National’s caucus reshuffle

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, December 7th, 2021 - 140 comments
Categories: chris bishop, Christopher Luxon, Judith Collins, national, nicola willis, paul goldsmith, same old national, Shane Reti, Simon Bridges, todd muller - Tags:

The deckchairs have been reshuffled.  And Chris Luxon is confident that reorganising the pecking order of a deeply dysfunctional caucus will make all the difference.

The winners are:

  • The liberal faction.  All three of them have received significant boosts, with Nicola Willis being confirmed at number two, Chris Bishop at four and Erica Stanford leaping 18 places to number seven.
  • Simon Bridges who shock horror goes to number three and takes over finance.  This was not part of the deal that cemented the leadership for Luxon and saw Bridges withdraw.  Nosiree there was no deal, there may have been a mutual exchange of promises which both parties then adhered to but this is not a deal.
  • Simeon Brown who somehow jumped ten places and takes over Transport.  Surely he has not forsaken camp Judith for personal gain?
  • Todd Muller who is back in caucus and is now making noises about staying on.

And the losers are:

  • Judith Collins who drops 18 positions and loses her coveted Pacific Peoples role to Dr Shane Reti.  Talofa Judith.
  • Paora Goldsmith whose comprehension and logic fail at the last election has seen him lose the Education spokesperson role.
  • Andrew Bayley whose inability to score any points against Grant Robertson has seen him drop 12 positions.
  • Todd McClay whose inability to score any points against anyone has seen him drop 15 positions.
  • Michael Woodhouse who loses the shadow leader of the house role and drops 14 places.  Clare Curran will be grinning from ear to ear.

I am sure that they will settle down and behave, at least until the new year.  And I would not be surprised if their polling goes up.

But there is still a sense that the National caucus is a deeply divided mess of contesting egos and factions with a topping of born to rulism to complete the picture.  Making them appear to be semi coherent will take all of Luxon’s abilities.

140 comments on “National’s caucus reshuffle ”

  1. Treetop 1

    Luxon showed empathy towards Collin's placing her at no 19.

    Will Collin's go up the ranking order?

    Will Muller change his mind and stay?

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      Careful, the pc police may have a go at you for inserting that apostrophe twice into her name. They're always dead keen to target subtle insinuations, particularly when used against women. I realise you probably did not intend to slight her but they may not.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        So much for the 'Great Reset' where bygones are bygones.

        Shes been punished along with her acolytes by been given nonsense portfolios.

        By some 'delicious coincidence' the same portfolios as he a newby MP was given by Collins. She is of course been an MP since 2002 and a Minister

      • In Vino 1.1.2

        Exactly. I think it is a possessive apostrophe, rudely implying excessive greed.

      • Treetop 1.1.3

        Was it incorrect spelling to use an apostrophe?

        I thought an apostrophe was used when it belongs to the person. E.g. Treetop's pencil

        • Shanreagh

          Luxon showed empathy towards Collin's/Collins (by) placing her at no 19.

          Will Collin's/Collins go up the ranking order?

          Will Muller change his mind and stay?

          Collins' name already has an 's' at the end.

          To make the possessive about the pencil you can either, in my view,

          say ‘This is Mrs Collins's pencil’ or ‘This is Mrs Collins' pencil’. I am not sure whether, when speaking, we, in NZ, pronounce the doubled up 's' or not. The link below has different ways of doing this depending on the spoken version.

          'Personal names that end in –s

          With personal names that end in –s: add an apostrophe plus s when you would naturally pronounce an extra s if you said the word out loud:

          He joined Charles’s army in 1642.

          Dickens's novels provide a wonderful insight into Victorian England.

          Thomas's brother was injured in the accident.

          Note that there are some exceptions to this rule, especially in names of places or organizations, for example:

          St Thomas’ Hospital

          If you aren’t sure about how to spell a name, look it up in an official place such as the organization’s website.

          With personal names that end in –s but are not spoken with an extra s: just add an apostrophe after the –s:

          The court dismissed Bridges' appeal.

          Connors' finest performance was in 1991.'

          • Treetop

            Thank you for this I will copy it out for my future use. If in doubt I will not use an apostrophe.

            • Shanreagh

              Cheers Treetop. When in doubt don't use an apostrophe and be very careful when suddenly you feel compelled to use an apostrophe to make a plural. You can still use an apostrophe to signal a contraction ie where you have left out a letter eg ‘don’t, can’t, won’t’ for ‘do not, cannot, will not’. I try, if confronted with a desire to add an apostrophe in dubious circumstances, to think of it as a signal to reword the sentence.

              eg the plural of a yacht is not yacht's but yachts

              I once saw a large ad outside a liquor store for 'Beers, liqueur's, spirits including a large range of whiskey's'. A 'rule' of some sort for making plurals was being followed by someone.

              Look up the grocer's apostrophe. Lynne Truss wrote a couple of light hearted books on punctuation and grammar 'Eats, shoots and leaves' and 'Talk to the hand'.

        • Gezza

          Her surname is Collins.

          You haven’t used her surname in a way that requires a possesive apostrophe.

          If you’d said something about Collins’ placement at No. 19, that would require a possessive apostrophe, but it would go after the ‘s’ because her surname is Collins, not Collin.

          • Treetop

            I was not aware of the term possessive apostrophe until I saw it here yesterday as I have always used belongs to. I will copy this out for my future use.

            • Gezza

              Good on you, Treetop.

              English is my native language & I like to see it used properly, just like I try to use te reo Māori properly & am grateful when someone with much better knowledge of it than my very, very limited ability points out that I have erred & tells me the correct way to say or write what I was attempting to say.

              Although English is a complicated, muddlesome language, because it has a huge vocabulary borrowed from multiple sources including other languages, and it has many grammatical rules (some of which are prissy & can be ignored), it’s extremely adaptable & it’s possible to communicate reasonably clearly using very basic words & very simple syntax.

    • fender 1.2

      She's no.19 due to being as unwanted as covid 19

    • georgecom 1.3

      must have been quite difficult for him to find new 'talent' to promote.

      recycle mps, fairly easy

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Logically, deadwood would float to the surface, no?

  3. Well, considering my (tongue in cheek) predictions of yesterday, I scored some hits.

    Simeon did get some long pants,

    Barbara didn't get animal welfare but she did get agriculture so she can still call for the abuse of animals for profit,

    Mark the mercenary got police which is as good as calling for them to all drive humvees and pack glocks,

    Stuart Smith didn't get Climate Denial, but his clone did.

    But I am disappointed that Maureen didn't feature in the top 20. Being, to quote a Natz No. 3 politician, 'fucking useless,' surely she qualifies for a higher ranking?

    • I should have added a qualifier for Simeon: if his long trousers fit him.

      At least his message will be simple enough for him to grasp: build more RONS, build more RONS, build . . .

      Michael Wood must be grinning from ear to ear.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Michael Wood's performance is measured by the Sanitarium stool size criteria:

        solid, regular, and unsurprising.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Graham Adams:

    three influential broadcasters — Ryan Bridge (The AM Show), Lisa Owen (Checkpoint) and Jenna Lynch (Newshub) — asked the new Leader of the Opposition whether he viewed abortion as murder.

    So why the sudden forensic probing into Luxon’s views on abortion? Especially when — as he rightly pointed out — it isn’t a live political issue. Abortion was decriminalised last year, classifying it as a health issue rather than a crime.

    Columnist and former Dominion editor Karl du Fresne sees it as the benchmark of progressive political values: “The truth is that abortion is an ideological shibboleth — a test of Luxon’s acceptability to the left-wing media elite.” Du Fresne added: “It seems beyond coincidental that all three [interviewers] asked the same question… If you were of a conspiratorial mindset, you couldn’t help but wonder whether this was a co-ordinated set-up. It certainly looked that way.”

    So the ole media/leftist conspiracy theory gets another rerun. Sceptics will need to point out that three media reps using the same attack line on the same day is just a coincidence, as usual. Important to be robotic consistently.

    I agree with Tony that it's unfair to discriminate against Maureen when other fucking useless contenders got ranked, such as the woodlouse…

    • Blazer 4.1

      So that is the left wing media elite!

      Unbelievable ,here's me thinking the media is dominated by pro right wing shills like-Hosking,McIvor,Russell,O'Sullivan,Trevett,Young,Du Plessis,Mora,…..etc,etc…

      • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1

        Those right wing elite press are not a problem though, they will ask Chris patsy flattering questions which enhance qualities and direction of travel akshually.

      • Gezza 4.1.2

        Classing Ryan Bridge as left wing made me smile. He, his predecessor Duncan Garner, (& the AM Show in general) always seemed to me to favour the right & National more than Labour & the Greens.

        I saw a few of his interviews with Collins where he gave her an easy ride & even then she managed to make herself look stupid by burbling some kind of nonsense.

        I’m not really a fan of breakfast tv shows. Can’t stand John Campbell’s unctuous wokeness. If forced to choose, I’d rather watch 10 mins of the AM show, where they occssionally feature Labour & National guests together, than tv1’s Breakfast, but these days I rarely watch either.

        Lisa Owen’s such a constant interrupter I gave up listening to her on Checkpoint. She was just as bad on Newshub’s The Nation.

        • bwaghorn

          Bridge has vehemently defended luxon on a couple of things this week, house ownership, and his lack of caucus diversity, which I'd be ok with but I'm yet to witness him defend Ardern on anything, ever, and for my sins I watch most mornings.

    • observer 4.2

      It's not based on his beliefs/opinions. It's based on his actual votes in Parliament.

      The only guide voters have to an MP's real views is how s/he votes when it is not a party vote. Luxon does not want to discuss or defend the votes he cast. That is an entirely legitimate area of inquiry.

      In case we've forgotten … Abortion reform happened because Ardern put it on the agenda in 2017, when she was leader of the opposition. This is when it happened:

      The contrast between the 2 leaders is stark. One stood up, the other runs away.

    • observer 4.3

      And I've now read Adams' feeble piece and he does not even mention Luxon's votes on abortion. The most relevant fact in the debate … and he avoids it. Pathetic.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.4

      " Especially when — as he rightly pointed out — it isn’t a live political issue."

      Not correct, there is currently Abortion related legislation before the house.

      Luxon is recorded as a NO, to the legislation proceeeding

      hes just wanting to avoid questions he doesnt like. Hes going to get a lot of that.

      Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill — First Reading

      • Gezza 4.4.1

        “Christopher Luxon says he will vote to create safe zones outside abortion clinics, after opposing the initial reading of the bill.

        Luxon voted against the bill at first reading along with 14 other socially conservative MPs.

        But he said the changes made to the bill at select committee – which have now allowed the Attorney General to say it does not breach the Bill of Rights Act – have convinced him the bill is worth supporting.”

        Deft footwork?

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Really ?

          How come Mallard had to make of point of asking for an MP opposed to the Bill to make a contribution as it was all very one sided.

          Even Barbara Kuriger made a very good point for those 'concerned' about the right to protest.

          'BARBARA KURIGER (National—Taranaki – King Country): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am a proponent of free speech and freedom of speech, but I support this bill, because I draw the line at targeted protest against individuals. You know, would anyone get away with this sort of behaviour anywhere else, targeting individual people? There is a place for protests at Parliament. ….

          Luxon never made a peep about his problems with the bill and how it could be fixed. Not in any of the debates.

          Sounds to me like John Key is his Richelieu

          • Gezza

            How come Mallard had to make of point of asking for an MP opposed to the Bill to make a contribution as it was all very one sided.

            Dunno. Haven’t been following this issue in Parliament. Other more pressing priorities on the domestic front.

            Luxon’s certainly looking to me like Sir John Key’s glove puppet. I get the distinct impression Key is driving him in the background, advising him what to say & do.

            I suspect Key has been worried that the Nats are falling apart & have lost their way. That could see them out of power for too long for his liking. He’ll be looking for opportunities for the top end of town ( his end) to benefit that a Labour govt probably won’t give them.

  5. AB 5

    Judith is "passionate" about "innovation", the "team" is "engaged", those with an "outstanding work ethic" have been "recognised", the mood is "positive" and people have been selected for their "competence".

    This is buffoonery, a sludge of corporate waffle. Our trivial media ingest and recycle it, speculating on who's up and who's down, and why. The public discussion of politics is a soap opera that excludes the core of politics – ideology and intent.

    • alwyn 5.1

      Why don't we get the really important question answered.

      Can they serve up a scoop of chips?

      • Blazer 5.1.1

        Is that what you want with your…flounder?

        • Patricia Bremner

          devil Clever Blazer

        • mac1

          My guess is that the chips are to go with the corporate waffles. I'd add mussels for a true Brussels treat.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Luxton says he worked at McDonalds… Linkedin time line suggests final year of high school or 1st year university

            • mac1

              I suspect alwyn was having a crack at the PM who worked once in a fish and chip shop. Great places to work are shops where you can meet all of humanity. My dad was a grocer and I met the customers and then sometimes got dad's evaluation of them later…. I learned about poverty, about people, about economics. I learned to count accurately, give proper change, be civil and polite, to listen and to serve, and to be generous.

              Great training for public life.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Holiday job for students.

                Collins made a big deal of her time at Farmers Shoe dept.

                Luxon was at McDonalds

                I worked in a flour processing plant and another holiday job was workshop that made farm pumps ( back when we did such things, including a foundry)

            • Blazer

              Yes he invented the Happy Clapper Meal at …maccas.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.2

      Good points “going forward” there AB. The language and framing is so important in political debate and the media generally get away with it.

      Initial reaction around Baldrick was questioning–the black Merc, 7 gaffs and all–but the rose water and hot towels that John Phillip Key was accustomed to appear to be on offer again.

    • Gezza 5.3

      Tru dat.

      A lot of media reporting on politics these fits most neatly into the Entertainment or Lifstyle media categories & is bereft of serious policy or political performance analysis.

      Some of it is just churnalism; dross hastily cobbled together to get something online in a hurry before the competitor paper or another churnalist does.

      1 ewes at 6 is notorious for the shortness of its video clips. They might show 3-5 seconds of a politician saying something in an interview that was 10 minutes or longer.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Interesting that Nicola Willis has the same sort of 'communications' quals as Jacinda Ardern. ….a BA in English and a Dip Journalism, but she went to work as a party cadre for Bill English ( alongside Chris Bishop and David Farrar)

    There is apparently a photo in the parliament Media rooms of the 'gallery journalists' around 1981 and the only woman in the picture was Nicolas mother( Shona Valentine) and she was pregnant with her at the time

    I wonder if that is another connection to the right wing journo Mike Valentine ?

    • Ad 6.1

      The one to watch is her deep background with Fonterra.

      Fonterra and MPI are our government within government.

      • Blazer 6.1.1

        Didn't help Todd Muller too much.

        • Ad

          Her relationship is deeper and longer. Goes back to her relationships inside MoRST, then MBIE, then to her time in Key's office.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            What ? She worked for the National party in various positions including being literally a spin doctor for Key.

            Then a shift to Fonterra where she was hired by Todd Muller to work in the government 'relations' division he heading and when he left there was a bit of detour to the head spin doctor in Fonterras effluent management section. ( all spin , all the time)

            Then the week Key resigned she quit and headed back to Wellington to secure a list position.

            Never worked for a government department, as she says on Linkedin.

  7. Ad 7

    Luxon is smart to hammer the message of "moderation" and staying above the fray.

    Ardern is highly vulnerable to charges of a gaping divide between Ardern's professed 'conservative' view of policy action versus the exceptionally strong set of social and economic interventions that Labour and Ardern have put on us all.

    "Moderation" is National's response to that chasm of ideology v reality.

    If Labour continues its likely polling fall into the mid-30s, and Luxon pushes a polling rise into the mid-30s, then we get National and Labour back to neck and neck …

    … at which point the scale of Ardern's complacency (outside of COVID) finally gets revealed to mean we really have an alternative government on our hands.

    • Hanswurst 7.1

      'Moderation' is National's retort to everything Labour has done, ever.

    • Patricia Bremner 7.2

      So you think Luxon will have the self control to be "above the fray"

      Have a look at the picture in Cooke's write up in Stuff on Question time.

      Someone able to put that photo up will see absolute hatred and frustration…on day one.

      You have said two or three times the PM is complacent…how? when?

    • Sacha 7.3

      the exceptionally strong set of social and economic interventions that Labour and Ardern have put on us all.

      Gosh it's almost as if we are in a once-in-a-century pandemic.

      If this govt had introduced a UBI or suchlike you might have grounds for a whinge. But they didn't. Just poured money into housing 'investors' and gave laid-off workers twice the unemployment benefit so the middle class would not realise how low it really is.

  8. Gypsy 8

    "Ardern is highly vulnerable to charges of …"

    …just general incompetence.

    The issue for Labour remains the amount of heavy lifting being done by a small number of competent ministers. Eventually that takes it's toll.

    • Blade 8.1

      Quite true. Robbo and Chris have earnt my respect. Their problem is now the same as when I saw a just elected Judith Collins walk down the hall with her MPs behind her. They all looked hackneyed and stale. In fact they looked like the cleaning staff.

      Labour MPs now face the same fate. Robbo has piled on the beef. Chris is becoming more defensive as he burns out. And Poto Williams and Kris Faafoi will be punch bag practice for a new invigorated (??) National Party.

      • Robert Guyton 8.1.1

        Grant Robertson and Chris Hipkins look "hackneyed and stale"?


        Your transparent attempts to erode supporter's confidence in the Government are as transparent as a bead of sweat on a bald-man's head.

        • Blade

          'Your transparent attempts to erode supporter's confidence in the Government are as transparent as a bead of sweat on a bald-man's head.'

          You impute motives to me that are laughable. Why would I waste time trying to erode supporters confidence in Labour when Labour are doing a good job by themselves?

          That Grant and Chris are looking tired and frazzled and Poto and Kris are a waste of space is my personal perception – right or wrong.

          However, I may be misguided . If anyone believes I have eroded their confidence in Labour, please speak up, or forever hold your peace.surprise

          • Robert Guyton

            "Why would I waste time trying to erode supporters confidence in Labour…"

            Coz…you love doing it?

      • Ad 8.1.2

        The people burning out are the voters.

        Voter burnout is simply that we are sick of hearing and seeing them on tv and radio and Twitter. They try and mix it up, to little effect.

        Labour's crash in the polls is caused by political over-exposure.

        • Robert Guyton

          Easily fixed.

          • Gezza

            Maybe, but do they know that? And how will they fix it if Luxon & co start getting equal press time?

            • Robert Guyton

              Why should "Luxon & co" get equal press time?

              They lost. Labour/Green won.

              Eat that 🙂

              • Ad

                Luxon should be able to sustain a honeymoon with political reporters until Parliament comes back again in February 2022:

                National 32-36% rising, against Labour range of 36% – 42% falling.

                • Cricklewood

                  Its gonna be very interesting, Act's numbers may hold up pretty well if Luxon stays in the centre and focuses his attention on getting some of the soft Labour vote back.

                  There is the chance that the Nat shit show over the last few years will result in the right being far better placed in an Mmp environment. So long as Act dont drop their bundle they could easily become a permanent 10%ish party like the Greens

              • Gezza

                Dunno why you think I should “eat that”? Bizarre comment.

                I’m not particularly fussed that Labour won this election & not National. I’m not politically tribal. Didn’t expect National to win.

                As to why should National get equal time, that’s not up to me. It’s just going to be interesting to see whether a possibly bored media gives Luxon & National a lot more positive (or at least less negative) coverage. For something to fill in their time & their space.

                • In Vino

                  It was clearly a reference to Michael Cullen's famous parliamentary taunt to National: "We won, you lost. Eat that!"

                  You had no knowledge of that?

                  • Gezza

                    Guyton’s not Cullen. And Labour winning, not National, is just a fact of history that has no particular import for me. Last time I voted I voted Labour candidate, Māori Party for Party. Not worth debating mindless drivel like “eat that” any further, In Vino. Over & out.

                    • weka

                      remind me why I should keep reminding you about typos in your name/email? Grumpy mod here, regulars are especially pissing me off when I have to keep repeating myself ad nauseum. The onus is on you to check each time, rather than expecting me to.

                    • Gezza

                      Sorry weka. Not always blazingly evident there’s an error in the email addy or the username on the iPad. Small screen. Small text. Cursor sometimes just jumps into a field without my seeing it. Will try to be more careful about checking in future.

                      To post on me iPad I have to turn off JavaScript & keep re-entering name & email addy for every comment.

                  • Gezza

                    Guyton’s not Cullen. And Labour winning, not National, is just a fact of history that has no particular import for me. Last time I voted I voted Labour candidate, Māori Party for Party. Not worth debating mindless drivel like “eat that” any further, In Vino. Over & out.

                    • In Vino

                      Sorry, but you don't get to tell other people what is mindless drivel (just because you say so?) or what they may debate. Express your opinions as your own, not as a papal edict..

                    • Gezza

                      Express your opinions as your own, not as a papal edict.

                      🙄 I did. Where have I ever claimed to be The Pope, FFS?

                      Do you add “in my opinion” to every comment you post that isn’t quoting someone else or something in a link?

                      Have a good evening, In Vino. 👋🏼

                  • alwyn

                    Please don't bring the subject up. Sir Michael himself was very embarrassed about the subject and tried to rewrite history to claim that he had never said it.

                    "On "We won, you lost, eat that!" No, he says, he never said that to National. "It's a wonderful piece of historic myth."


                    Unfortunately he did. He was like that of course. He also claimed that his bitter complaint that Key was a "Rich Prick" was only because Key was supposed to have said something about Cullen's wife, When asked what it was Cullen refused to answer and claimed that it didn't matter what Key had said. In other words he didn't have any way of justifying his story. This is in the same interview.

                    • ghostwhowalksnz

                      Thats because 14 years later he has misremembered the actual circumstances of something said in Aug 2000

              • Blade

                Fair comment, Robert. However, should National win the next election and I catch you bleating about press time…

                BTW, should National win the next election, they will be in power for a very, very long time. It will feel like you are in an endless food forest with Tories all over the place picnicking. You will be considered the hired help in your own turangawaewae.

                • Robert Guyton

                  I've never, and will never, discuss press time.

                  It's not a thing for me.

                  Tories are very welcome in my forest garden; in fact, I have hosted many Tories over the past few years. They're delightful people; smart, inquisitive, appreciative of cutting-edge thinking. And yes, they did pay me for my services (bleating on about the garden) so hired-help I was, and proud of it!

    • Ad 8.2

      Not the voters' problem.

      Will certainly be National's if exhaustion is observed.

      Labour ministers outside of COVID seem more preposessed by MakeWork projects of their own devising.

      It's not as if they have a major legislative agenda to get tired about.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1

        Any evidence of that ?

        heard of the Resource Management rewrite.

        Crown Pasture Land Reform Bill

        Civil Aviation Bill-This bill repeals and replaces the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and the Airport Authorities Act 1966 with a single, modern statute that will provide a platform for safety, security, and economic regulation of civil aviation

        Then there is the work to create more modern structure for Polytechs and DHBs that hopefully will provide better outcomes for all NZ and end the post code lottery of medical or education based on where you live
        I havent even touched on the proposed Social Insurance system

        • Ad

          Let's start with the Order Paper today.

          The RMA Housing Supply Bill you mention has National support. There are two other bills which exist as bare working drafts.

          f70583a224ac4876becdda62d30855be87f8e3ab (

          Next is Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships. 3 years and counting.

          Next is 3 more bills that aren't going anywhere.

          Hard to see them getting to Hipkins' Education and Training Amendment Bill before March. Who knows.

          Then about 7 pretty weak and meaningless bits of legislation in Committee Stage, pretty lucky to see them in March.

          Still no sign of our Carbon Zero budget or plan that we were statutorily supposed to have by now.

          No major new projects announced for construction, not even a new highway stretch finished, no international initiatives of any note, we had another 'plan' about family violence announced today but of course no funding to go with it.

          But last week we had an initiative regulating toilets on camper vans.

          The Prime Minister has no clothes.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.3

      Yes so incompetent we have some of the best results in the world. It has been hard to deal with a pandemic and keep everything else going with little thanks and a great deal of ugly behaviour. We are tired, so are they.

  9. observer 9

    Judith Collins hasn't turned up for caucus.

  10. ianmac 10

    Q4.CHRISTOPHER LUXON to the Prime Minister: Does she stand by all of her Government’s statements and actions?

    Wow! That is a wild opening salvo for Mr Luxon. Maybe Jacinda will fear to front up?

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      He's going in low!

    • Gezza 10.2

      Just the stock standard opening question to enable a raft of questions that don’t have to be specific & give PM or Ministers time to get their flunkies to prepare detailed replies.

      I’ve diarised QT today in my phone with an alert beforehand & will watch. Should be interesting. None of his predecessors were impressive at thinking on their feet & adapting their supplementaries to the answers given.

      Wondef if he’ll be any better? I’m not expecting that he will be, but…we’ll see. 😎

      • alwyn 10.2.1

        When has Ms Ardern actually answered a question in the House Gezza?

        I can only remember her stringing together a lot of meaningless words or saying odd things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the question that was posed.

        The Speaker then struggles out of his after lunch snooze and tells us that the question was "addressed".

        • Gezza

          She answers lots of questions, alwyn, as she is now with Q4 supplementaries.

          Granted she is often very voluble & one has to strain to hear the relevance to a particular supplementary question that has just been asked – but Sir John Key was equally – & sometimes even more – evasive in some of his answers to supplementaries from Labour Opposition MPs.

          And Speaker Carter was just as bad at ruling that the question had been “addressed” by Key when an ordinary member of the viewing public was likely scratching their head over exactly HOW?

          Some of the Speakers’s Rulings used as precedents seem to enable Ministers to avoid directly answering a supplementary question if the questionner has framed their question in such a way that it can be answered indirectly within Speakers’ Rulings rules.

          • alwyn

            That is the old "But they did it too defense" of course.

            Oh for a competent Speaker like Lockwood Smith. Instead we have gone back to someone who competes for incompetence with Margaret Wilson. They both make Carter look pretty good by comparison.

            • Gezza

              Yep, oh for another Lockwood-Smith. Best Speaker ever in my time listening to/watching Parliament. For that job to truly be done impartially at all times – it really requires someone completely independent – preferably not even an MP. Maybe a judge or a senior lawyer or a Parliamentary appointee like the Ombudsperson.

              Though then no doubt there’d be squabbles over who gets on the selection list.

              Never going to happen, of course. All the parties probably see advantages in having their own MP as Speaker when they get to hold the Treasury Benches.

              I do think that Mallard’s the worst, most cantankerous, & most obviously-biased Speaker that I’ve seen so far. But they’ve nearly all been guilty of clear bias & at times blatantly unfair rulings.

              Lockwood-Smith somehow managed to famously rise above that & be pretty even-handed and fair to both sides, imo.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Mallard has been well known for his push backs on labour ministers, when they dont answer questions and other misdemours

                • Gezza

                  Aww. Come off the grass, soldier.

                  He does that when the Ministers’ “offending” is so blatant anybody watching can see they’ve tried it on & not given a proper answer. Most of the times I’ve seen him do it, it’s followed a complaint to him by the MP who’s been sinned against. If they hadn’t raised it sometimes he’d have just let it go.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Mallard's style and methods can't be discerned by the blunt viewer; despite his reputation for thuggery, Mallard applies his rulings with finesse and humour. Most of the Nat MP's are too dull to see it; some do, and their wry smiles at rulings against their dippiest colleagues give them away.

                  • Gezza

                    Mallard’s definitely got a sense of humour & I often have a larf along with others including both sides of the House when he demonstrates it at its best, but that doesn’t cancel out his fits of pique & bad temper, nor his biased approach. He spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort defending & protecting the PM in her 1st 3 years of the job.

                    She doesn’t require his help now.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      No. Mallard's very good. His occasional grumpiness is entirely valid and his quelling of upwellings of idiocy coming from the Opposition benches, including Seymour et al. included, is elegant to watch.

                    • Gezza

                      Well, yes, but you would say that because you’re a very tribal lefty, Robert.

                      This opposition appears no more unruly to me than previous oppositions. In fact, given what the job of MPs is, what they are supposed to be there for, the stunts, drivel & theatrics of the chamber amount to a huge waste of taxpayer funds really.

                      I haven’t spent any time watching how other similar democracies’ parliaments operate but ours seems to spend a lot of time clowning around & going thru the motions rather than getting down to actual business in a businesslike manner.

                      Maybe it’s because the hours are so punishing they have to let off steam or something, & it’s just become accepted there’ll be a certain amount of time-wasting & petty point scoring.

                  • alwyn

                    The "wry smile" as you put it is because the Speaker claims absolute privilege to do anything he wants to. Suggest that he might be sensible to reconsider and you will be gone for the day.

                    No Mallard is the epitome of the school bully. It is long time he was out of the House.;

              • Robert Guyton

                Lockwood was a goose.

                Some were taken in by his goofy grin.

              • Stuart Munro

                the worst, most cantankerous, & most obviously-biased Speaker that I’ve seen so far

                Carter – no contest.

                • Gezza

                  No. There is a contest, & Mallard – the Parliamentary punch up boy, the persistent former breaker of Speakers’ Rulings, the fox in charge of the henhouse – wins by country mile.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Not even close – Carter was so biased and useless even Hoskings and the Devil were taking notes.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Indeed. Mallard has to deal with the scruffiest, worst-disciplined National Opposition ever, and does it very competently. He has a sense of humour that the humourless can't detect.

                • Robert Guyton


                • higherstandard

                  Of the last couple of decades Margaret Wilson would be the poorest i can recall.

                  • Gezza

                    Actually, I might just change my rating and put Mallard on a par with Carter.

                    Robert’s reminded me that Mallard at least demonstrates quite a fine wit at times & I’ve seen him use this levity to lower the temperature all round when the atmosphere’s got quite toxic over one of his questionable rulings.

                    He’s also not averse to a bit of self-criticism, & self-deprecating humour, & at times he’s even walked back a blatantly unfair ruling. Something, although he also displayed occasional flashes of humour, that I NEVER saw Carter do.

                    I didn’t used to watch or listen to Parliament when Wilson was Speaker, but I haven’t heard or seen anyone argue that she was consistently either a fair one or a good one. More commonly I hear she was a badly-biased Speaker.

                    • observer

                      Ah, David Carter.

                      Another comparison? Jacinda Ardern calls Simon Bridges a muppet. What! No of course she didn't – not even close, not ever.

                      But lovable old uncle JK … no problem!

                      Rt Hon JOHN KEY : As everyone will know, the oversight of the GCSB under the proposed legislation is a lot stronger than what was put in place under a Labour Government. We all know that the reason the Leader of the Opposition is not supporting the legislation is that he is having his string pulled by the muppet that is sitting next to him—

                      Mr SPEAKER : Order! That was quite a sufficient answer. [Interruption ] Order!

                      Hon David Parker : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is not becoming of the Prime Minister, in respect of this serious issue, to describe members of the Opposition as muppets. I would expect you, in the Chair, to protect the decorum of this place by calling the Prime Minister to order.

                      Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member might want to have a look at the proceedings later on today to see that I immediately did call the Prime Minister to order. I thought that was quite sufficient. I am certainly not about to rule the word “muppet” out of order.


                      Like I said, there's heaps more of this garbage, I'm not going to link to 8 years of Hansard. But anyone who says today is "Worst Speaker/PM protection Ever" needs to start reading it.

                    • Gezza

                      Go and check out what Mallard let Peters get away with.

                      Ardern does not stoop so low as Key herself. Nevertheless her lieutenants get a few barbs in & other Labour MPs throw in rude interjections as well.

                      If one wants to crawl thru Hansard for the last four years one will find plenty of examples of Mallard letting Ministers & Labour MPs off lightly. The Righties will happily do that for you, but I’m not goung to spend the time on it.

                      I used to watch most Question Times but frankly it’s got so boring now I rarely do these days, unless there’s something important or contentious happening. In this case, Today, it was the new opposition leader & his spokespeople on show, so … worth a look.

                      But not a very exciting or uplifting experience. They had nothing, & scored no hits at all on the govt. Very mundane. At best. Imo.

        • observer

          That comment from Alwyn is hilariously bad timing. Did you not see what just happened?

          Luxon prepared for those questions? I don't believe it.

        • mac1

          It's all exaggeration, what you allege, Alwyn.

          How about pointing us to a case where she has not answered the question? Hansard would be a starter.

          I listened today. Prime Minister answered the questions. The first I heard, Q3 I believe, from the Leader of the Opposition was answered with a list of achievements of her government and ministers including low unemployment, thriving economy, low covid rates and deaths, etc. The first two supplementaries were rejected by the PM as she disagreed with the premise of the question.

          Luxon was nervous and fluffed twice finding and asking a question. That's OK. He tried to find fault with ICU provision and the PM answered that with the need first to be training 5 nurses per ICU bed had to be met and then that 200 beds plus capacity had been provided to care for a surge; but, the government's strategy was different to an Australian example that Luxon introduced in that the aim was to avoid a surge that would overwhelm hospital ICU beds and lead to many deaths as a sure consequence of overwhelming the ICUs with sheer numbers.

          That I think is a fair summation of the argument from memory and is also a fair example of questions well answered.

          • Gezza

            Yes. That is indeed a fair summation & I agree with it. Altho there have been some times when she’s disagreed with the premise of the question because it’s convenient & answering it would require an admission of failure. Mind you, all parties take refuge in that device when they’re holding the Treasury Benches, to be fair.

            From what I saw of QT today, neither Luxton nor any of his lieutenants scored any real hits on the govt. The Qs were all batted away rather effortlessly by those they were directed to

          • alwyn

            It was question 4 actually. Her answer to the primary question is perfectly fair, given the nature of the question. However she made no attempt to answer the first supplementary It was "Why did her Government spend more than $50 billion from its COVID fund before announcing any funding for extra ICU beds?"

            All she said that had anything to do with the question was "Well, I reject that question". She then rabbited on about how many nurses you need and so on which is irrelevant to the question.

            She could have said something like "We didn't We first spent money to prepare for the beds by …." but she didn't. She simply didn't even try and answer what was asked. She was just as bad with the other supplementaries. She simply regurgitated the same spiel without actually making any attempt to answer what was asked. Trevor let her get away with it of course.

            If you are going to reject a question you should have to explain why the question is misstating the situation. She doesn't do that. She just says I'm not going to answer.

            Try reading it again. It is Q4 at this link


            • observer

              You want Hansard? Cool.

              I just picked one page at random. It could be hundreds of others from John Key's time. Examples …

              Hon Phil Goff: Will he then take responsibility for the fact that a large part of that deficit was because this economy has not performed under his management over the last 6 months, as Treasury says?

              Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am glad we are coming into the Christmas period, because maybe Phil Goff can take a holiday …

              Hon Phil Goff: Can the Prime Minister tell the House how successful gimmicks like a cycleway and the Job Summit have been in reducing the unemployment and welfare rolls and as a way of contributing to creating new jobs and cutting expenditure?

              Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Very. Although I am prepared to accept that things are not going brilliantly for the New Zealand economy, all I can say is they are going better than they are for the Labour Party.


              That was Key's stock response, for 8 years. The questions barely mattered. It was all Punch n' Judy to him. If Ardern ever behaves like that, let us know. But you can't, because there is no comparison at all.

              • alwyn

                As I suggested above yours is the "It's OK because they did it"

                The question isn't what Key, who left the PM's job 5 years ago, did in about 2009, but what Ms Ardern does now. So you didn't like Key. Well get over it. John Key has left the building. Meanwhile Ardern doesn't answer questions.

                • Blazer

                  Alwyn, I say Alwyn…Key may have left the building but he is still an organ grinder with his…monkey dancing…in Parliament.frown

            • mac1

              "She could have said something like "We didn't We first spent money to prepare for the beds by …." but she didn't."

              Funnily, I understood that was what she meant.

              "She just says I'm not going to answer.". No she said I reject the premise of that question. The question was loaded on a false premise. She didn't have to explain it. The political point that Luxon was attempting to make was obvious. If he felt he was hard done by, he could have pressed harder, but he knew what he was doing.

              Seymour asked an imprecise question and paid the price for the little dig at the end by giving the PM an easy answer.

              The two questions from the Māori Party were answered carefully due to their being genuine questions, not attempted point-scoring 'gotchas'.

              Tomorrow, more question time and then the general debate. BTW, she does answer the questions, though not to your liking. To say she does not answer the questions at all is just a blanket 'blah', and not really worth debating, being gross exaggeration, rather like some questions we heard today.

              For example, "Christopher Luxon: Does she agree the failure to increase ICU beds during a pandemic is quite simply another illustration of her Government's ongoing failure to deliver and to actually get things done?"

              She had already answered that charge in her answer to the primary question. "Yes; in particular, I stand by this Government's ongoing successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic that for the past two years has seen New Zealand have the lowest cumulative number of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths per capita in the OECD, and now we can add extraordinarily high vaccination rates as well. At the same time, our economy has continued to perform with record levels of unemployment, high economic growth, and some of the longest stretches without restrictions of any comparable country. "

    • Patricia 2 10.3

      Wasn't that the last question Judith Collins asked ? Maybe Chris got the pages out of order ?

  11. observer 11

    Monday: exciting new line-up announced!

    Tuesday: same old disagreements announced … it took 24 hours for the deal to hit the rocks.

    Luxon gave some cautious backing to Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr after Bridges was sharply critical of him in a recent podcast.

    Bridges told The Working Group podcast that he did not want to see Orr reappointed. … But Luxon distanced himself from this position on Tuesday.

    "That's not our position," Luxon said. Luxon earlier confirmed he had spoken to Bridges about the remarks.

  12. observer 12

    Oh dear. The Big Event (or so it was built up to be …).

    1. Ardern

    2. Seymour

    3-9. (daylight)

    10. Luxon.

    Will National never learn?

  13. bwaghorn 13

    I have to say luxons list of losers is a ok with me , cant think of a single reason any of them should be in parliament .

    I cant see me liking luxons national, but maybe hes drawing a line through nationals worst years .

  14. tc 14

    Meh all round really. He’s got nothing to lose with a 2023 election in putting the likes of brown, bishop, bridges, Mitchell etc in place and judging their performances.

    Give them enough rope and hopefully some make a decent fist of it as tbh we need a much better opposition.

  15. Jenny How to get there 15

    The National Party ship of state has run up against the covid iceberg.

    Some say party on

    Some say the iceberg doesn't exist.

    Some say change the captain.

    Some say open up the lower deck portholes.

    Some say lifejackets cause drowning.
    Yes the lights are still on.

    Yes the band is still playing.

    Yes the new captain is acting authoritatively and issuing directives.

    Meanwhile as the ship settles deeper into the ocean of electoral defeat, the more astute passengers clamber into the lifeboat marked ACT

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