National reverts to type

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, November 3rd, 2017 - 224 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, bill english, Judith Collins, national, Politics - Tags:

Elected representatives ought to work in the common interest.  In areas where there is agreement they should work constructively, in areas where there is disagreement they should passionately put their side and oppose.  But healthy political systems have a mix of both approaches.

A couple of examples, Sue Bradford’s anti smacking private member’s bill, or as I prefer to call it the anti brutalising law, was for some strange reason causing all sorts of consternation.  People were wrongly led to believe that it would result in all sorts of otherwise innocent parents going to jail.  Nothing was further from the truth.  But John Key, clearly for political reasons, nevertheless did the right thing and help guide the bill through Parliament.

A second example was Louisa Wall’s same sex marriage bill.  The debate was full of surprises and saw hardened right wingers express humane compassionate support for gay people to be able to enjoy the same institutions that straight people do.  The final debate was a delight to watch.

So what can we expect this term?  Regrettably National has ruled out the possibility of the opposition taking a constructive view of its job this term.

From Nicholas Jones at the Herald:

Parliament resumes next week and English today announced the portfolios he has assigned to his team, including a big promotion for Judith Collins.

“You should expect more tension and more pressure in the Parliament, and particularly through the select committee process. Because we are the dominant select committee party,” English said.

“And that is going to make a difference to how everything runs – it’s not our job to make this place run for an incoming Government that is a minority.

“You will get to understand that it is a minority Government with a majority Opposition, and the Greens as the support party. That is how we are going to run it…we have no obligation to smooth [Labour’s] path. None whatsoever.”

English repeats the lie that the Government is a “minority government”.  Reality to Bill English a majority of MPs support this Government.  This is how democracy is meant to work.

So we can expect business as usual from National this term.  Forget about constructive engagement from the opposition or a principled approach to the role of opposition.  And no doubt there will be a further trashing of the reputations of politicians and of politics.

It could be a rough three years.


224 comments on “National reverts to type”

  1. tracey 1

    A type of fillibustering of sorts?

    They still believe they won and are fuelling that mistaken belief in their voters. This is a pretty divisive attitude and move?

    Those quotes suggest that Nats intend punishing people because we have MMP not FPP? Is that where this is headed? Strangle to govt and force a new election or strangle and then a non Nat affiliated petition to go back to FPP will appear? Is Shirtcliffe still around?

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      It’s a mixture of stages two and three in the grieving process. Anger and bargaining.

    • They still believe they won and are fuelling that mistaken belief in their voters.

      No. They’re lying about ‘winning’ to fuel that belief in their voters.

      Those quotes suggest that Nats intend punishing people because we have MMP not FPP?

      National, like all conservatives, love democracy when it delivers what they want and will act against it when it doesn’t:

      Simply put, the Right cares more about preserving private property and the power it commands over politics, the economy, and society than it does about democracy. If they can have both, then conservative politicians and parties will support democracy and often get exactly what they want, as formal democracy on its own has historically proven compatible with an anti-democratic capitalism that concentrates economic power. But if conservatives are forced to choose — as they ultimately were in both the British and German contexts — they will always choose property. The circumstances of this choice determine whether they also bring down the curtain on democracy.

      What we’re seeing now is the standard conservative hate for democracy because it didn’t deliver what they wanted.

      Strangle to govt and force a new election or strangle and then a non Nat affiliated petition to go back to FPP will appear?

      Probably something like that but they actually want to replace MMP with SM which favours the party with the most electorates. In other words, a ‘proportional’ electoral system that would have National almost permanently in power.

      John Key

  2. Pete 2

    English coming over petulant and nasty might surprise some. You can imagine him rousing the team and talking about bringing it on dirty.

    In the front there rubbing their hands with glee, still in their Halloween costumes, Judith and Steven saying, “Now you’re cooking with gas.”

  3. Nick 3

    Yes petulant nasty little children.

  4. Incognito 4

    Talks and acts like a bully with sour grapes. I guess when politics is about conflict resolution and a contest of ideas all National can do is to cause conflict and to provide no ideas, none whatsoever.

    BTW, I love the background in the photo; it’s so appropriate!

  5. Shona 5

    Bill English. An ignorant ,incompetent, immature boring turd of a man. I do wish he would just fuck right off and when he gets there fuck off some more!

    • Yes the 2 time loser has no cred – no one to blame except the billshitter himself – he lost the debates and turned a winning gnat team into a rabble with no leadership and no clue and then he looks around like a stunned mullet for someone to blame. utter disgrace of a politican – zero morals and backbone.

    • james 5.2

      Classy Shona.

      • Shona 5.2.1

        so you’re a fan of spineless incompetence and greed then are you James. Typically condescending Tory comment!
        The man has no class no morals and has inflicted misery and poverty on the people of this country. A useless arrogant born trougher and you criticize me?

        • WILD KATIPO

          Good on you , Shona , – climb into them and give them no quarter . Its time we call a spade a spade in this country again and stop being a nation of PC ineffectuals.

          I hope you are still basking in the election win as I am.

          And that ones for you Jamesy Wamsey.


        • Grey Area

          Brought a smile to my face this morning Shona and your comments are right on the money. Behind the slighly goofy, religious, socially conservative, family guy mask is a typical National nasty piece of work.

        • james

          Not that Im a fan of spineless incompetence.

          Just not a fan of people who are without any class, arrogant, rude and come across as bitter and twisted.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Seeing the “bitter” in Shona’s comments – many have good cause and are unwilling to forgive.

            Not seeing the “twisted”; that pejorative cliché could apply to almost anyone here – who would know? Maybe you’re better at recognising ‘twisted’; btw the current National Party caucus provides rich ‘bitter and twisted’ pickings.

            You were quick with your personal attack (“Just not a fan of people who are without any class, arrogant, rude and come across as bitter and twisted.”). But maybe you didn’t intend that to include Shona, and in any case you’re not here to win friends and influence people.

            Daily Review 11/05/2017

            Why are you here? I can’t be the first to have asked this.

    • Red 5.3

      You sound charming Shona

  6. RedLogix 6

    This is not good news. Their role is to be a Loyal Opposition ; openly stating that they are going to prevent the process of government working is is a form of treason.

    It would be legitimate to say ‘we are going to oppose, debate and protest wherever possible’. But to threaten to use their numbers on Select Committees to ‘stop government from working’ is absolutely not ok. The committees are by convention where the real work of governance is done, where parties do work to ensure the legislative process functions.

    English’s threat here goes beyond mere ‘born to rule petulance of sore loser’; he’s stepped over a line. This is the same ‘oppose for the mere sake of opposing’ mentality that has rendered the US govt so dysfunctional.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Yep it is American Republican Party stuff. Trash the institution just because you can.

      • Matt 6.1.1

        And where has that shit got the mighty USA but into a proxy civil war in the halls of government.

        Definitely not a route we can afford to follow. Fortunately I don’t think that New Zealander’s will appreciate them behaving like that and hopefully they will be punished for it if that is how they choose to behave.

      • Keepcalmcarryon 6.1.2

        Yes Micky this is from the republican playbook. Note how polarizing it is by the above comments.
        Bad form from the Nats and our democracy will suffer for it.

    • tracey 6.2

      Agree 100% RL. It is open defiance of our process.

    • Gristle 6.3

      Select Committees provide oversight and review of government expenditure and performance, they also take proposed legislation and work to improve it through having public submissions (and trying to tweak it to be more inline with their political party’s policy. However, there is a defined timeframe that they have to work to. As the committees report back to Parliament it is not unusual to get dissenting reports. The House then goes into Committee of the Whole and considers the Bill for the Third Reading to be able to occur. Acts come from here.

      The latitude of Select Committees is somewhat controlled by the:
      1. Select Committee’s Chair. A strong chair will keep a tight focus on delivering activity to schedule and on direction.
      2. The Government’s agenda. Lots of things to do means process have to adapt to fit the increased load.
      3. The Leader of the House setting up the calander of the Parliament. They can limit the amount of time available for Select Committes to convene by having a full calander.
      4. The Select Committes are still required to report back by stated dates, so things just cannot be held in limbo.

      As to National’s ex Ministers having special insights into government activity, this is a two faced sword. They can’t really be too critical of government behaviour/actions because this is review process. They will be reviewing the period when they were in Government directing this behaviour/actions. So at least for the first year, the ex Ministers on Committees will be trying bury past problems, as well claim credit for past successes, as well tie the current Government to past Government’s problems.
      A conclusion is that if you were the past Minister, then initially you will be somewhat hamstrung (but at least you will know why you are in that state.)

      A second conclusion is that if you weren’t the past Minister, and have leadership aspirations (eg Collins) then letting some of the muck stick to Yesterday’s Men probably will occur.

      NZ still has the capability of being “The Fastest Lawmaker in The West.”

      • tracey 6.3.1

        Afterall Nats blamed everything on Labour for at least the first term if not until Key left.

      • greywarshark 6.3.2

        Thanks for the info Gristle.

        Blinglish – National reverts to ‘hype’ After the shortest possible time Seems like they never went away from it.

    • Shona 6.4

      We can hope that Mallard’s superior knowledge and understanding of Parliamentary processes puts the lazy ignorant Natz in their place. They have abused the parliamentary system for so long they foolishly believe they can continue to do so without being held to account.

      • They have abused the parliamentary system for so long they foolishly believe they can continue to do so without being held to account.

        Without a change in the law to make such abuse illegal they can continue to abuse the system without consequence.

    • Their role is to be a Loyal Opposition ; openly stating that they are going to prevent the process of government working is is a form of treason.

      Can we book them for it?

      There’s a lot of immoral actions of National that they need to be booked for but it doesn’t appear to be happening.

      This is the same ‘oppose for the mere sake of opposing’ mentality that has rendered the US govt so dysfunctional.

      Which is probably where he’s getting it from.

    • Ad 6.6

      The task of the Opposition is to enable the entire government to fail. They are all loyal to power – ideally to force an early election.

      If Labour had been able to take out a couple of National’s Ministers they wouldn’t have hesitated. They weren’t able to. That’s not National’s fault or their problem.

      • RedLogix 6.6.1

        National Ministers were largely immune because of a media (Hoskings, Gower, Garner, etc) who allowed their fundamental sympathy with the right to soften their pressure. An issue might come to the surface, but after a round of tongue clicking it would be allowed to sink quickly beneath the news cycle.

        It takes sustained media pressure over some weeks to generate enough political damage. And Key knew this so after a couple of early ‘resignations’ he rarely needed to act again. (The big exception was Collins for her dirty politics role that came too close to compromising Key himself.)

        What is different here is English stating upfront that he threatens to obstruct the Select Committee process to ‘stop the government from working’. That’s a new level of obstructionism we have never seen before. Imagine the howls of outrage if the boot was on the other foot and it was a Labour leader saying the same thing.

        It may well turn out to be impotent howls at the moon, but it’s an ugly development all the same.

        • ropata

          Pretty much mirrors the behaviour of the Republicans when Obama was in power: they obstructed, sabotaged, and flat out lied. Or worse, the RWNJ’s in Venezuela who hated the idea of socialism and paying tax so much that they cut off some basic supplies like toilet paper, boycotted elections, and claimed the elected government were not legitimate.

          That’s not acting like a democratic “opposition” party or representing the people. An opposition calls the government to account and criticises their actions, they don’t try and hold the fucken country to ransom.

          They are behaving exactly as you would expect born to rule spoilt Tories to act, when it seems as if workers and the lower classes might get a fairer go

  7. Wairua 7

    The electorate of NZ knows a bad loser when they hear one. I think it is more than that. He has to fend off Bennett, Collins, Joyce and their support and funding base. “I paid all that money for WHAT ?” I can only hope that as reality sets in they try being a bit more constructive. Jacinda, Winston, and Shaw have a every incentive to develop good teamwork and get a few results on the board before the National Farmers Federation puts the boot in ..

  8. ianmac 8

    Of course such negative Opposition might make the Government even more united.

  9. BM 9

    What do you expect?, Labour is trying to take the country in a completely different direction, at the same time you’ve still got roughly 50% of the population who doesn’t want that.

    Do you think National is just going to sit on the sidelines and allow that to happen? of course not they’ll fight you all the way and the majority of National voters will support them.

    • Wairua 9.1

      .. interesting times.

    • Muttonbird 9.2

      Over 18s represent approx 73% of the population or 3.5m people. Nats got 1.15m votes, just 33% of the eligible voting population and 24% of the total population, a long, long way from 50%.

      • james 9.2.1

        Play with figures all you like – but they were indeed close-ish to 50% of all voters.

        and thats what matters. Not %age of population.

        and yes – I understand labour/nzf/greens got more and ‘won’ the election – Im OK with that – Im just saying muttonbirds numbers are useless.

        • Muttonbird

          Just being accurate, you should try it one day. BM claimed 50% of the population voted National. Patently untrue.

        • McFlock

          Close-ish to 50% is like being close-ish to actually having enough cash to buy a pie. It doesn’t work at the dairy, it won’t work in opposition.

    • Yeah the gnats will try to ruin the country by lying like that did in the election – what a rabble – losers United

    • Molly 9.4

      “at the same time you’ve still got roughly 50% of the population who doesn’t want that.”

      That is impressive there BM, given that the “roughly” falls under the 50% in a acknowledged divided electorate.

      Can you link to a similar comment of yours from after the 2014 election where the National led government only had 49.27% of party vote support?

      Election results 2017:
      Party vote:
      36.9 Labour
      7.2 NZ First
      6.3 Green Party

      50.4 Total % of party votes for Labour led government
      (Similar to 2011 stats for Nats IIRC)

      Election results 2014
      Party vote:
      47.04 National
      0.69 ACT
      0.22 United Future
      1.32 Māori Party

      49.27 Total % of party votes for National led government

      • BM 9.4.1

        Whatever, the facts are it’s National(Capitalism) vs Labour(Socialism)

        Consensus politics are well and truly dead. the political stability of the last 20 odd years is now over.

        Rough seas ahead, hopefully, the HMS New Zealand doesn’t sink.

        • Molly

          No – “whatever”.

          The divided electorate has been with us for a while now. But your complaining about how that translates into governance is something new.

          While MMP needs some adjustment, the split of the electorate is not a surprise.

          And the political stability? Well, Talking Heads said it in 1980.

          Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

          (Actually, watching David Byrne puts me in mind of Hoskings antics since the election results…)

        • mickysavage

          Labour socialist? I’m afraid that changed back in the 1930s. Please try to keep up …

          • garibaldi

            BM is wrong yet again. Just watch Jacinda sign up to the TPP and realize how entrenched in neoliberalism the Labour caucus are. New direction ? Not.

            • greywarshark

              There’s an interesting post by Chris Trotter on Bowalley re the TPP and a thoughtful comment by David Stone, one of the informed in the NZ poliverse.

          • tc

            Accuracy doesn’t mesh with the national SOP Mickey nor it’s tr0lls

        • tracey

          Remember in your preferred world the worse than socialist, the Green commies are currently in Cabinet with Nats. Or have you expunged that from your memory?

          Polling of NZF voters said pereference for Labour Govt. Even when MP were with Nats they admitted their people wanted Labour.

        • Brendan

          “Whatever,” Ha ha. That’s basically admitting you lost the argument. Like people that say, “well, that’s just your opinion,” or, “I’m entitled to my opinion.” And then you proceed to pull out a red herring—which is not entirely true anyway. You really are a poor debater.

          If you think Labour is socialist you really need to get a grip on reality.

          You calling Labour socialist is like me calling National fascist. Something we both know is blatantly false.

          So yeah, welcome to reality.

          • greywarshark

            What National isn’t fascist! Isn’t that their preferred primrose path?

            Fascism /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.
            Fascism – Wikipedia

            Forcible suppression of opposition is what English is announcing the opening shots of. Replace nationalism and replace with abject acceptance of world capitalism.

        • Bearded Git

          agreed BM. I hope the clear change of direction happening under this government puts to bed the intellectually bankrupt argument often put forward that both parties are the same so it doesn,t matter who you vote for.

        • mac1

          HMS New Zealand, BM?

          Some of us have got past colonial times- at least christen our ship of state HMNZS New Zealand!

          Some of us would prefer her not to be a warship, too. A trading vessel, or even a hospital ship bringing health and hope to the nations.

          And others would prefer her to be the flagship of a fully sovereign republic.

          But HMS New Zealand?

        • AB

          “the facts are it’s National(Capitalism) vs Labour(Socialism)”
          Meh. Fact is we get Labour or Labour-led governments from time to time in order to save capitalism from itself by modifying some of its excesses. Then people get all amnesiac and vote the Nats in again for 9 more years of destruction. (1984-1990 being a notable boot on other foot exception).

          It has all the appearance of self-correcting system that would damn near go on forever without external shocks of some sort to disrupt it – like climate breakdown or war. And we can’t be certain that when that shock occurs the disruption will be in a positive (more humane) direction.

        • McFlock

          You wish it was capitalism vs something, we wish it was something vs socialism.

          In theory, capitalism is free markets where people pay for the goods and services they use – not the nat kleptocracy where businesses don’t pay for the negative externalities they expect other people to deal with – like water pollution. In capitalism, intellectual property laws should ensure that blatant plagiarism is not “pretty legal” by any fantasy. In capitalism, rulers don’t appropriate the power to rule by decree when it suits them.

          Your idea of capitalism is a gossamer veil over the feudalism you prefer. It’s not even the brutalist, Darwinian capitalism of the text books, which still needs to be defeated but is still better than feudalism.

          • Draco T Bastard

            In theory, capitalism is free markets where people pay for the goods and services they use

            No it’s not. Capitalism is the private ownership of the resources and production facilities of society.

            In capitalism, rulers don’t appropriate the power to rule by decree when it suits them.

            Yes they do and they get really upset when the government enact laws that prevent them from doing so. Of course, when National is in power they tend to adjust the laws so that the capitalists get to rule by decree legally – i.e, the Fire At Will Act.

            • McFlock

              Dude, I’m not reading from “Marx was a Tory Sellout: a righteous book of political definitions”.

              I was summarising the fantasy that economics students are taught from the start, what Freidman etc claimed, and what BM and every tory on the planet pretend is the system they want to preserve.

              • Fair enough.

                Part of the problem with that though is that BM and other conservatives likely know that the definition that you gave has no relevance to the reality of what capitalism is. But they probably like it when others keep passing around the wrong definition because it helps embed that wrong definition.

                • McFlock

                  Well, I thought I was pretty clear that it was fantasy, but whatevs.

                  It brings to mind a doco I saw years ago on a variety of different themes, but they interviewed a couple of economics academics who were working in the 70s/80s.

                  Basically, they needed to explain stagflation, and they were looking closer at arket liberalisation. So he got invited to see Thatcher, all these dinners, asked to speak at think tanks, they earnestly followed his policy advice, all while he was working away at the problem.

                  After a few years, he started figuring out that the rea-world data wasn’t following the predictions of the models. So he started writing that up, as a good academic. Of course all the invites stopped, but they kept following his original policy advice well past the point it became farcical.

                  He said what kept him up at night was the thought that they didn’t care about increasing goods and services to the people, but they were going to go full-tilt into capitalist feudalism anyway, and simply used his work (done in good faith) as a pretext.

        • Foreign waka

          OMG – no wonder the country has been going to the dogs. Do you actually know what socialism is? Capitalism has brought the world wars, wars and more wars.
          What are you scared of?

      • 3stepstotheright 9.4.2

        You’re assuming every NZ First voter voted knowingly for a Labour led Government, for which you have zero evidence. The Labour led Government has a majority in the house on confidence and supply only. And zero mandate otherwise.

        • Incognito

          You seem to love your zeroes but you can obviously count to 3!?

        • Molly

          “You’re assuming every NZ First voter voted knowingly for a Labour led Government, for which you have zero evidence.”
          No. I would think that they would understand the possibility was there, being people aged 18 or over, there is likely to be a higher sophistication in their thinking than you give them.

          Also, if you take that track you conveniently ignore the party votes that did not get seats in government.

          We live in a country where votes between left and right parties have been fairly evenly split for many elections.

          This mandate you are attached to, is connected to the electoral system and I have no problem with a Labour led government being unable to push through all their policies without considering the other parties (and electoral voters) priorities and considerations. Else we would have a dictatorial government gaming the system with “puppet” parties. Sound familiar?

          • 3stepstotheright

            Understanding the possibility is a HUGE step back from your claim that they all voted for a labour led government. And as for water party votes, that applies to the left and the right.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The number of NZF voters who were hoping to prop up the outgoing loser government is probably about the same as those who voted National to destroy ACT.

              Nice to see that ACT’s corrupt legacy is going to be flushed down the toilet. Happy days.

              • 3stepstotheright

                Evidence? The NZF voters I know will not be voting for them again.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  My dog’s previous owner’s cousin’s ex boyfriend says that you don’t know anyone from NZF.

                  • 3stepstotheright

                    My son voted for them. Yes I know…I did warn him!!!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Whereas ~3,600 Epsom voters voted against their (L/G/NZF) party affiliations.

                      So you’ve only got 3,599 more imaginary friends to invent.

            • Molly

              Oh, we are talking symantics are we: Yes, in accuracy I should have written “voted for parties that make up the present Labour-led government”. But same accuracy applies to those parties that made up the previous National-led governments.

              But how does that acknowledgement of an accepted assumption, lead to better political discussion?

              • 3stepstotheright

                It’s not semantics. Your own post added all of NZF’s 7.2% into the Labour led govt numbers. That’s true for the accidental govt, it is not true for voter intention. Your post was a misrepresentation.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  A Steven Joyce supporter demands accuracy, so we can add hypocrisy to weeping and wailing and flailing and not being the government anymore.

                  Happy days.

                • Molly

                  My comment was not a misrepresentation, unless you have some way of finding out who the remaining voters would have supported as a leading party of a coalition.

                  What you have done is conflate one-word “voted” into a reason to not engage in meaningful dialogue.

                  You also engage in a similar assumption as my original comment when you state “… it is not true for voter intention.” Because you have absolutely no way of knowing every voter’s intention.

                  But focusing on these words takes discussion away from any aspect of political change or policy.

                  I’m going to make a further assumption – that this is your true intention.

                  • 3stepstotheright

                    “Election results 2017:
                    Party vote:
                    36.9 Labour
                    7.2 NZ First
                    6.3 Green Party
                    50.4 Total % of party votes for Labour led government”

                    Your comment clearly assumes all NZ First voters voted for a Labour Led Government. That is blatant misrepresentation.

                    “Because you have absolutely no way of knowing every voter’s intention. ”

                    Exactly. Yet that’s exactly what you post inferred.

                    • Molly

                      Do you actually read comments before replying? We sorted out this upthread. If it hadn’t been discredited, I’d compare your memory to that of a goldfish.

                      Now, view your own comments and understand how dialogue works. If you spend so much time on revisiting trivialities, and then practising the same inaccuracy in your own comments, then you don’t get the wider perspective.

                      I suspect this allows you to continue to swim in the shallow waters of conversation, and you are happy there.

                      Perhaps you prefer a bowl of water?

                    • Samwise

                      Well, yeah, 3stepslooney. There were opinion polls taken prior to the election that showed most NZF supporters wanted a coalition with Labour. Go look it up. Google is your friend.

                    • 3stepstotheright

                      “Do you actually read comments before replying? ”

                      Yes. Your comment was:

                      “Election results 2017:
                      Party vote:
                      36.9 Labour
                      7.2 NZ First
                      6.3 Green Party
                      50.4 Total % of party votes for Labour led government
                      (Similar to 2011 stats for Nats IIRC)”

                      The relevant part is this “50.4 Total % of party votes for Labour led government”

                      That is an assumption that EVERY NZF VOTER voted for a Labour led government. That is a false assumption.

                    • 3stepstotheright

                      “There were opinion polls taken prior to the election that showed most NZF supporters wanted a coalition with Labour. ”

                      Molly’s comment implied ALL NZF voters wanted a coalition with Labour. That is patently untrue.

    • Keith 9.5

      44% is not roughly 50%. Its like “pretty legal” is not legal!

      • james 9.5.1


      • Muttonbird 9.5.2


        44% of voters
        35% of those enrolled
        32% of voting age
        24% of total population

        Which is the ‘roughly 50%’ one BM refers to?

        • 3stepstotheright

          What % of the population did Labour get?

          • Sam aka clump

            See boy.

            Questions like those is why you shouldn’t believe in your own head cannon.

          • Incognito

            Enough to lead the Government 🙂

            • 3stepstotheright

              Because of a party who polled 7%. Don’t forget that.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Fat chance. I intend to keep on rubbing your faces in it, and pointing out that losers talk and whinge, and don’t have any say in government.

                No say. Standing on the sidelines. Irrelevant. Sad. With all your incompetent, grasping, dirty little secrets being displayed in public.

                Happy days.

                • 3stepstotheright

                  And I intend to keep reminding you that you voted for a welfare cheat. Own it.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    In fact, since Metiria Turei removed herself from the Green Party list, it was impossible for me to vote for her.

                    Get your amygdala checked. It’s making you look stupid and ignorant.

                    The definition of ‘welfare cheat’ is a sadistic lie and you’re incapable of understanding that.

                    • 3stepstotheright

                      You voted for a party who confined her cheating. You’re clearly incapable of understanding that.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      I assume you mean condoned, and if so, as already established, you’re lying. They condoned her talking about it.

                      The reason you have to lie about it is because otherwise you’d have nothing to say.

                      But we established that hours ago.

                    • 3stepstotheright

                      “They condoned her talking about it.”

                      No, they condoned her total lack of remorse.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      [citations needed]

                  • Samwise

                    Let’s check your tax records, shall we?


                    • 3stepstotheright

                      No problem. I have nothing to hide. By the way, when will Met pay back the money she stole?

              • Samwise

                Well, it was good enough for the Nats to want to coalition with NZF. But you’re too blind to see that eh?

                You’re polluting this forum with your drivel.

    • tracey 9.6

      Roughly 44% plus the puppy

    • Sabine 9.7

      44% is not winning, nor is it the majority.
      To bad National has NO FRIENDS left.

      It’s a bit like Rugby. Winning by a point is still winning. National lost, Labour, NZFirst and the Greens won.

    • Labour is trying to take the country in a completely different direction, at the same time you’ve still got roughly 50% of the population who doesn’t want that.

      Actually, it’s more than 50% of the population want to take the country in a somewhat different, more equitable, direction and 44% are whinging about it.

      of course not they’ll fight you all the way and the majority of National voters will support them.

      We do, as a matter of fact, expect the sycophantic authoritarian followers of National to do as they’re told.

  10. satty 10

    And I thought the National Party is “Delivering for New Zealanders”.
    Looks like they never intended to do so.

  11. Kevin 11

    After 9 years National have finally discovered the select committee process…

    Oh well, there is always urgency.

  12. ankerawshark 12

    It is a typical bully’s response. Trying to intimidate “we’re bigger than you”

    Mr English has obviously not learnt that bad behaviour doesn’t win you any friends or potential coalition partners………………………………………………..

    It will be interesting to see how the next poll looks in terms of Ms Ardern v Mr English on preferred PM stakes.

    National are on a hiding to nothing. Lots of savvy youth voters at the next election who will see the current govt working for them as opposed to overseas speculators et al

  13. Keith 13

    Any suggestion English was a decent man or an honest man or a principled but reasonable politician should now be consigned to the dustbin of history.

    The election campaign saw a very desperate man joining in with the worst National could dredge up. But backing the 11 billion dollar lie was it for me. God-fearing Christian man, whatever!

    And now this shit to go with all the lies they are coming up with day in, day out.

    Bill, times up, time to fuck off and stop bleeding the taxpayer of your stale out of date thinking and now your bad two-time loser tantrums. You lost, again, time to go!

    • Bearded Git 13.1

      keith…i think we need English there….should assure the Left of at least 6 years in power

    • Any suggestion English was a decent man or an honest man or a principled but reasonable politician should now be consigned to the dustbin of history.

      The only people who still believe that will go on continuing to believe it as he’s:
      a) National Party Leader and
      b) Goes to church.

      No amount of his immoral and amoral actions will change that. These people will continue to defend him.

      God-fearing Christian man, whatever!

      And I still say that him going to church is just a camouflage for his real self. The one we see when he speaks as National Party leader and economist.

      • ropata 13.2.1

        Bilious Bill is a faithful servant of Money and Power, he’s been pursuing them his whole career.

        Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”

  14. Obtrectator 14

    Unfortunately, this sort of obstructionism does sometimes work for the perpetrators. Isn’t it more or less what Malcolm Fraser did to the Whitlam government in the lead-up to its dismissal in 1975? (Different tactics, of course, but same principle.) He didn’t do badly out of it, even though by rights he should have been caned at the ensuing election.

  15. You will get to understand that it is a minority Government with a majority Opposition…

    Poor, confused Bill. It sounds more like it’s him that needs to learn to understand something – first and foremost, what having the confidence of the House is and what’s involved in getting it.

  16. This bit’s pretty funny:

    …current employment and construction figures would be a benchmark of success.

    “If this is poor performance then all they have to do is exceed it.”

    A government that allows zero-hour contracts has created infinity jobs, so we can confidently predict it will be physically impossible for Labour to exceed National’s performance in that respect…

  17. Brendan 17

    “A majority Opposition,” or a majority of voters: these are the same lines that keep getting repeated over and over. I think it’s come straight out of Crosby-Textor.

    In what universe is 44.5% a majority? It’s false. Fake news. A lie. Untrue.
    The amount of times I’ve seen that word used incorrectly in the last few weeks is phenomenal.

    National did not receive a majority of votes, they received a plurality of votes.
    That does not give them some “moral authority,” plucked from some metaphysical fantasy land. We live in the real world determined by realpolitik. If you can’t negotiate your way to government, the door will close and you’re out. Too bad. Try next time.

    It just goes to show that conservatives the world over are all the same when it comes to their epistemic interpretation of reality—hence why they feel the need to alter that reality in people’s minds to get what they want.

    • Andre 17.1

      “…why they feel the need to alter that reality in people’s minds to get what they want.”

      Scarily, that just may be the more successful strategy than dealing with the difficulties of reality.

    • Anne 17.2

      “A majority Opposition”

      If that is supposed to mean the Nats have a majority on the select committees then English is wrong. Labour, NZ First and Greens together represent a majority so they’re not going to be able to trash anything. Kick up a fuss for the sake it yes, but that’s all – surely?

      Just wishful, vengeful thinking on English’s part.

      • Psycho Milt 17.2.1

        It just means that National have 56 seats and Labour/NZ First 55. The Greens aren’t formally part of the government, so English is calling it a “minority” government. He might get a kick out of saying it, but in the House it counts for shit – in real terms, it’s the Opposition that’s in the minority.

      • tracey 17.2.2

        Sowing the seeds that on some commitees NZF or Greens might be on Nats side of an issue ?

  18. Stunned Mullet 18

    A strong opposition has historically been good for ensuring that legislation is thoroughly thrashed out before being finalised and implemented.

    I would expect where there is agreement between National and Labour on economic issues there’ll be little to no delays, where there is strong divergence in views National will try and drive a wedge either via Winston or the Greens. I very very much doubt there would be any dissimilar approach if the roles were reversed.

    • Red 18.1

      It’s only fair that as labour where brain dead in opppsition for 9 years and can’t believe their luck how it all worked out, it’s only fair that national should return the complement, at least for 3 years about as long as this coalition of loonies will last, if that

  19. Puckish Rogue 19

    When National were in power Labour and the Greens opposed, now Nationals in opposition they’re going to oppose

    It’ll be good to see how well this current government runs now that they’ll actually have to back up what they say

    Interesting times indeed 🙂

    • tracey 19.1

      He is not talking about opposing in the understood functioning of parliament and the good of NZ he seems to be talking about obstructing.

      • Puckish Rogue 19.1.1

        I’m sure Labour never opposed/obstructing for the sake of opposing/obstructing so what we’ll see now is how well the government can handle whats dished out

        If they fail to handle it well then It shows they’re weak but if they do handle it well then it shows their strength

        • marty mars

          No the gnat approach shows how weak they are – and they don’t care who suffers – no wonder most people voted against those losers.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I’d hardly say 44% was a bad result and before anyone mentions MMP I’ll point out that under MMP National have won 4 elections and Labour have won 4 so in MMP terms its equal

            I’d advise National that Bill English resigns after a year or so, no one attacks Jacinda personally (her policies sure but not her), go after her ministers, preform a mea culpa and some hails marys and suck up to NZFirst and make some overtures to the Greens

            For starters

            • marty mars

              Yeah they lost AGAIN under billshitter – what a great legacy he’s left lol and no amount of fake praying is going to change that lol. But sure you gnat lovers try to play the hard game – that will be good for laughs. And say goodbye to power – toxic mòuld has been sprayed – now go away.

              • Puckish Rogue

                M’eh National will be back in three, six or nine years time, its inevitable

                • You don’t get that movie do you lol

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I take it for what it is, the best of a trilogy, ground breaking special effects, a very good story line, a charismatic lead and some excellent fight choreography

                    • One of my favorites I have to say. Notice neo is into the truth and being authentic – good lesson for the gnats there if they ever want power again. And trinity – the 3 geddit. Within one with power. It has been prophesied – Bill Smith had no chance.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I think though that the movie has been let down by the rest of the trilogy, if it had just been a stand alone it’d be up there with Soylent Green or Planet of the Apes

                    • McFlock

                      Well, it was an interesting movie, but there was almost no comment about how they massacred shedloads of people imprisoned in the matrix simply because they were cops or security guards in the simulation. Not even corrupt cops or what have you – just ordinary folk clocking in every day.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Always, always, ALWAYS grinds my gears when the hero kills a whole bunch of nobodies but leaves the villain alive to be sent to prison or something

                    • McFlock

                      lol not too worried about the villain, but they could at least have ziplined from the next building over, stealthy-like.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Yeah but it was a bad ass entrance so I’m ok with it

                • bwaghorn

                  i wouldn’t be so sure , you need friends under mmp and nat no mates hate sharing

            • Matthew Whitehead

              I will point out that by their own criteria as stated, National lost in 2014, as the government failed to secure a majority of the party vote, even counting all of their support partners. They likely meant to say a plurality of the vote, but they should get their comms team to clear that shit up for them before they say it anyway, they can afford to.

          • patricia bremner

            Marty, it just confirms that most voters got it right.

    • mickysavage 19.2

      Not true. An early example was the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Bill which Labour voted for even though it removed urban tree protection. I could not believe it when it happened. Caucus took the view that overall the bill was helpful.

    • It’ll be good to see how well this current government runs now that they’ll actually have to back up what they say

      The Greens and even Labour always back up what they say. National never does.

  20. Grey Area 20

    What a piece of work English is. The longer the incompetent, corrupt bunch of muppets that is the National Party has Double Dipton, Pullyah Benefit, Oriveda Collins, Simon No Bridges, Economics 101 (failed) Joyce etc etc leading it will just make the government look better. No vision, no talent, no integrity, no heart – the National Party since forever. (Shona’s comment made me chuckle).

  21. tc 21

    Excellent carry on with the great work please Bill.

    Living in a FPP world banging on and on with your comprehensively discredited memes, long may that continue and don’t forget to include your msm shills in the fun.

  22. mac1 22

    What does Bill English mean, in terms of parliamentary process, that National is “the dominant select committee party”?

    • ianmac 22.1

      Yea Mac 1. Wondered about that. Does he mean that National will have more members on a Committee than Lab/NZF/Green?

      • mac1 22.1.1

        That is my concern. But, it should be, as the House decides its own committees, that even if a committee might have numerically more National MPs than any other party, the L-NZF-G bloc should prevail in numbers. There will be no other opposition apart from the sole ACT MP who won’t be on every committee.

        This is why I asked the question, though.

        Any House of Representatives savvy people out there?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The general principle governing membership of select committees is that overall membership must be proportional to party membership in the House so far as is reasonably practicable

          • ianmac

            Thanks One A B.

          • mac1

            And from me, OAB.

            So numerical superiority regarding numbers on a select committee but the coalition should hold sway with a voting majority.

            I see why Winston wants the waka-jumping law back.

            • greywarshark

              This from Gristle early in the day. Seems to set out about select committee workings well. Is it wrong in any way?
              Well worth reading and that would make it worth writing it.

              National reverts to type

            • greywarshark

              Re waka jumping. I remember reading about, I think, PNG politics or one of the Pacific Isands that has dynamic politics, and the pollies often change allegiance, getting into the House under a Party banner and financial support, and then reverting to being Independents. And Independents may seem to offer better coverage of the views of their area but it sounds, in practice when it’s time for work, thought, decision making and governance, like trying to herd cats as the saying goes.

              Politics then becomes a magic performance, blow smoke on the stage with nobody in a box and voila it clears to show someone in the box being apparently cut in half! Meanwhile some dodgy Bills get passed not for the good of the people as a whole!

  23. Bill is organising his march down queen st as we speak. He won’t march for kids or the sick or those suffering but he will march for himself. The idiot thinks that’s a virtue lol.

    The double loser tick from dipton lost any authority and respect with his lies in the campaign ffs even key is considered more moral than Bill now and key has the morals of the snake hanging with Adam and eve.

    Yep the gnats are flushed down the toilet with the poo and dirty paper – forgotten – this crew will never see power again – hollow, vacant, and silly gnats.

  24. I remember well when Labour lost to John Key in 2008. There was the same feeling ; that it was only a matter of time before the new government stuffed up and people would see sense. John Key had a lot of new ministers ; e.g. Paula Bennett. There was a lot of commentary on how inexperienced she was. Labour installed its opposition with former ministers in spokesperson roles, just like National has. Labour had a formidable opposition, just like National says it has. Didn’t work. Won’t work for National. Acting like quasi ministers pushed out of their rightful roles doesn’t go down well. But I don’t ever, ever recall Labour saying that effectively they would obstruct the new government, like National has just said. They will be judged for this. It looks arrogant, born to rule and is downright stupid. Bill English and Steven Joyce will quickly become yesterday’s people. Fights will break out over leadership because of the thrusting newbies. If I were Bill English, I would stfu. Show real leadership by saying they will hold the government to account, yet work cooperatively where they can – in the best interests of our country. And get the hell out of there.

  25. syclingmad 25

    Isn’t it just fascinating to watch the hard left wailing and knashing teeth at the temerity of the right to oppose.

    For goodness sake, give the new government some credit, they will ride whatever bards National will throw at them. There will be ups and downs but that’s the nature of the democratic process of governance.

    Good grief, stop being so precious. Forget about National – they are on the opposition benches for the next 3 years and it’s Labour’s job to make sure that it lasts beyond that.

    • Sabine 25.1

      no, there is a difference to oppose, because a bill is bad or to expensive or or or.

      there is then the small thing of’ we are going to grind government to a halt’.

      the two are not the same.;

      But then 44% is a lot, but it is never going to 51% without friends and thus it is not the ‘majority’.

      But are you a NZ’ler first or a National bot first? Cause if you are an NZ’ler it should not please you to hear that your party would rather sabotage the well being of the country for the next three years rather then finally admit that they lost. National Lost. they bet on the wrong horse and they lost.

      • syclingmad 25.1.1

        Don’t be so quick to leap to assumptions about where I sit. I recognise whining on both sides of the aisle and honestly this is the chance for the left to stand up and shine.

        Let the Nats do what they’re going to do, Labour should be winning over the hearts and minds (iow, grab some of the soft 44.5%).

      • Puckish Rogue 25.1.2

        If that’s what National has to do to stop the country from being wrecked then surely that’s National duty then

        I’m sure that’s what they’re thinking

        • Brendan

          Why do you think the country is going to be wrecked?

          If you wake up in 2020 and New Zealand is similar to Somalia, I’ll shout you a drink.

          If you wake up in 2020 and New Zealand is similar to, say, Denmark, I’d say you were wrong.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I don’t think the country will be wrecked (its what National are probably thinking though) to the point of Somalia (or even close) but then I don’t think we’ll get to Denmark either

  26. Puckish Rogue 26

    Jeepers the left win the election and yet there’re still complaints. National had to put up with Labours efforts (anyone remember Grant Robertsons filibustering?) yet as soon as the boots on the other foot the left are moaning

    On the one hand National only got 44% so they’re impotent and useless but on the other they could stymie what the government is doing?

    • Muttonbird 26.1

      Amazing, Labour win the election and still have to put up with cries of, ‘Labour did it too’.

    • Molly 26.2

      Loose translation of PR’s comment:

      Jeepers, Labour coalition creates a new government and yet those who comment on the Standard, still retain their individual opinions and ability for critical thinking. While the left movement is so much larger and more diverse than the Labour Party, for the sake of spurious argument I will treat them as the same, and repeat the tired but steadfast wail of “Labour did it too!”. Yet again reinforcing the assumption that the Labour Party and those that comment here are one and the same (implicitly giving validation to the impression that my comments and National party memes are aligned).

      On the one hand National only got 44% so they are impotent and useless (sob) but at least they should be able to use the vindictiveness that remains to obstruct the new government without criticism?

      Not declaring accuracy, but an example of what runs through my mind when reading his efforts.

      • Puckish Rogue 26.2.1

        So which party do you think, now or in the future, will be brave enough to not blame the previous government for its current woes?

        I personally don’t think it ever will but I’d love to be proven wrong by this government

        • Molly

          I think you miss the point.

          It is legitimate to blame the previous government when that government made decisions that created the situation that needs improvement.

          It is not legitimate, or a place of integrity, to blame the preceding government as a knee-jerk reaction without consideration for accuracy or truth.

          But you seem to often miss the crucial point – so no surprise there.

          • Puckish Rogue

            In other words Labour do it and its good, National do it and its bad

            • McFlock

              Labour doing it when they’ve been in the job less than a month is reasonable.

              National doing it 8 years after they got into government was just fucking pathetic.

            • Molly

              I really don’t see how you get that from my reply.

  27. AB 27

    It’s bluster from Bill – he’s pretending that there is something special/different that being the biggest single party gives him that previous oppositions haven’t had.
    It’s nonsense, it gives him nothing special. They are still going to lose the important votes in the house.
    He’s an unpleasant little fellow. A punitive, Victorian moraliser who clearly loathes losing to parties backed by those unimportant people who are at the wrong end of the natural, God-given social and economic hierarchy.

  28. Hehehehe… 3 right wing thread derailers at it again… L0L !

    Comments like 50% don’t want these changes.

    Well a couple of things , – many were not even BORN when Douglas committed his neo liberal treason and blitzkrieg , – so they have no point of reference.

    Then there has been the deliberate encouragement of National voting immigrants to create a pool of ready votes ( looking at you , #Bluedragons ) , – to which many have done very nicely exploiting NZ , thank you very much. Not to mention a few spy’s in the National party to help oversee the process and keep us in the soft power ‘fold’ as it were…

    I notice one of them talks of political stability … L0L ! , – who for ?!!?

    The Elites ? , – of course !

    But they would be the ones saying this and screaming the loudest , wouldn’t they !, – no more long leisurely trips to exotic holidays for them ! Nothing like a good slap across the wrists to make a naughty spolit brat sit up and take notice and stop putting their hands into the gravy pot.

    Then the same commenter talks about capitalism and ‘socialism’ in one breath.

    Who’s talking about socialism here ?

    He obviously doesn’t know the difference between social democracy and neo liberalism , – and must imagine we all traded with pretty colored shells and animal skins pre 1984.

    He thinks capitalism was invented by Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson and the bloodless coup leader Jenny Shipley !!!

    Gawd , – these neo liberal sycophants are a real scream !!!



  29. Matthew Whitehead 29

    Apologies for the contradiction, but technically Bill is accidentally right about the Minority Government bit. Any government that relies on a C&S agreement to get above the line is a minority government. I agree he’s trying to lie, as it’s reasonably clear he intends to include the Greens in the government when he’s using that term, and is instead attacking their legitimacy.

    The thing he’s dead wrong about is the “majority opposition” oxymoronic lie. You can’t be a majority opposition, that’s literally what makes you the government. What you are is a plurality opposition, with one David Seymour hanging on your coattails.

    Looks like we can expect three years of scorched earth tactics if English can hold on to his party leadership that long. It’s a mistake, IMO, as he’s most likely to demotivate his own voters, making them think that they can’t win even if they do secure a majority.

    • Exactly. The fact is , – and we have to keep re educating all these far right wing slow learners is THAT THIS IS AN MMP ENVIRONMENT.

      National lost , – and lost squarely and fairly.

      UNDER MMP.

      One could say they lost the election when they kept trying to heap shit on the Right Honourable Winston Peters all those years.

      They brought it on themselves in their blind haughty arrogance.

      Things have a way of coming round to bite you up the arse when you play ball like that.

      THIS is what these sore losers don’t like , – not only that they lost to Labour , NZ First and the Greens , – but Winston , who has had the last laugh , – is also laughing longest. And , – btw – Greens + NZ First + Labour = a majority.

  30. ianmac 30

    “The thing he’s dead wrong about is the “majority opposition” oxymoronic lie.”
    That clears that up thanks Matthew.

    What about, “National is “the dominant select committee party”?”

    • syclingmad 30.1

      The simple solution for filibustering is passing everything under urgency. Give them some of their own medicine.

      • WILD KATIPO 30.1.1

        Indeed – just like they did to us 33 years ago with both the National and Labour party with their manufactured dire warnings from Treasury about imminent economic collapse unless they do as the Business Roundtables ‘plants ‘ advised them to.

        I’ve said this once, – I’ll say it again a thousand times more , – this ISN’T about either National or Labour , – this is about those vested interests who give large donations to political party’s to enact their own neo liberal dictates , – and Bill English is the premier stooge for these individuals.

        So yes – passing legislation and Acts under urgency is the method of choice.

        That’ll get ’em f@cked.

        Big time.

      • Matthew Whitehead 30.1.2

        I don’t think we should do that if it can reasonably avoided. We criticised National doing it, and I think we should oppose unnecessary use of urgency.

        That said, I would absolutely support passing a huge raft of repeal and reform legislation under urgency right off the bat to clean up some of the Nat’s mess. If they’re gonna leave landmines laying around like the 90 day fire-at-will legislation, they can’t complain if it gets cleaned up under urgency when the government changes IMO.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The “reset” Bill.

          Automatically revert every single piece of legislation (not listed in schedule 1) back to whatever it was in 2008.

          The government needs to take emergency powers to deal with the housing crisis and other human rights abuses too.

          Let’s start getting people into some of these ghost houses.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Pretty sure you can’t repeal legislation like that. You’d need to list every single Act you wanted to delete. And it would create a lot of problems to repeal bills that fast. There is a reason that Parliament operates the way it does, and I think it’s reasonable to give people a little bit of lead-in time before repealing the worst stuff if it hasn’t been specifically campaigned on during the election. (because for that stuff, the election was the warning period)

            (Also, there are some bills passed since 2008 that actually do have good stuff in them we agree with to some degree, so no, don’t repeal everything, but yes, do repeal most things related to tax cuts, or industrial relations, or charter schools, or taking away avenues to pay equity for women, etc… etc…)

    • Matthew Whitehead 30.2

      I think that will have to wait to see how they perform in Select Committee, lol. They might have more members than any other party, but that’s no indication they’ll be dominant, and from what I recall usually minor parties end up with outsized representation on select committees, so likely the coalition and the Greens will still dominate them.

      What National can reasonably claim to be is the “plurality winner” of the NZ election, which is what their misuse of the word “majority” hints to me that they’re trying to say. It’s a common confusion to think that a plurality (largest number in an uneven distribution, like the party vote share) equals a majority. (a number above one half of the total)

      • One Anonymous Bloke 30.2.1

        the size of each committee can be adjusted in order to achieve overall proportionality in the subject select committees.

        See link at

  31. UpandComer 31

    It’s going to be really interesting to see how it all works. Big debt reductions because National borrowed too much, unemployment (real, not unsustainable gummint jobs) below 4% and highest in the OECD, child poverty ended, homelessness ended, median gender lifetime earnings gap ended, all rivers clean to vastly higher standard then National’s bill, growth at 5% all based on clean exports, not polluting farming and other bad things, 10k houses per year for 400k-600k, unions and business working in absolute harmony subject to the people’s court, no strikes, no suicides, abortion on demand, euthanasia, huge increases to benefits and WFF to every-one can live in what the Greens regard as dignity, at the same time a massive reduction in NEETs, huge increase in refugees, big reductions in inflation (as cost of living went way up under National, apparently), a stringent ETS, free tertiary education with free big student allowance with only 15% more uptake, reduction of 30k in immigration, including permanent residencies, huge pay rises for nurses, teachers, police, ECE, care-workers, forestry workers, anyone in an industry with a union, huge movement up the PISA rankings, an impeccable health system with no problems because now they’ll get all the money, big reductions in imprisonment rate since that’s punitive and crime is caused by institutional bias and the patriarchy, more money for Ron Mark’s defense force etc etc. It’s an ambitious list. I really look forward, in this end of neo-liberalism and the onset of post-capitalism, to watching all these promises get kept.

    National are simply going to be an opposition. Trying to claim it’s ‘obstructionist’ because National won’t facilitate the government’s plans is silly.

    • Puckish Rogue 31.1

      Well when you put it like that…

    • Heheheehe… what is it that really scares these neo liberals when you mention NZ being among the top wealthiest nations on earth during the late 1960’s ?… when many of the things you listed were taken for granted?

      You know ,.. that era prior to 1984 ?

      Is it because to dare to recollect that period is to further undermine the neo liberal narrative? .

      I think that’s at the back of Bill English’s churlish little remarks.

      Ho hum… 2nd time loser.

      The first time he was told to ” piss off , wanker” as he walked down parliament steps by a group of angry workers after losing the first time.

      This time he’s telling NZ to piss off.

      Face it … he can threaten belligerence in the select committee process all he wants ,… he will only come out looking more the anti democratic , agenda driven bad loser than he already is.

      • Puckish Rogue 31.2.1

        Well if Jacinda can convince the UK to buy everything we produce then she’ll get my vote

        • WILD KATIPO

          Oh yes,… the old ‘ Mother England ‘ excuse.

          Well , funny after the Arab oil shocks , Britain joining the EC , … proportionately we STILL were better off per capita under Keynesian economics.

          Why is that , I wonder?

          Don’t recall whole family’s sleeping in cars and dying on park benches during winters back then,… or politicians paying family’s to take up residence in motels…

          Do you ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 31.3

      So many words for so little comprehension. For my part, I’ll be content if the coalition improves on National’s performance.

      There’s room to improve so many areas. after all. Watch and learn.

  32. KJT 32

    “it’s not our job to make this place run”.

    Unconscious moment of truth?.

    • McFlock 32.1

      As far as I can see, they seemed to have exactly the same attitude when they were in government – never anyone around to claim responsibility for fuckup after fuckup…

  33. Sparky 33

    There is plenty of nonsense from a range of politicians across the political spectrum. I’d be content if they kept their word and did as they promised……

  34. KJT 34

    Not much difference from National’s refusal to fund Auckland properly.

    After Auckland refused to vote for Banks, and asset thefts/sorry sales.

    • Whispering Kate 35.1

      Wow, I didn’t know Mitch Harris was back in the evenings on Radio Live. I tuned out when Karen Hay and Andrew Fagan left the station – that was some time ago. I shall certainly tune back in as I enjoyed his talk back and his musical tastes. Thanks for that bit of information.

  35. DS 36

    This isn’t America, or even Australia – there is precious little scope for an Opposition to actually block anything under the New Zealand system. Hell, the Government can resort to urgency if it wants.

    A bigger concern is National’s business mates engineering a recession.

    • KJT 36.1

      Don’t think they need to. One is happening anyway as National’s chickens come home to roost.

      National had us in recession for most of the last nine years, by all indications, masked by immigration and earthquakes..

      • National had us in recession for most of the last nine years, by all indications, masked by immigration and earthquakes..

        The big one was the housing bubble.

        • KJT

          We all know that the housing bubble has been driven by immigration. 70 000 extra residents plus a couple of hundred thousand on student visa’s all looking for somewhere to live. Exacerbated by National’s social welfare for landlords, the lack of an effective capital gains tax, and removing State housing.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That truly was only part of it. Mostly it was driven by speculation which was driven by the rising price of housing. And all of it fuelled by the private banks creating money both here and offshore.

            In other words, a massive and unaffordable rise in debt. Debt that will bring about a collapse of the economy.

  36. Thinkerr 37

    I am glad an opinion piece was done here about that Herald article. I was so angry when I read it, I had to re-read it, to prove to myself that I was actually reading what I thought I was.

    This is not only not true (we have a majority coalition), but it is an insult not only to all New Zealanders. It flies in the face of what a democracy is supposed to be. No wonder some of us are feeling like we’ve been chewed up and spat out over the past 9 years, if this is what passes for a political party.

    Let’s be real. If Bill English thinks his party’s role in opposition is to White Ant the work of the government, he is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    People voted for National. They did so because they felt that National’s policies would give them a better three years than any other party. They didn’t vote for National so that National could stymie the country for the next three years.

    The role of an opposition is to act as a challenge to the incumbent government. Its purpose is to provide questions to the government’s intentions so that the policy that becomes law has been well-debated, is a balanced outcome for all the country, and reflects the views of for and against. In the process, it is able to demonstrate to the country that it is better to be the government than the government – by setting an example.

    What English is proposing is to go beyond the traditional opposition benches. It purports to undermine the work of the government – to consistently attempt to bring down the government’s work to stop any semblance of progress, presumably so that it can become the dominant party again. No mention is made of how the National Party views its proposed actions will impact on all New Zealanders, National voters included, or whether it even cares. It reeks of craving power for its own sake. gives this definition of “Terrorism”. It is this: “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” gives this definition of “Treason”. It is this: “disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government. Treason is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance”.

    I’m not accusing Bill English or anyone associated with the National Party of Treason or Terrorism. What I’m pointing out is how ill-advised and undemocratic Bill English’s comments are, and how, if deeds follow his words, he and his party will hurt New Zealanders, including those who voted for the National party to represent their interests and well-being for the next three years.

    I sincerely hope two things:

    1. That one of the contributors to The Standard who also writes articles in the news could do something to highlight just how wrong the National Party’s approach to life in the opposition benches is, and

    2. That Jacinda Ardern no longer believes, if she ever did, that if she tries to run a relentlessly positive government, as far as dealing with the opposition is concerned, she will live to regret it. English has done at least one decent thing by giving this government fair warning of how it sees its role in opposition. The government will have to hold National to account for any breach of democratic boundaries.

    • No mention is made of how the National Party views its proposed actions will impact on all New Zealanders, National voters included, or whether it even cares. It reeks of craving power for its own sake.</blockquote.
      They don't care. That's become readily apparent over the last nine years and beneficiary bashing.

      And it is craving power for it's own sake. They actually do want to turn NZ back into a dictatorship. They're probably looking at the 19th century legalised thefts of Māori land as a Golden Age of NZ.

  37. peterlepaysan 38

    It is time bill english and the national party grew up. They might be the biggest and richest bully in the school playground.

    “ITS NOT FAIR” is no cause to complain, whinge, moan, wring bleeding heart right wing tory hands.

    The majority of the playground fought back.

    Sit down, shut up until you learn to say sorry for all the damage you have done.

    Like stealing tax payers money it is “not a good look”. double dipton english never said sorry for that either.

    Yes a lying (“brighter future” and fIscal taxation hole, a “double dipton”) does not stop them being the biggest meanest gang in the playground.

    Unfortunately a few other gangs got together into a larger group.

    national is only one of several minority groups that could form a government.

    national is minority party among many other minority parties.

    The sense of born to rule entitlement that is endemic among its membership , especially the farming sector and business interests is always going to lead it to totalitarian dictatorship.

    Bleating that they “lost” is Trumpean bullshit.

    I cannot wait until they start blaming the Electoral Commission and then the Courts.

  38. R.P. Mcmurphy 39

    So what is his role? Answer that. Looting the treasury? collecting his pay?

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    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    12 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    14 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    20 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
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    22 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
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    1 day ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 week ago