour Party manifesto that is actually in this agreement. It is all about what Labour was required to do to promote the NZF objectives..

                Everything else was subject to agreement between the parties after the election. If NZF didn't want it then it simply didn't happen.

                • SPC

                  One the one hand Ad says

                  It integrated two sets of promises together

                  On the other Alwyn says

                  If you read the agreement there was nothing in the Labaour Party manifesto that is actually in this agreement

                  As for

                  They never even thought to put it in writing

                  Did they need to do to get what was in their manifesto?

                  and if it wasn't in the signed agreement NZF saw no reason at all to do it. If NZF didn't want it then it simply didn't happen.

                  So NZF owns everything that happened 2017-2020. Cool.

              • Belladonna

                An article which discusses in detail, the Labour policies to which NZF was a handbrake in the 2017-2020 government.

                CGI tax, and 3 strikes amongst other initiatives.

                As Alwyn says, if it wasn't in the coalition agreement, then Labour had to negotiate on a case-by-case basis with Peters and the NZ First caucus (there were definitely instances where Peters was open to the policy, but NZF disagreed – how much of that is smoke and mirrors, I leave to the individual to determine).



                Tracy Martin quoted from the above

                Labour learned two important lessons.

                The first was that there was a difference in how the two parties saw the coalition agreement.

                Labour's view was that the agreement set out what NZ First would get – but other than those policies that were specifically excluded, such as its plans for levying water use, Labour could go ahead with its manifesto.

                Martin said that belief was behind a lot of the confusion.

                "I realised about six months in that Labour thought we had just rubber-stamped their manifesto, and that was not our view at all."

                Peters, a man with a background in the law, saw the coalition agreement as a contract. His interpretation was that only things specifically listed in the coalition agreement were guaranteed.

                Everything else had to be negotiated.

                Those negotiations often proved protracted and difficult.

                • SPC

                  Labour could not blame NZF for being a block on a CGT 2020-2023.

                  NZF obviously allowed the bright-line test to go from 2 to 5 years.

                  • Belladonna

                    Well, no. We were discussing the 2017 coalition arrangement, and how effective NZF and Labour were, in ensuring their policies were included.

                    • SPC

                      I would claim more of Labour's manifesto promises were carried out 2017-2020 than that of NZF.

                      Labour secured their being in government to achieve that by making the coalition agreement.

                      I realised about six months in that Labour thought we had just rubber-stamped their manifesto, and that was not our view at all.

                      Really, this was from PM Ardern shortly after the coalition agreement.

                      She was speaking on The AM Show, insisting the only change to Labour policies are those outlined in the coalition agreement with NZ First and the confidence and supply arrangement with the Greens.


                  • Belladonna

                    Yes, as Martin pointed out, the two sides had very different understandings of the agreement.

                    Labour/Ardern thought that whatever Labour policy wasn't specifically excluded, was included.

                    NZF/Peters thought that whatever wasn't specifically mentioned, was up for negotiation.

                    No wonder there was a whole forrest of misunderstandings.

                • Belladonna

                  Duh, of course I mean Capital Gains Tax – not sure where the extra 'I' came from.

    • Ghostwhowalks 6.2

      Was Ron part of the negotiations in 2017 or did he hear it 'second hand' from stories told afterwards. Often people who were actually there dont talk about it.

      Of course in 2017 was different from now it that back then there was viable government from both sides. Not an option now.

      Also the nature of a major party having most control of the government/cabinet is that the small parties need their wins in writing as once its over they may have only an ability to block some changes but not all ( the supply part of confidence and supply)

      • Belladonna 6.2.1

        Ron Mark was one of those in the room for every coalition negotiation of the 2017 NZ First and Labour government

        • alwyn

          I see that is the same story I linked to but mine, being in the Herald, is paywalled.

          How can you find if something is also at the link you posted? It is not paywalled and therefor a much better link to post than is mine.

          • joe90

            Enter the original link in the lower field at archivedotli.

            Your search will return either an archivedotli link or a prompt to archive your link.


            • alwyn

              Thank you. I will try it out next time I want to link to something in the Herald that requires a subscription.

              As long as I can continue to find ways of getting access for a maximum of a dollar a week I don't mind paying them that.

          • Belladonna

            Sorry for the delay in responding – I've been off doing weekend stuff.

            I use the Webpage archive (I have it bookmarked at the top of my browser, for easy access)


            Open the site, paste your url into the box which says "My url is alive and I want to archive its content" and click save.

            If the url has already been archived – it will pop up with the archived page, and you can copy/paste the link to TS – or wherever else you want to.

            If it has not, it will archive it (sometimes takes 30 seconds or so).

            If you are a Herald (or Post or Times, or whatever) subscriber – then I think you just have to be alert that an article you are viewing, is paywalled. There is a notification- but it's not always obvious.

        • Ghostwhowalks

          Cant find anything from 2017 that supports that . Its only the 2023 story which says he says he was 'in the room'

          • alwyn

            I'll bet you can't find any proof that Jacinda Ardern was at any specific meeting where the agreement was discussed either. Or Winston for that matter.

          • Belladonna

            Well, no one has come out and contradicted him. And, I'm sure there would be people who would be politically motivated to do so, from the Labour side, if he were not telling the truth about his participation.

            He's named as part of the NZFirst negotiating team, in this article from 2017 (you have to scroll quite a bit)

            Winston Peters' negotiating team is Tracey Martin, Ron Mark, David Broome and Paul Carrad.


            Given all of that, I don't see any reason to disbelieve his claim.

    • Louis 6.3

      You don't even know if Ron Mark is telling the truth, alwyn, like Winston, he also likes to rewrite history.

      "it did reinforce National’s instinct to destroy rather than to build. Instead of wanting to cooperate with our desire for positive change, National’s strategy was designed to extinguish it."

      "We knew we couldn’t win everything, but we wanted to work with a party that, having committed to a shared policy vision, would work with New Zealand First to make change happen"

      Peters writes his own history on backing Labour in 2017

    • James Simpson 6.4

      I tend to agree.

      The length of the negotiations does not give us a reason to think that there is a bad deal being struck.

      The type of deal which is spat out at the end, and whether it provides for a stable government for 3 years is all that matters. I'm not sure we will get that but lets wait and see.

      And as for M&A experience. Anyone who is involved in a deal knows negotiations can last months and be very difficult at times. Its the deal at the end that matters.

  6. Peter 7

    When all is said and done do politicians want to be in the hurly-burly and hullabaloo of tortuous coalition negotiations or deep in the grimness and grime of the opposition trenches.

  7. Incognito 8

    A Brief History of Chris Luxon – A Legend in the Making

    1. I used to run an airline
    2. I used to oversee a number of mergers & acquisitions
    3. I will lead a strong & stable Government for the first 100 days

    [Late edit]

    • Ghostwhowalks 8.1

      Tonight on TVNZ hes giving a briefing on how negotiations are going …having said at the beginning he wont be conducting it in front of the media.

      In 6 months time he wont be doing much post cabinet media at all, only the soft stuff with Hosking and other softies on ZB

    • Tricledrown 8.2

      37 days have gone Nationals urgency has lead to Geriatric Brownlee catching up to Chippies public announcement on Labour's position on the Palestine/Israel conflict.Thats strong decisive leadership with Brownlee's response a dog's breakfast late and pathetic When the opposition is doing your job.Sixty three days left.Time is running out no leadership National gone missing in action.

    • Janet 8.3

      4/ What I did not do was build my own little NZ business from the ground up…..

      5/ My mate John Key gave me leg-up into parliament .

  8. Mike the Lefty 9

    The MSM are now playing up a three-way contest for deputy PM with Seymour, Peters and Willis. I wonder what odds the bookmakers would be laying on each? As each day and week go past and government in a holding pattern whilst egos are imposed – encouraging start for a new administration eh?

    • Muttonbird 10.1

      It is comforting to see right wing commentators roll over like Labrador pups instead of asking reasonable questions of the coalition of chaos.

    • observer 10.2

      Like Alwyn above, your link entirely misses the point.

      If Luxon had said after the election "negotiations will take a long time, they will be tough" then it would be a valid point.

      But he said the opposite. Bolger, Clark, Key, English, Ardern had all got it wrong. He was going to do it better, smarter and quicker.

      It is his own words that condemn him, not leftie/rightie commentators.

    • georgecom 10.3

      if you talk a big game, match it with action. no sign of a coalition government deal being actioned thus far

  9. Blazer 11

    Luxon is so modest.

    He hasn't reminded us recently about him being a 'turnaround expert' in business.

    Rob Fyfe might have something to say about 'turning around' Air NZ.

    As for Unilever ,he probably counts increasing revenue due to inflationary pressures and expansion of markets as 'turning around'.

    Unilever has form for M&A….be surprised if Luxon was anything more than a minor ,observer in anything significant.

    Very coy when pressed for..examples.

    • Peter 11.1

      Was a time in New Zealand someone from the 'big smoke' like Auckland would move to a country town and take mystique with them. There may have been suspicion of the newcomers but they were often credited with respect and deference merely because they were thought to be better because they were from the big time world. There was no real reason for them to be considered to be anything special.

      Christopher Luxon. Turned up and automatically was God's gift. All sorts of abilities have been ascribed to him. What characteristics has he shown to suggest he is the exceptional person to be our Prime Minister, our leader more than anyone else? What evidence is there of the magician to see Hicktown turned into a gold rush? Some exceptional, extraordinary vision or business achievement, some outstanding human attributes?

      He's the classisc 'Yeah, Nah' man. I wonder how long it is before many more realise they were 'sold a pup.' And were dumb enough to buy it.

    • alwyn 11.2

      "Rob Fyfe might have something to say".

      He might, but if you look at the performance of Air New Zealand during their tenures I would have to say that Luxon turned it from a marginally profitable business into a very successful company.

      Have a look at their annual reports from say 2009 to 2019 and you will see that things were going much better during Luxon's tenure as CEO

      • Grey Area 11.2.1

        But were those results achieved because of his leadership, or despite it?

      • Tricledrown 11.2.2

        Air Travel expanded at the most rapid rate in world history Air New Zealand expanded at the average rate from 2014 to 2018 not above average.Luxon closed many regional services and made a mess of the deal with Virgin.

        • alwyn

          The guts of my statement was " Luxon turned it from a marginally profitable business into a very successful company."

          Did you look at the bottom line in the accounts?

  10. newsense 12

    The other thing about Luxon that isn’t explored is that he still considers us provincials.

    Think about what he said about us in Britain. This is common among those wedged into a big corporate overseas- NZ is tiny, people aren’t go getters (like us), they can’t build houses like China does etc etc. Despite the injustices of the pandemic travel bans, there was also an enormous amount of privilege on display. Corporate success stories believe themselves as self made and beyond requiring anything from countries. Travel is their right.

    I think this is part of it. I’m the big important guy from Unilever so listen up. My experience in a real place is more powerful than anything you’ve got.

    He didn’t think he had to get out of bed to win. And considering his efforts in policy development and tactical decisions in the campaign he was only reinforced in this idea.

    But hierarchical corporations are a different beast to government. The leadership requirements are different.

    The learning to be done is perhaps about NZ and the ways our little bits of NZ exceptionalism have a bit of truth here and there.

  11. Incognito 13

    I’m a little surprised that the Three Wise Guys didn’t show their support for their rural and provincial voter base as well as for the tourism sector by holding their coalition talks in Te Puke. A missed photo op opportunity.

  12. georgecom 15

    Looks increasingly like all he was capable of negotiating was the colour of the lollies given out on AirNZ flights.

    Did he actually mean a SLOW and stable government?

    And how 'rock solid' is he now on the amount of tax cuts?

    He said he would negotiate a free trade agreement with India in his first term of office. The man cannot even negotiate a NZ government agreement.

    Priority for the first 100 days Chris – how about forming a Government. That would be an achievement

    'Mini budget by christmas'? What, Christmas 2024?

    One of the basics of negotiations, don't let those across the table know any time limits you have least they use that to extract concessions from you. Doing so is a rookie mistake made by inexperienced negotiators.

    Luxon said he wanted negotiations wrapped up in time for him to make it APEC 2023.

  13. SPC 16

    "If he comes out with a deal where National maintains control of fiscal policy, of tax policy, the broad direction of foreign policy… then the humiliations would've been worth it and he'll have made the right judgement to suffer those humiliations in exchange for good policy."

  14. newsense 17

    NZ Herald has a bit of a mean girls bitchy side. Who knew?
    Instead of ‘Caretaker PM’ Chris Hipkins they decided to label him ‘Labour Leader’ Chris Hipkins.
    Miaow! Luxon’s mergers and acquisitions about as successful as Stuff and The Herald a few years back?

    • Obtrectator 17.1

      It was as Labour leader that he was making that comment on the Gaza situation.

      Much as JK always insisting he'd been wearing one of his other (non-Prime Ministerial) hats when doing something that was later found to have been conduct unbecoming of a Prime Minister.

  15. Jacqui N 18

    He wasn't my choice as PM (I worked with him at Unilever in the early 90s), but using politician gotchas to sell newspapers like Women's Day uses the royal family to sell rags is just demeaning to all and at this stage next-to-useless.
    NZ wanted another rich white businessman to run the country and that's what we've got. Let's just get on with it shall we?

    • Kat 18.1

      "NZ wealthy wanted another rich white businessman to run the country…….."

      There f i f y…..

      Oh and btw if Winston suddenly decided to talk with a now receptive Labour and form a govt with the Greens and TPM then the wealthy would have wasted all that dosh…….funny that….eh!

      • DS 18.1.1

        I voted Labour, and I can assure you that that would be signing the party's electoral death warrant in 2026 (seriously, it would make 2023 look like 2020).

        If there's no deal, there will have to be another election in 2024.

    • pat 18.2

      The fact that National received only 38% of the 78% who turned out to vote demonstrates that NZ (in the main) did not vote for a rich white businessman to lead the country….it does however demonstrate that the electorate didnt want the existing regime.

      Therein lies an important difference.

  16. Someone on X (twitter) doing the job our so-called journalists should be doing!

    • ianmac 19.1

      Thanks Tony. Sums it up so well. Didn't that Canadian chap with the false CV get found out and fired/deported? Where would Luxon get deported to I wonder.

      • ianmac 19.1.1

        Lying on a resume involves fabricating or omitting essential details on your resume. The two broad categories of lies include lies of commission and omission. Lies of commission happen when candidates have false statements on their resumes. For example, a candidate may list design as a skill when they're not knowledgeable about it. A lie of omission happens when candidates fail to provide complete information on a subject.

  17. outofbed 20

    So he wasn't head hunted from Unilever stayed there for number of years .

    Christian Fundie .. which shows lack of critical thinking.

    "I used to run an Airline. " The very fact he said that all the time, speaks volumes.

    Only deal of any significance results in 100 million loss

    Dunning Kruger in full effect

  18. Sam 21

    For goodness sake, the met for an hour yesterday.

    Sure, apparently some negotiation is being done over the phone and email, but they're meeting at a bloody hotel – get serious and stay there till it's done!

  19. Thinker 22
    1. Wonder if it will come up in conversation at international talks etc. You can bet that the intelligence industry is up with things.

    Think of his poor kids watching all this unfold, right or wrong.

    Some light background music while we are waiting for a coalition to be formed.

  20. observer 23

    The Nats are still using MMP as an excuse, as if we hadn't had 9 previous MMP elections, and somehow coped.

    How old is MMP? Well, Princess Diana is still alive, Tony Blair hasn't yet become UK PM, the Spice Girls are top of the charts, and in New Zealand "breakfast TV" doesn't even exist while a few geeks are talking about the internet, whatever that is.

  21. SPC 24

    Luxon told reporters: “We’ve achieved, I think, a significant milestone overnight and that is that we have actually closed down and agreed policy programmes with both Act and also with New Zealand First.

    He says he is to have talks with Peters about Cabinet positions but mentions no such thing with Seymour.

    PS Why is ACT called Act, it is not a word it is an abbreviation of Association of Consumers and Taxpayers. Do journalists know nothing of our political history?

    • SPC 24.1

      Peters is saying – yeah na.

      Reading between the lines, the policy agreement with NZF is conditional on the talks on Cabinet positions, whereas the one with ACT is not.

    • Obtrectator 24.2

      Writing or printing Act instead of ACT is just one example of a practice that's been common now for decades. It's especially likely to be seen when, as here, the abbreviation forms a pronounceable word, even if it's one that can't be found in any dictionary.

  22. observer 25

    And yet again, for the umpteenth time … Luxon does not learn.

    He makes the big announcement, and Peters says not yet (link: all NZ media, right now).

    No doubt they will finalise an agreement, and a government will be formed, but why can't Luxon just wait? Why this need to talk before it's done? Why shoot yourself in the foot, day after day?

    He is incompetent.

  23. Tricledrown 26

    Unilever man Luxon foams at the mouth.

  24. Obtrectator 27

    I suspect Winston wants to be the one who makes The Big Announcement.

  25. newsense 28

    If it’s not Luxon who makes all this work, who is it?

    Who are the people with National who make this 3 fellas in one suit walk and talk like a government on a day to day basis?

  26. observer 29

    David Seymour has been quite restrained during this saga, but his patience is running out. Or possibly, his supporters and MPs have had enough of Winston running the show, and have told him to get tough.

    So today he finally says it out loud … he wants to be Deputy PM.

    "the ACT Party is the second-largest party in the government and if there's a second role in the government that should go to the second party"

    David Seymour touts ACT's deputy PM qualifications | RNZ News

    Sorry, Winston.

  27. Corey 30

    You'd think the media which is deeply incompetent, would have done this research two years ago and leading up to the election not after it… Good grief.

    Luxon barely understands how question time works or parliamentary process it's actually quite embarrassing, he can't go one media interview without getting a croney to come out and correct what he meant to say.

    This man will not lead the national party into the next election, too many members are furious with him for accidentally saying he'd work with Peters and resurrecting Peters from the dead at the last minute when National and Act were headed for a landslide coalition win, now they have to work with an insane, narcissistic man who they have very little policy overlap with and who simply wants to be a handbrake.

    Luxon is toast long term…. Judy and Nicola will be sharpening their knives.

    • Adrian 30.1

      I thought Sulky Seymour turned it into a cliffhanger with his comment to do away with January2nd as a national holiday on the petulant reason that we now have Matariki., I'm sure I heard a collective FuckYou all the way down here in the South. ACT slipped after that and NZF moved up. Nats flatlined by my reckoning as well.

    • observer 30.2

      "Luxon barely understands how question time works or parliamentary process it's actually quite embarrassing"

      Only minutes after Corey commented, then right on cue Luxon proves this to be true.

      He dismisses Deputy PM as "largely a ceremonial role", apparently unaware that this so-called "ceremony" happens at least once a week when the House is sitting, usually on Thursdays. The Deputy PM must answer questions from MPs to the PM and must speak on behalf of the PM. Read your Hansard, Mr Luxon.

      • alwyn 30.2.1

        If the most important thing you can come up with is that the deputy-PM might have to answer on behalf of the PM for the occasional question on a Thursday I would suggest that Luxon is perfectly entitled to say, if someone claims that this is something other than a ceremonial position, "My case is proved".

        For crying out loud. Do you really think that this is something important?

        • SPC

          It is possible with the right deputy PM, the PM will always turn out and answer the questions …

          • alwyn

            It is very rare for either the PM or the Leader of the Opposition to be in the House for Question Time on a Thursday.

            Not never, but certainly hardly ever.

        • observer

          Speaking in Parliament, the Deputy PM departed from government policy. The PM sacked him.

          So yes, kinda important.

          Dismissal of Rt Hon Winston Peters |

          • SPC

            The same applied for any Minister answering a question in parliament.

          • alwyn

            Did you read right through the statement by the PM?

            If so you will note that she told people what was going to happen with the Treasurer portfolio that Peters held. She said who it would be going to.

            However there was no mention of what would happen to the deputy-PM job.

            That was because the Finance role job was important and people needed to know what was going on in the area. The deputy-PM wasn't of any particular importance and could be sorted out at a later date.

  28. Stephen D 31

    Quote from RNZ

    ”Asked about deputy prime minister he said it was about "actually making sure we've got the right people in the right places. You will have observed that's really important to me in the way that I structured the National Party when I took on as leader".”

    Gerry Brownlee Minister of Foreign Affairs. FFS!

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