National’s new leader is …

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, November 30th, 2021 - 291 comments
Categories: bill english, brand key, Christopher Luxon, don brash, john key, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, todd muller - Tags:

Chris Luxon has been elected is to be confirmed as the new leader of the Opposition.    This is an awfully big bet.  And National managed to have a peaceful hand over of power even thought the egos were too big.

National’s previously contested leadership battles did not end well.  In 2003 Don Brash took out Bill English in a leadership coup and won narrowly, 14 to 12.  Interestingly it has been reported that English and his supporters offered Key the finance spokesman position for his vote.  They thought that they had won and there are rumours that Key flipped although these were denied by him.

In 2006 after Brash resigned following the publication of Nicky Hager’s book the Hollow Men Key was elected unopposed as leader and stayed there until 2016.  Bill English then stood as leader with Key’s support and was elected unopposed.

Fast forward to 2018 and in a hotly contested battle Bridges beat four others to become leader.  But he did not last long and in the face of sagging poll results and undermined by the action of Jami-Lee Ross he was taken out by Todd Muller.

But things became worse.  Muller lasted only 53 days before the pressure of running a totally dysfunctional caucus got to him.

Then Judith emerged and beat off Mark Mitchell not long before the 2020 election.  For Deputy Gerry Brownlee was voted in ahead of Paora Goldsmith.  Nikki Kaye and Amy Adams decided to get out of there and joined the ranks of a number of others leaving a clearly sinking ship.

Then this latest leadership coup.  Although it has been resolved amicably National still has a lot of healing to do.

History shows that contested elections do not work well and that peaceful transitions are much better.  National will be hoping that this plays out differently. as Bridges agreed to let Luxon take over.

But the fact that they could not even agree on a place to hold the post caucus meeting press conference does not bode well.

Time will tell.  But my first very strong response is that Chris Luxon is no John Key.  And with Judith still hanging around he is going to have his hands full.

291 comments on “National’s new leader is … ”

  1. Gezza 1

    Have you published this before a final proof-read?

    [Yep pushed publish too quickly. Have now fixed – MS]

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    Bridges has withdrawn but they haven't had a vote yet.

  3. Alan 3

    The TV debates leading up to the election are going to be a lot better.

    • observer 3.1

      Seymour is capable of debating Ardern, that's true.

      Not sure how Luxon Willis will do in the minor parties' debate.

  4. Dennis Frank 5

    Just checked out the Herald & Stuff reports & the gist is that the two primary contenders had a meeting this morning which produced the above outcome. My take is that Simon failed to get the numbers – his tweet simply confirmed agreement with Luxon's accession.

  5. higherstandard 6

    Hopefully for the general public's sake it will lead to competent opposition pressuring the government and holding them to account for their failures…….. but I'm not holding my breath.

    • Tricledrown 6.1

      You have 2 opposition party's surely that make it hard for the govt if both are on message.Although how many National voters will come back from ACT so National have a strong caucus.

      If Nationals new leader ends up being another dud you may be right.

      No one could do worse surely.

      As they say in politics less is more barking at every car that goes by looks pathetic a more measured timely response is needed.

      ie opening up all the borders if that comment hadn't been made ,National wouldn't have looked stupid.

      Leaving the sniping to minions and keeping the powder dry for the big issues.

      As pointed out there are plenty.

      • Paul Campbell 6.1.1

        They now have a strong caucus? their caucus hasn't changed, they're just moving the deck-chairs around

    • peter sim 6.2

      Failures? Like what? Electors decide if a governor party is a failure.

      How many national party members are in parliament?

  6. observer 7

    A very unscientific survey of online opinion (yer Stuff and tweets and all that) suggests that approx 90% of the Luxon supporters were saying either "and then Bridges must go" or "and then Collins must go". New start, new broom, new leaf, new cliche.

    Approx 0% said "and Luxon must ensure both Bridges and Collins get top roles, because they are the solution, not the problem".

    So he's now done a deal with Bridges, made possible by Collins' votes. New broom, broken.

  7. SPC 8

    Say a prayer for New Zealand, with the creation of a new National Party leader, laura and order will return. And we will be taught sparing the rod is not kind, for our own good the natural order of business must be restored.

  8. Tiger Mountain 9

    “I got a room at the top of the world tonight
    And I ain't comin' down, no I ain't comin' down”
    apols to Tom Petty

    Religious nutters are surely not prime candidates for such senior leadership roles. We have long standing separation of Church and State in Aotearoa NZ for good reason.

    I liked the assessment of measured commenter Brian Gould about CL. “For Christopher Luxon, having run Air New Zealand is far from a qualification for the top job but quite the opposite.”

    • AB 9.1

      having run Air New Zealand is far from a qualification for the top job but quite the opposite

      Yup – businesses are the opposite of a democracy and the opposite of a society.

      • roblogic 9.1.1

        most businesses are feudal tyrannies.. we have to regulate them for a reason.. else workers would have zero rights

        • Gezza

          Tru dat 😎 👍🏼

          Maybe not all employees of all companies would end up with zero rights, but a significantly large enuf number WOULD, so regulating them ALL to guarantee minimum wages & a few other rights is essential .

    • Alan 9.2

      Religious nutter? hardly

      He is a politician who happens to be a Christian, have you not bothered to read his responses when this issue was raised when he entered Parliament?

      Your quote from Brian Gould is probably the most naive comment I have ever read on TS.

      • Patricia Bremner 9.2.1

        Alan tell me what he stands for. He told us what he was against. A very patriarchal religious list.
        As a pair he and Nicola look good, but Woodhouse is still there and Judith Collins and Simon Bridges, so I will watch who he puts on the front bench. Will he value Dr. Shane Reti?

        • SPC

          Bridges Finance at 3, Reti will surely keep Health and be on the front bench as well.

          • Gezza

            Wonder who’ll get Justice, Police, & Corrections?

            A test for Luxon will be who he deems competent enuf for these important roles – important especially because of how things are panning out in those areas in Kiwiland these latter days.

        • miravox

          He's not full of Christian kindness if there is no exit plan for Collins or Woodhouse.

      • Gypsy 9.2.2

        The moment Luxon gets any traction in the polls (perhaps before that), Labour will go full in on his faith. It's politics 101. Unfortunately.

        • Anne

          Funnily enough I think you are wrong. They will not go full on his faith. Two reasons:

          1) Labour as a party does has a reasonably good level of ethical behaviour. Yes, there have been outliers but in general terms it is true.

          2) There are many Labour voters who are regular church goers and who would find such a tactic unsavoury.

          • Gypsy

            Thanks Anne, I respect your opinion. And I hope you're right. Frankly I'm more interested in his public policy positions than his religious beliefs, but maybe that's just me.smiley

            • Anne

              Yes. Public policy positions are more important but we don't know what Luxon's are yet. I guess that is why some of us a more concerned about his religious beliefs. He appears very conservative on social issues which is a worry.

          • Enough is Enough

            The first thing Stuart Nash brought up on ZB this morning when discuss Luxon was his faith. So unfortunetly they are already targetting him for his religion.

            • Anne

              Stuart Nash has a reputation for acting like a bull in a china shop. I am sure he will be told – if he hasn't already – to shut up about it.

            • lprent

              No different from interviews that ask gendered or race based or education or job history questions.

              In other words look at any interview with any politician. They always ask those kinds of questions.

              For the completely irreligious like me, such questions are about something that I don’t understand and I get worried about having read far too much history about religious wars like those in the reformation or late byzantine periods. They are interesting to me.

              It isn’t any different than the obsessive gender questions that Helen got or Jacinda all of the time to deal with the worries of the misogynist community.

        • Treetop

          I feel that an MPs religious beliefs are part of their personal life. When it comes to their political beliefs this is part of their public life.

    • Phil 9.3

      I liked the assessment of measured commenter Brian Gould about CL. “For Christopher Luxon, having run Air New Zealand is far from a qualification for the top job but quite the opposite.”

      I honestly couldn't give a shit who leads National, but Gould is just being a knob here. There's no other job like running a country, so there isn't any 'qualification' or background experience that makes someone immediately suitable. Ardern, Key, Clark etc. all did a lot of learning on the job as they went , which is entirely what we should expect of them.

    • Anne 9.4

      "Religious nutters are surely not prime candidates for such senior leadership roles."

      He is being touted as having "enormous intellectual capability". You can't have a huge intellect and be a fundamentalist religious nutter at the same time. His mum apparently dabbled in psychotherapy and I met one of those once – in a social setting – and she was as mad as a hatter. surprise

      • Tiger Mountain 9.4.1

        Totally reasonable thoughts Anne. I have a class bias–for the 90%! but one’s mental health and perspective can be rather relevant as the country discovered with Mr Mullers’s meltdown.

      • alwyn 9.4.2

        That is amazing Anne. You met a dabbler in psychotherapy once and you thought she was as mad as a hatter. Luxon's mother also was involved in psychotherapy.

        Therefor you conclude that Luxon is a nutter. What amazing powers of deduction you exhibit.

        I was once on a jury that was trying a woman called Anne for fraud. We found her guilty of the charge. There is a woman called Anne who contributes to this blog. Well clearly she should be inside a prison shouldn't she?

        • Anne

          NO. I did not conclude that his mother was a nutter. If you were a tad less humourless you would have seen an emoticon denoting I was having a naughty little razz about psychotherapists. Some are very good. Some are not. I have no idea to which category his mother may have belonged, but we will assume it was the former.

          Happy chappie?

  9. Treetop 10

    See how long Luxon lasts. He could have a skeleton or two in the cupboard. That is my first impression.

    • Tiger Mountain 10.1

      NZ National were dominant, or at least well significant, in NZ Parliamentary politics for all the decades since their foundation. This was based partly on the settler post colonialist legacy, as well as links to the Anglosphere.

      That has now changed for many of the reasons commenters on The Standard have raised since the 2017 General Election.

      If NZ National are in dissarray–Tora! Tora! Tora! I say. There is no “balance” needed with a “strong” Opposition in the NZ bourgeois Parliamentary system from a class left perspective.

    • Herodotus 10.2

      So any potential leader should ensure they have no history and by implications no life experience, and anyone with some life experience including learning from making wrong decisions is excluded from leadership ??

      The same applies for anyone with a belief system, so Christians, Buddhists, Muslims etc no need to apply for the leadership rolls ??

      No wonder we have limited talent in Parliament if we exclude and deter so many.

      • Treetop 10.2.1

        You confuse dirty laundry with life experience.

        Congrats to Luxon for being a newbie leader. He would be the newest leader of a major political party in NZ.

        • Herodotus

          Perhaps having dirty laundry/life experiences gives you a better appreciation towards others and some empathy. And in todays times with phones/cameras and a reality based media nothing appears to escape. I am sure many in their 40's and older are thankful that their were not iphones etc around.

          I have hope that there are a few around here that understand the necessity for a strong opposition, more so given the pitiful media we have to keep the govt accountable.

      • RedLogix 10.2.2

        A wise comment Herodotus.

      • Tiger Mountain 10.2.3

        SirKey represented international finance capital first and foremost throughout his personal and Parliamentary career, as demonstrated by his actions and personal shareholdings–which he sometimes misremembered. He set up NZ as a moneybags tax haven with the help of his one time personal lawyer Ken Whitney of Panama Papers fame.

        No one has mentioned absolute exclusion on the basis of anything, but conflicts of interests as I would put it do count. In a class society which we pretty obviously are; to primarily represent the 0.01 to 1 percent of peak capitalists and their 9 odd percent enablers and sycophants at the expense of the majority of working class, alienated and middle class, is not easily defensible.

      • Anne 10.2.4

        You are of course mixing up fundamentalist religious beliefs with the genuine articles. The genuine articles – be they Christian, Buddhist or Muslim – have filled the hallways of power for many generations . Most have proven to have well in excess of “limited talent” and therefore worthy of their status. Fundamentalists on the other hand have distorted views as a whole and can therefore be quite dangerous.

      • gsays 10.2.5

        I agree Herodotus. Folk getting agitated about a spiritual life.
        Edit. Remove reference to Ardern’s faith as I have read she identifies as agnostic.

        More importantly where is the concern for the neo-liberal fundamentalists Robertson, Ardern, Hipkins et al. That belief is causing damage and harm every day to thousands of us, growing inequality, poverty, housing inaffordability….

        A good example of removing the mote from one's own eye before dealing with the speck in another's.

        • Treetop

          Herodotus raised religion @10.2, not me and I gave no reply to my position on religion and MPs to them.

          @ you wrote Including Ardern, I assume. To my @ comment.

          @10.2.5 you wrote Edit. Remove reference to Ardern's faith as I have read she identifies as agnostic.

  10. Adrian 11

    Treetop, yep and Judith knows what it is!

    • Treetop 11.1

      I will follow Collin's reaction. Mind you it could be the other way around and would Luxon tell?

  11. woodart 12

    "luxon is no john key" key wasnt his own man, so luxum cant be a copy of a hollowgram. both have cutouts in their backs for others to manipulate them…..however, key will be upgraded in the hawaii golf club.

  12. @NatsLeader has already changed their profile pic and bio

    "Parody account – used to be Soymon Brudges, Todd Duller, Crusher Collins. I am the second coming, not of Jesus but of John – hallowed be his name."

  13. Whispering Kate 14

    Lord help us a happy clappy religious nutbar in charge of National. Being a fundamentalist everything this man does his religion will pervade his consciousness/deeds and influence him. Knowing people who are immersed in one of these kinds of religious set ups it beggars belief what National are going to do now he has the seat of control. Key being his little man in his ear will only make it a nightmare. Collins also giving him her endorsement means she will have to have a portfolio of some sort. Holy hell what a clusterf…… its all going to be.

    Thankfully I am not a National voter nor will ever be. It gets murkier and murkier.

    • Gezza 14.1

      We don’t know for certain that he’s a religious nutbar, yet.

      Nor do we have any idea to what extent, if any, his .christian faith & principles will be applied to caucus & future policy decision-making.

      Plenty of politicians are happy to practice their faith privately & not let it dominate their public policymaking.

      It’s going to be an interesting exercise studying Luxon for whether & how his Christian beliefs intrude into the political arena. He must surely be aware thectrend is away from organised Christianity.

      (Might be the reverse with Islam, I don’t know or understand how anyone can embrace Islam, & Muhammad & the Angel Gabriel as believable manifestations of Jaweh, but billions do, & don’t think that faith is shrinking in the West like Chrsitianity is.)

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        I got into very hot water a while back for suggesting that if Luxon converted to Islam the woke left would embrace him as the Second Coming.

      • Kevin Warburton 14.1.2

        Yeah many educated ex Christians have reverted/converted to Islam as it is a more science friendly notwithstanding the Taliban "Puritans". Meanwhile western Christians have a bit of success converting illiterate uneducated Muslims in Africa and India. islam is growing mostly coz of higher birth rate but also through younger age profile and converts in west eg 100,000 over 10year period in UK. To be fair it's similar to divorce rates with only half of converts renting active 5 years after conversion. Islam is on track to be 1.5 billion compared to Catholics at 1.2 billion, maybe eventually it will be equal or greater the Christianity as a whole but maybe not as irreligion/atheism growing fast too and birthrate is slowing for muslims both in west and home countries, plus second and third Gen muslims in west falling away (though more slowly than Christians are).

      • Kevin Warburton 14.1.3

        Following the teachings of Muhammad much more believable than believing a man became God, got resurrected then bodily ascended to Heaven where he now sits enthroned as one of the Three-In-One God Trinity. Oh plus he existed from Dawn of Creation and will float down from the clouds and rule as a World Monarch until the Earth is rolled up. Well if yo're going talk about belief you have to factor in Judsism too, as well as all the other religions.

        • Gypsy

          "Following the teachings of Muhammad much more believable than believing a man became God, "

          Christians don't believe a man became God. They believe God became a man. If you're going to critique one belief system over another, it would pay to have the most basic truth claims correct.

        • Foreign waka

          You mean the religion of Islam? Since Muhammad died a constant battle for power exists between shiites and sunni. The origins of that sound very much like the story of Cain and Abel. As I see it, there is a distinct difference between faith and religion. Faith looks for peace, whereas religion is about power and hence intrinsic to inciting violence. Of cause to "defend" the faith.

      • miravox 14.1.4

        We do know he's pretty retro on women's rights – especially abortion rights, when he not just opposes abortion, but also believes people have the right to harass vulnerable women outside abortion clinics. within 150m of an abortion clinic.

        • Gezza

          You know there are women who oppose abortion too, right? They think they are expressing their opposition as “women’s rights” too. I’m a bit leery of one side of that debate claiming that term.

          It’s abortion rights – or if you like more specifically a woman’s sole right to choose whether to abort, it seems to me, that are the subject of the debate, & the legislation.

          Not “women’s rights”.

          That’s how I see it anyway. Personally I’m in favour of a woman’s right to choose & of safe zones.

        • Foreign waka

          And yet, so many where going hurray! we are now allowed to kill the elderly. Really not quite convincing to choose how things fit when it comes to preservation of life, is it.

        • alwyn

          You don't know that at all. On Morning Report he explained that he voted against the ban on demonstrations at the first reading because it conflicted with the Bill of Rights.

          That was apparently amended during the Committee stages and he voted for the changed version of the ban later in the process.

          That is why they have the Committee stages of course. Pity the current Government don't like them and just smash through poorly drafted bills under urgency.

          • lprent

            You mean that they sometimes follow the National led government practices on legislation that doesn’t have specific tight timescales, instead they reserve such powers to legislation required to deal with a pandemic.

            Perhaps you should should look at what those kinds of reserve powers are there for rather than making a dick of yourself. Hell – even the phrase you used “Committee stages” is ambiguous. Are you talking about select committee OR the committee of the whole house? Not that it makes a lot of difference – either can have proposed amendments. But in the end those are only proposed amendments, they require the votes to pass – which they usually don’t in the government party(ies) do not support them.

            There are all kinds of legislation that doesn’t wind up going through the whole select committee process except sometimes as a courteous and non-functional gesture. Just off the top of my head, the budget legislation, war powers, treaties, and almost every disaster and pandemic response.

            All legislation goes through a whole of the house committee process. However the time allocated is a matter for votes in the house (the house itself can extend it) and the government voting support.

            Essentially what you are complaining about is not having enough votes – and you seem to whine about National not having that a lot… Sort of wanting a divine injunction that National should be the government. I think that ship sailed decades ago. Suck it up and learn to live in reality please…

    • Foreign waka 14.2

      Whispering Kate, you seem to have some fundamentalist stance yourself. Against anything that spells opposition to labor.

      Here are 2 little things that are very necessary for a free democracy:

      1/ Freedom of expression including ones belief and values

      2/ opposition to a ruling party to make sure check and balances are in place. We don't need a dictatorship and/or monarchy

      I am really astounded that so many here seem to portray themselves as standing for a free country but first to cry that we need just what we have no matter how in some ways democratic rights are called into question.

      As for law and order, bring it one. Cant wait until the gangs get a helping.

      • Whispering Kate 14.2.1

        I am very much all for a good robust opposition. Labour and Jacinda do need the stops and balances of a good opposition. I frequently mutter on about steps this government is dealing to the pandemic which I think could have been implemented sooner. But hey they have done an amazing job keeping this pesky virus under control and we must be forever in their debt make no mistakes about that.

        My whinge is fundamentalist sects have very narrow visions and they stick to them. This new fella may not be so rigid in his dogma and its only time now, that we will see how he pans out. I have personal knowledge of a fundamentalist sect and the family I know have been locked into their beliefs for years now losing one child who escaped and got out of the lifestyle and this wasn't one of those closed off sects like Gloriavale. Just very rigid and controlling. Just my opinion for what its worth.

  14. Rod Emmerson has shared a couple of his old Luxon cartoons…

  15. Adrian 16

    Time is not on their side TM, the young are more inclined to be inclusive, considerate, non judgemental, far less racist and sexist than the exiting electorate so the this upcoming crop of voters is not likely to favour them.

  16. weka 17

    I'm live and let live for most people over religion, even MPs. But Luxon's different I think (or at least there is reason to be cautious/concerned). Both because his fundamentalist church pastor's sermons (and from memory they're tight), and because National are still doing Trumpian politics and that's a really bad mix with religion.

    Edit: looks like I did a post at the time ☺️

  17. Stephen D 19

    Not too worried about Luxon as Leader. Nicola Willis is the one to watch. She could be very dangerous for Labour. Young, bright, female, experienced, ruthless. Trained by Key.

  18. observer 20

    It's deja-vu all over again …

    National MPs excited and united behind new leader

    They are using exactly the same words. Luxon's first press statement is Muller's, photocopied.

    • Ffloyd 20.1

      I was just thinking the same thing. Right down to the ‘my kids listening at home, I love you’. He didn’t quite do the ‘daddy will be home soon’ bit though.

  19. McFlock 21

    Regardless of whether Bridges dropped the hot potato (to clear a path for another tilt in 2023) or simply leveraged his temporary acquiescence for a higher profile under the new leader, does anyone think JuCo, Bridges, and even Mitchell have given up leadership aspirations for the next ten years? lol

  20. woodart 22

    must be time for womans weekly to do an article on his lovely family and inground pool.

  21. SPC 23

    Luxon, Willis and Bridges, a new variant of the National Party

    Luxon, 51, said he came to politics because "I know how to solve problems and get things done".

    "I have built a career out of reversing the fortunes of under-performing companies and I'll bring that real-world experience to this role. We are the new National Party that New Zealand needs

    A mechanic to sort out the party machine and climb higher in the polls than for some time …–OP8eE

    • Blazer 23.1

      Learn something new everyday!

      '"I have built a career out of reversing the fortunes of under-performing companies '

      I thought Fyfe left Air NZ in good shape….and Unilever has been an international behemoth for….decades.

    • EE 23.2

      Problem: The National Party is just an under-performing company.
      Solution: Let's all hold hands and sing 'Kumbaya.

  22. Dennis Frank 24

    Luxon's coming across well in his live press conference:

    This bit was significant: “I’ve known Nicola a long time and we’re good friends.”

    And this: “John Key was not involved in this. He did not talk to any MPs… He’s a good friend.”

    Luxon’s focus will be on team-building via consensus, he made clear. Used today’s process as example of that.

    • Dennis Frank 24.1

      On Three Waters, he said National's concerns are around co-ownership & co-governance, described govt proposals as "confused".

    • roblogic 24.2

      Yeah. Luxon is a different beast from the last 4 Nat leaders. Similar to Key. Very polished, positive, and believable. If he can steady the ship, Labour and Act should be worried.

      • Dennis Frank 24.2.1

        He's started well. I wasn't impressed by his primary message (a spiel about prosperity via hard work as if he was channelling Ayn Rand from a century ago).

        He'll be lucky though. Luck will come from teamwork within National, so watch that space. Crucial will be how much he pulls the disaffected back from Act in the next poll. If they clock in back around 7%, there will be a big Nat revival and momentum will grind Act back down towards the margin of error in the months that follow.

        • Alan

          He is far more likely to attract previous nat. voters that have drifted to labour. Nicola Willis will help significantly with that.

          • Dennis Frank

            You're quite right. The next poll will reveal how vulnerable Labour are. I wonder if there'll be one before the xmas break?

            • Gezza

              Bound to be. The main public pollsters will be busting a gut to get a poll in after this National leadership change, imo.

              My pick is that they’ve all got rather bored with Jacinda riding so high in the preferred PM poll, & they’ll be actively sniffing around for how to make the next poll result more exciting.

              Some will even likely be crafting questions to try & generate that excitement.

              All Luxon probably has to do is say less than Bridges & Collins publicly to make him appear more intelligent & more thoughtful than them. Those two had a talent for opening their mouths seemingly only to change which foot they were inserting. Collins would be my pick for the absolute worst leader the Nats have ever chosen.

              She made Bridges, who was probably the principal nominee for that label until her unfortunate selection, look better.

              • Dennis Frank

                Makes sense, I can't wait! smiley I'm too diffident to be a real political junkie but times like this revs up my competitive instincts. Game has gotten way more interesting again…

            • Obtrectator

              The Taxpayers Union is already on to it, methinks.

        • miravox


    • observer 24.3

      It's always fascinating how things seem important in real media time, and then are forgotten fast.

      I don't suppose anyone will bother, but if they wanted to review Todd Muller's first 24 hours in the job, they'd be impressed. A recap …

      Strong first press conference. Said many of the same things as Luxon (remember "17 empty chairs"? "Ardern good communicator"?).

      Then strong media interviews (Checkpoint, Project, etc). With some good jokes.

      It was going fine, until National MPs started being daily headlines.

      • Dennis Frank 24.3.1

        You're right that Muller started well too. I expect the difference will be evident in team performance. Primadonna rivalry has to go. If he secures that switch fast it will be a sign of greater success later. Muller had no clue about team management.

      • gsays 24.3.2

        One possible difference; when asked on Checkpoint, 'Is disloyalty a sackable offence?' he ended up saying yes.

        That Nat caucus has leaked and leaked, that will be a KPI worth watching IMO.

        • lprent

          …’Is disloyalty a sackable offence?’ he ended up saying yes.

          Perhaps he should concentrate on gaining loyalty or at least enough respect so that being a National MP does not appear to be another way of saying “professional leaker”.

          Gaining loyalty or even respect in the National caucus hasn’t been noticeable since Bill English stepped down. Every subsequent candidate for the leader of the National caucus appears to have demanded it without working for it.

          • gsays

            Fair observation. I can't help but feel some of those former leaders are amongst the leakiest.

            The proof will be if he does sack/demote after the seemingly inevitable leak.

            • lprent

              Possibly. But I rather expect that isn’t the case if only because that is a case when overkill (in the Collins style) will be tolerated by a caucus. See the caucus silence that her exclusion of Muller after a minor leaky offence initiated.

              But doing the Collins approach to other non-leader possible leaks/leakers sure didn’t stop the rot. If anything it seemed to speed up the leaking – which is generally the response of all caucuses where that happens in my observations. It works when you do something really stupid (like getting caught shoving letters under the parliamentary gallery doors). It is counter-productive when caucus members are merely doing their usual feeding of the press appetites for off-the-record gossip.

    • woodart 24.4

      "a good friend" trump used that lie alot, sorry line, not lie. my keyboard has a mind of its own…….

    • RedLogix 24.5

      Contrary to what some people imagine – running a business, especially any large complex one like AirNZ, is precisely the background needed here.

      Senior executives may have considerable authority, but if it's not wielded constructively the business will not thrive. A few years back I got a one on one conversation with the President of the largest engineering company in the world – for about 30 min. It was one of those rare situations where we could talk relatively freely. I asked him what were his three top strategies to keep so many large complex projects on track. His reply was:

      1. Choose the right people, with proven competence and integrity. (He really emphasised this.)
      2. Give them the autonomy to act but hold them accountable for results
      3. Pay attention to the governance and policy you have in place. Use them to identify risks early and ensure everyone knows how governance works to manage them.

      If Luxon brings anything like this to the table he will be a formidable operator. If he leverages Willis's talents wisely they will likely present a credible challenge to Ardern and Robertson. It's Labour's game to lose now.

      • Dennis Frank 24.5.1

        Good analysis. I learnt the first two of those points by observation & experience but the third is more subtle & it intrigues me. Risk management as praxis. Unheard of in politics! Damn good thinking though.

      • roblogic 24.5.2

        National usually falls down when it comes to ethics, social responsibility, and economic competence. I saw Luxon's micro-expression of disgust when talking about targeting assistance to the poor. This hatred of the underclass is what unites the Right. A shared vision of hatred and fear. He thinks everyone should pull themselves up by their bootstraps, even though their family can't afford boots, and we should all climb the ladder, even though half of NZ had their ladder stolen or kicked out by the rich property investor class. Was amused when he mentioned mental health, conveniently short memory of the last National government ripping out the funding mercilessly and destroying an already overstretched sector.

        The Nats will throw vulnerable Kiwis to the wolves. Those fuckers set up the conditions for the current housing disaster. I pray that God strikes Luxon with an attack of conscience that he has allied himself with a festering agglomeration of arrogant born to rule Tory bastards

      • Ad 24.5.3


        It will not hurt National to bring AirNZ and Fonterra (Willis) as two companies who really get international risk management, and who also get policy formation.

        It's going to slot National easily back into the big end of town.

      • woodart 24.5.4

        no, running a business, whether small or large, is nothing like the background needed to successfully be a prime minister. dont know how many times this needs to be proven before the scales will fall from your(and other misguided experts) eyes. good god, has trump not proven this? the most successful global politician of recent times has also proven this(if you dont know who that is, you arent half the expert on world affairs that you portray)

        • RedLogix

          no, running a business, whether small or large, is nothing like the background needed to successfully be a prime minister.


          • woodart

            nothing! if you have started a business , or run someone elses(I have done both,have you?) ,it doesnt mean a thing when you are in the big seat of gov. for a start, the P.M. doesnt "run" the country. anybody thinking that,or using that phrase is already on the wrong track. a business has only one aim, there may be different ways of acheiving that aim, but there is only one aim. successfully being P.M. is, and will always be, far more complicated . have you figured out yet, who the worlds most successful politician is yet?(hint, not a businesswoman)

            • Ad

              Small business barely registers with this government other than as a subsidy-hole. Your experience, unless it was running one of our oligopoly giants, is definitely not PM-making material.

              Although Roberston's claim to commercial fame is running the local students association. So hey, you never know eh.

            • RedLogix

              Have you had senior responsibility in any large business or government entity?

              At the multibillion dollar scale.

              • woodart

                are you trying to turn this into a dick measuring contest? use some logix

                • RedLogix

                  Not really – I'm just curious as to how you were so certain there was nothing in common.

                  Arguably a truly great politician will be much more than a good business person – but in my modest exposure to large engineering projects (at multibillion dollar scale) managing the people and the politics is very much a part of the role. I know the wookie left hates these words – but skills like competence, integrity, responsibility and leadership are the basic requirements to succeed at anything worthwhile at this scale.

                  Too soon to tell if Luxon can deliver on these – or indeed if the National caucus is capable of accepting them.

              • Blazer

                So what recognised statesmen/women can you list that had this…attribute?

                Donald …maybe!

                • RedLogix

                  Nope. Trump was more of a very instinctive gambler than a businessman.

                  At the top of my list is Helen Clark, but Australia and NZ have both been very fortunate to have had more than a few very good Prime Ministers in the mix over the past few generations. And all of them – have had these qualities in at least some strong measure.

                  • Blazer

                    this quality?

                    'running a business, especially any large complex one like AirNZ, is precisely the background needed here.'

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      He ruthlessly chopped local flights. Cost cutting, to look good. Been there done that.

                    • lprent []

                      Your argument isn’t worth much.

                      As a manager, he was responsible to his stakeholders and mostly to his shareholders. It is very hard to argue against cutting unprofitable services. You have to show numerically how that service increases overall profit – like acting as a feeder to a profitable service.

                      While the crown has had (and still does) a large capital stake in Air NZ, the purpose for why that was put in place in the early 2000s was specifically to make sure NZ had a airline that could provide international airfreight.

                      If the state wants to have flights for a social basis, then they need to specifically pay for the additional operating costs rather than ripping off other shareholders. Or to provide their own services. But the costs of providing that kind of service should not be a hidden subsidy – because that policy route is a corrupting one.

                      But it is hard to do that when there are other services like buses, trains, other aircraft services, cars, etc… You’d really have to look at a service like school buses where there is a proven social need – and one that could do with the better resourcing first.

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      Iprent, that would hold water, except he managed to lower the company value by 30%..Hardly "Turning it around".

                    • lprent []

                      Huh? Wikipedia

                      In May 2011, Luxon joined Air New Zealand and was named as the company’s chief executive officer in 19 June 2012

                      On 20 June 2019, Luxon announced that he was resigning from Air New Zealand..

                      I seem to remember that he left at the end of 2019. But lets just look at the time from taking the CEO position and the time he announced he was leaving.

                      Please look at the market capitalisation of Air NZ. In May 2012 that capitalisation was about 0.72 billion (presumably in USD). In May 2019 it was 1.9 billion – more than twice the size even after accounting for most of a decade inflation.

                      However market capitalisation in a non-local currency isn’t a particularly good measure because it depends far too much on the vagaries of market sentiment and relative alternate investments as well as the currency exchanges..

                      If you look at the earnings and revenue tabs you will see that over the same period, the revenue and profit were pretty consistently climbing, with earning generally rising faster than revenue. That points

                      I have little time for business people jumping into politics – they are generally run from barely competent to outright disasters for the unit that they are governing over the medium term – because the skills are extremely different. But his performance as a business manager appears to be competent based on the results for stockholders investments.

                      I’m not sure where you got your “…lower the company value by 30%”, But I did a brief search and can’t see any evidence that is the case during his tenure. Unless you’re describing what happened in 2020/1 during a pandemic?

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      Iprent I tried to find that item. Sorry you are right I may have misread Cheers I'll double check next time. I think he saw that coming and left.

            • Anne

              Well now, I'll be the fool to have a guess. If by using the term businesswoman you are hinting the person is female then I would go for Angela Merkel. But then again it depends on what you mean by successful.

              I have great respect for Merkel even if her politics might be a little to the right of mine.

              • RedLogix

                Yes she was so good that European leaders virtually had to beg her to stay on longer than she would have wished.

              • woodart

                you are no fool . her politics dont change the fact that she has been chancellor in a very fragmented electoral system for about five terms. with her and trump as great examples of how good businesspeople are as polies, it beggars belief we still hear the same old bollox . merkel has successfully juggled more balls (cryptic comment, you decide) for longer than just about any ceo of a multi-billion dollar business.

        • Ad

          You need to have a good close look at how Key ran the Sky City National Convention Centre deal.

          Big business is more powerful than our government, other than in crisis moments.

          Modern NZ government since 1998 is precisely constituted of the remains that corporations leave behind for it.

          Labour does deals with business slightly worse than National overall, but Labour does employment continuity and worker entitlements far better.

          • Nic the NZer

            Thats your bleak allocation for the day used up right there.

          • Patricia Bremner

            “Convention Centre Deal”
            Key wanted the Public to pick up the cost over run. He was annoyed when everyone said NO. By then we had his measure. By the way, Covid has made that a bloody big White Elephant. Part of the imaginary “Rockstar economy”

      • Gypsy 24.5.5

        Good analysis. Labour is vulnerable on the 'failed to deliver' line, and Luxon poked that sore in his presser.

        • Patricia Bremner

          A great deal has been delivered Gypsy, and during an ongoing pandemic. Not everything is as we would like it, but where else on the planet would we go?

          Don't believe all the chat about Australia. House prices and prices generally are zooming away. Our son's rates are up to nearly $8000 a year plus a body corp insurance water rates and are up to total $239 a week.

          Power is hugely expensive and the internet fibre to work at home. They have nearly twice as many unemployed and it has been announced that Hotels are struggling and some airnibs are charging $24 000 a week. So if you have property you can make money, as his has valued up by 48% causing the rates squeeze.

          There are no support payments for covid now. If you go over, you may not get back.

          They do have a better hospital system, as Medicare means there is some insurance to cover basic care if you are working.

        • roblogic

          I wish we built more social housing instead of humungous motorways stadiums and convention centres

          • Gypsy

            Motorways are good. Convention centres should be built by private enterprise.

            • Tony Veitch (not etc.)

              Motorways are good.

              Doesn't that just sum up why we certainly never want a Natz government, ever!

              For God's sake, Gypsy, look around. We have a climate crisis!

              • Gypsy

                Motorways reduce congestion, they reduce travel times, result in more efficient vehicle performance and therefore reduce emissions.
                BTW – Arguably the most significant transport improvement to Auckland in recent decades – the waterview tunnel connection – was approved by the Clark Labour government. From memory the two major party’s build motorways at pretty much the same clip.

      • Hunter Thompson II 24.5.6

        But what will National's policies be for this country? More cars in each driveway, go back to business as usual and to hell with quality of life?

        Luxon as leader right now could be a good plan – for Simon Bridges. The next election is Labour's to lose, so SB may time his move for later on..

  23. rod 25

    Luxon is just another americanised evangelist god botherer, but we will see how he goes. He obviously got the job because no one else wanted it.

  24. observer 26

    We can credit Luxon with saying nothing very well (which is ironic, as that's exactly what Ardern's detractors accuse her of).

    The buzz-words flowed thick and fast, but what did any of it really mean? He wants better health provision and education and infrastructure. As opposed to all the politicians who want those things to be worse? He wants lower carbon emissions. Higher wages. And so on.

    The only solid information from the presser is that he wants Bridges and Collins in his team. Good luck with that.

    • Dennis Frank 26.1

      Time will tell on the buzzword thing. He's glib. Doesn't mean empty-headed. Means adept at verbal response, which is a key attribute required of a leader in parliament.

      I will be watching to gauge how much his partisan views handicap him. The old line about representing all kiwis got a rerun & eye-rolling around the country, no doubt. If he's authentic about that, we'll see it soon. If we don't, I'll start to discount his merit.

      • observer 26.1.1

        What's really depressing is the auto-pilot. Not that he said anything terrible, he just did playbook poli-babble.

        If he'd said "we've been rubbish and I'm sorry" – page turned. Poll numbers soar.

        But he said "we're National, we're awesome, as always" (paraphrase). So in the end, nothing new. A speech for the caucus, not the public.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah, the true-believer stance is problematic.

          "We want to see a more productive economy that drives higher incomes and wages" despite the lack of evidence that neoliberalism provides that.

          "We will bring the tide back in and lift all boats." Antiquated drivel, disproven by history.

          Ideology that produces wishful thinking is as likely to destroy a good leader on the right as it is to destroy one on the left. How many voters still believe that shit? Not enough, Humpty…

          • RedLogix

            "We will bring the tide back in and lift all boats."

            Well yes and there is really nothing 'antiquated' about this metaphor – and some boats will inevitably be larger than others. The problem is that too many boats just don't even float – and liberal capitalism has not had anything to say about this. It wasn't designed to.

            That's what progressive socialism is supposed to do – get everyone's boat floating so to speak. But all too often it’s been pirated by people who wind up sinking everything in sight.

            • Dennis Frank

              there is really nothing 'antiquated' about this metaphor

              You mean in the global sense? I do agree that capitalism is lifting many out of poverty in third world countries – most spectacularly China & India.

              Antiquated, as I used it, was meant to refer to the decades that have elapsed since it was trendy in western countries. Before folks noticed that neoliberalism merely lifts all (ocean-going) yachts, I mean.

              • RedLogix

                Yes. From a global perspective the sum total of humanity has never been better off – ever. We should not lose sight of this, or think that we can burn down the system and nothing bad will happen. If the tide goes out the boats no longer matter – everyone just flounders in the mud.

                In many ways I'm seeing a more credible intellectual effort from the moderate right on this theme than I am from the woke obsessed left. The reason for this is I think that right leaning personality types are better at recognising and respecting boundaries than those on the left.

                The evidence is that 'Openess to Experience" (from the OCEAN personality model) is a strong predictor of progressive left leaning views. Which is a good thing, we tend to be curious and inquisitive, interested in new concepts and problems. The downside is that we're very weak on boundaries – so for example it's very hard for the left to draw a line under catastrophic mistakes like marxism.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Enterprise is fundamental to humanity. It puzzles me that the left has never integrated it into their belief system. Obviously you get it, but that makes you an exception to the norm.

                  Equity is fundamental to humanity. It puzzles me that the right has never integrated it into their belief system.

                  Boundaries in this context lie between belief systems. They will continue to divide people until replaced by a more integrative alternative. That's why I adopted the synthesis model 30 years ago.

                  Delete the shit from those left/right belief systems, retain the stuff that works, combine into a new whole. Doing practical holism like that is too hard for most punters, unfortunately. Frame it as collective transcendence & they go "me dumb, can't even figure out how to do personal transcendence let alone synch in groups", freak out, change channel & watch Coro compulsively until the nasty world goes away…

                  • RedLogix

                    Almost perfect but for one minor quibble. The boundaries I'm talking to here are not so much between left and right – but between them and their respective extremists. For socialists it's the marxists and wookies, for conservatives it's the fascists and race puritans, and for the capitalists it's the neo-liberals and libertarians.

                    The reason why extremists are out of bounds is that they're all essentially totalitarians – they take a singular idea or motif, and extend into the total solution. Which always turns into a catastrophe.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Ah yes, I agree. Strange to say, having been an extremist in various respects during various periods of my life. I think the distinction lies in the locked-in tendency that typifies the breed. Not just the Buddha's moderation (middle way) must be encompassed on the path to resilience, but also the factoring of temporal context.

                      By which I mean doing stuff when the time is right for it. That perennial quote from Eccleiastes that the Byrds took to #1 (to everything there is a season). Extremists get obsessed with continuity of their trajectory instead of shapeshifting between modes of operating. Also a problem inherent to identity politics (locking in). One survives better via adaption to circumstance.

                    • roblogic

                      How could you criticise Wookies! They are a noble race.

                    • RedLogix


                      I beg to escape censure by pointing out the small difference in spelling. blush

                    • roblogic

                      incrementalist mediocrity only makes inequity worse when the status quo of the last 35 years has been cruel Rogernomics austerity

                • SPC

                  You mean in the materialist sense, without balancing that with the environmental degradation …

                  The perspective on those on the right and left on boundaries, is possibly relative to the individual in the spectrum (some on the left have more problems with white, male and class privilege critiques than others) and frankly Marxism is virtually dead on the mainstream left wing parties.

              • vto

                'I do agree that capitalism is lifting many out of poverty in third world countries –}

                Why do so many people presume that it is capitalism which has lifted people out of poverty.

                Nothing could be further from the truth.

                The west's prosperity of the 20th century did not arise from capitalism but from the great swathe of social policies implemented over that time ensuring the wealth was more evenly spread – witness 40 hour week, minimum wages, welfare, on it goes.

                Capital driving prosperity – ha

                • RedLogix

                  Why do so many people presume that it is capitalism which has lifted people out of poverty.

                  It was primarily the scientific and industrial revolution that did the heavy lifting – and capitalism as the set of economic settings that evolved as the business and commercial aspect of it. So I'd agree that just pointing to capitalism alone is an insufficient answer.

                  Capital driving prosperity – ha

                  It's probably more useful to say capitalism drives production, socialism seeks to distribute it.

                  • vto

                    Sorry for the delayed reply Red..

                    I dont think capitalism drove production. What drove production was those scientific and industrial advances you mention. Capital-ism only looks after capital, nothing else.

                    All that prosperity in the 20th century was driven by people coming together to achieve things – in factories, on the farms, in space, everywhere…

                    People coming together to achieve things is the very definition of social-ism.

                    And also keep in mind that trade and commerce did not arise from capitalism. They have nothing to do with capitalism. Trade and commerce is as old as humanity. Capitalism came later (if you think about it…)

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes I agree that trade and commerce are extremely old activities – yet the reality is that until the mid-1800's the vast majority of humanity had remained dirt poor. This graph is central to the conversation. what we are essentially doing is trying to explain why wealth literally exploded out of almost nowhere between 1840 and 1860.

                      And not only do we have to explain the time, but the location – why Europe and not say Asia, or Africa? It would be silly to oversimplify – but in essence it's my thesis that a number of crucial innovations all came together in one critical mass. Many of the components had been lying about for some time, and many other prior societies had almost gotten there but were missing some crucial ingredients for the bootstrap to happen.

                      And almost always one of those missing ingredients was a reliable means of generating and managing capital. The definition of capitalism that I'm using here is based on some key innovations:

                      • Double entry book-keeping to formalise business
                      • Fractional reserve lending to free up the flow of capital
                      • Property as an individual right
                      • The maturity of commercial and contract laws.

                      These ideas arose not as an ideology, but as ways to improve the efficiency of capital utilisation. Simple commercial technologies that have grown and evolved to the immense complexity we see today. And as with all technologies – there have been both benefits and costs.

                      Specifically they do not speak to the distribution of wealth – that simply is not their intended domain. Demanding capitalism to solve the innate challenge of human inequality is like using a lawnmower to trim you nose hairs. Wrong tool for job, but does not mean the lawns still don't need cutting.

                      The challenge for a post-marxist socialism is not capitalism, but how to forge the correct tools for addressing the gross extremes of wealth and poverty. Specifically how to pull the 6b odd people in the developing world into full modernity.

                      That isn't an argument for BAU, my starting assumption is that none of the existing economic dogmas as we know them are going to work into the new post-growth world we are rapidly heading into – not fascism, not communism and not indeed neoliberalism. But evolution is nothing if not a conservative process – all innovation re-uses existing success and leverages them into new forms.

                      If socialism is going to bring something useful to the table – what are our successful innovations and how do we leverage them in this framework?

                      PS: I’m hoping you’ll read this less as an attempt at a point scoring rebuttal – and more as a good faith attempt to expand the conversation. It is an important one.

                    • vto

                      Thanks Red, good points. I have to fly out the door… but as an underlying most-part-answer to your question at the end, my thesis is that "social-ism" needs to get back underneath all policy settings. My point is that the coming together of humans to achieve things needs to be recognised far far more. It has been so denigrated that people have forgotten whats going on. Tell this to a farmer and he will look at you blankly, while he banks the rebate cheque from his local lime co-op…

                      That is my point. Socialism, in its actual form, must underpin all policy. We humans are the most social creatures on the planet. We do everything together. Together. Social.

                      The capitalists are sitting on a win with the way 'socialism' is portrayed… sheesh….

                      Oh, and yep, I agree re 20th century confluences of circumstances mostly, but still due to that vast array of social policies in a most significant manner..

                      as always… (and I am in business)… push the wealth down, society prospers and strengthens… push the wealth up, society gets out of keel and collapses…

                      push the wealth down

                      gotta go

                      always enjoy your commments Red, unfortunately struggle to find the time to reply in kind these days ..

            • Patricia Bremner

              "We'll bring the tide back in and float all boats"

              It is mindless drivel.

              If you don't have a boat? Too bloody bad you'll have to swim cause the tide's coming in!! (Didn't you work hard enough? Long enough? Made poor choices?)

              Been there done that.
              Have they got a revolving door?

              • RedLogix

                Capitalism is good at producing wealth – socialism at distributing it.

                Now which one of these do you want to do away with?

          • Blazer

            It certainly is 'antiquated drivel'….just like 'trickle down' theory and 'free trade'.

  25. SPC 27

    What is "The Great Reset" & Why are People So Worried About It?

    Never let a good crisis go to waste. Winston Churchill’s famous words from the darkest days of world war 2 have taken on a more sinister meaning as the decades have passed. This quote was actually meant to be an inspirational message of hope to the British people but these days more cynical onlookers see that people with ill intent can use a crisis, just as well as those who are virtuous.

    The Great Reset is a collective name given to a series of economic policies that are attempting to use the recovery from the coronavirus as a way to supposedly build a better, brighter, more sustainable world. This policy was first unveiled by the World Economic Forum and the United Kingdoms Prince Charles, and since this announcement, it has gathered support from a laundry list of economists, politicians, business people, and celebrities.

    Hang on a minute mate, a new variant of National party leader claims "we are the the reset"

    • RedLogix 27.1

      It's not useful to lose our minds every time someone says the word 'reset'. For a start us automation engineers would all have to be lined up against the wall.

      The context he was using it in here is clearly around the toxic culture that had developed over some years now within the National caucus. For the sake of NZ’s democracy we have to wish them the best in putting this behind them. A dysfunctional opposition is not a desirable permanent condition.

      • SPC 27.1.1

        … I was going for the different perspectives on a global regime that Labour and National have and of course, in times of disruption/crisis, the more important choices then become.

    • Patricia Bremner 27.2

      devil I nearly snorted my evening cocoa.

      Best comment of the day "A new variant of National party leader"

  26. Policy Parrot 28

    This press conference reminds me of one in 2006 in Australia – is Willis the Gillard to Luxon (KRudd)?

  27. Ross 29

    “I have a real respect for people who have religion as a foundation in their lives,"

    Luxon is off to a good start, with the PM supporting him.

    • observer 29.1

      Can you explain that one?

      They took opposite approaches. One is evidence first. The other is faith first.

      Certainly Ardern has a background in faith, but her development didn't stop there. Evidence and reason took over.

      Luxon follows dogma. The antithesis of thinking it through.

      • roblogic 29.1.2

        One follows a faith tradition which undergirds Western philosophy, the other one just thinks "anything goes" and does whatever she feels like.

        This is a fun game!

      • Gezza 29.1.3

        What dogma are you referring to re Luxon?

        And why do you think Ardern isn’t following dogma in some of her political ideas outside of Covid?

        I don’t think you’ve put nearly enuf thought into that comment, O.

        • observer

          Yeah, nah.

          This is a tired old rhetorical trick, Luxon used it today as he did in his maiden speech. It's basically …

          1. Somebody is criticised for their actions.
          2. They respond that their actions are inspired by faith, and therefore the critic hates all Christians/religions.

          The trick (obviously) is to deflect accusations by accusing the accusers of bigotry. (See all debates on gay marriage, abortion etc). So they can't possibly be homophobes or sexist or racist, only their opponents are. It's an attempt to shut down the valid questions.

          This was Luxon in his maiden speech. Note the extremely selective choice of names:

          The world is a better place for Christians like William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, and Kate Sheppard contributing to public life.

          Correct, 100%. But Luxon omits to mention that those great reformers were opposed every step of the way by conservatives/reactionaries, all citing God. So whose side would Luxon have been on?

          We can only go on the evidence: he voted against every protection of women's rights – even mild ones – in the abortion law reform. But he is conveniently new to Parliament so there is no other record to review.

          Again … the problem is not his religion, or anyone's religion. It is not personal, it is public. Because their opinions = votes = the law for us all.

          • Gezza

            Yes, & I don’t agree with his stances on those things you cite, but he represents the views of others who may agree with him & in a democracy like ours he has the right to vote according to HIS/their preferences, in the same way we do ours, & other MPs do theirs on conscience votes.

            Our system is that the majority rules. (Which is far from a perfect system, of course, when the majority vote to the detriment of minorities, but finding the perfect democratic system has proven elusive & it still beats most other forms of government because we can toss the blighters out when they get too “fat & complacent” & lose any connection with the majority.

          • woodart

            well observed.

      • felix 29.1.4

        In light of her govt being the single source of truth, perhaps your comparison is better stated as Luxon follows dogma, Ardern merely proclaims it.

    • George 29.2

      Luxon's is not so much a religion, more a cult. Read up on "The Family" and it's subsequent iterations. And making a nice speech doesn't make you a great leader or political force. Someone else probably wrote it. He got to say it is all.

    • Gabby 29.3

      Respect and support mean different things.

  28. Blazer 30

    I heard Luxon on drivetime with HDP….she asked him whether he was a 'happy clapper'…he batted away his religious bent quite skilfully.

    She said she understood he preferred Christopher to Chris…he replied he was o.k with both.

    If I recall correctly he said his wife and kids called him…Christopher!

  29. Corey Humm 31

    The left would do well not to focus on his religion as an attack considering many many many religious voters vote labour , not just the working class which is full of Samoan, Maori and white christians but all faiths praised labour after March 15 so it'd be absolute act of hypocrisy if we were to hate on someone because of their religion and would cost us votes. Attack the man's policies once he announces some, Bring up the fact under him air NZ cancelled regional flights but do not attack the man's religion.

    Another thing, I see people already talking about muck taking and dredging up "skeletons in his closet" how well did that go when mallard tried that with key ? Muck raking and trying to connect him to scandals goes against the "relentlessly positive" aurora the Ardern leadership promotes and would make labour looked frightened,scared and petty and just like the rest. Luckily labour under Ardern will keep it classy.

    Also do not underestimate this man, the left for ten years underestimated Key because to the left he represented everything they despised and they thought he was a lightweight show pony but was a fierce campaigner a brilliant politician (not a compliment ( and strong debater, the left made the same mistake with key the right makes with Ardern, constantly underestimated him.

    Luxons private business success will make him popular, kiwi's like politicians who had a successful career outside of politics, I still don't think he's the guy to lead national to victory but he may be their next Brash who came within a whisker. Do not underestimate nzers love for cuddly businessmen, we never ever ever came close to beating Key after all, everything we hate about him may endear him to the public and with him on board the party's finances will no longer be an issue.

    Hopefully there's tension and bickering between him and act and the simmering nutters in the antivax, regional, rural conservative and urban liberal right factions. As is, his comments about environment, gender identity, LGBT issues make him a bland bog standard centerist who won't be seen as a big threat, hopefully his centerness pissess off the right.

    Labour shouldn't get in the gutter. Labours best offence is actually delivering on housing, health, poverty, the economy, getting inflation down and COVID and new Zealanders lives back to some level of normalcy, it should focus on these and only these and kick the potential culture war starting woke issues it's working on down the road for a bit, labour just needs to deliver so it has a record on more than COVID to defend. We have two years and a sole majority. Let's do this.

    • Corey Humm 31.1

      Also attacking him because of his religion or religious beliefs is not only divisive to our own voters, it might even be illegal by next year.

      • observer 31.1.1

        Nobody should attack him for having religious beliefs.

        We can legitimately criticise him for his votes in Parliament. And we are not obliged to give him a free pass on the basis that he wasn't yet in the building when laws were voted on. On that basis, nothing before 2020 would count.

      • weka 31.1.2

        It's not about attacking him because of his religion or his religious beliefs, I'm saying that we have good reason to be asking if his religious beliefs affect his politics. He's already said he's anti-abortion (personal belief), how will this translate into how he influences policy development in National?

        Equally a concern is that his pastor in 2019 had very fundamentalist beliefs and hugely problematic ones (climate change isn't real).

        • Enough is Enough

          Luxon will be a populist. He wants to be PM and be popular.

          Therefore he will not introduce policy or legislation that will alienate the majority of voters. He is staunchly pro-life, but he is in this game to win, which means he will never do anything that will put him off side with the pro-choice majority.

          • weka

            It's how he will shift the overton window, in his own party and more broadly that concerns me.

  30. Byd0nz 32

    Oh yes, great leader of Air NZ doing shady deals with arms dealer countries. The yanks will be in his ear about a new base in NZ if they can successfully jack up an election win.

  31. vto 33

    He's gonna flat-foot the lot of it

    As well as fall flat on his face

    He's faceless

    And flat

    A flat faceless flat-footer face falling

  32. vto 34

    here's a 'tell' I learned in business

    when the person you're considering

    doing something with

    has one eye more closed than the other

    john key did it


  33. newsense 35

    That bit about rising boats confirms his parties Noah’s ark climate change policy

  34. swordfish 36


    UMR Polls (not recent) on how History will judge New Zealand Prime Ministers:

    Slide5.jpg (750×563) (

    • Nic the NZer 36.1

      *** Results for Jenny Shipley were composited together from the 15 people who thought she was "Very bad" and "Pretty great".

      • Phil 36.1.1

        **** Results excluded for Mike Moore, Geoffrey Palmer, and Bill English because… we couldn't be arsed asking about the people that no-one remembers held the top job?

  35. Gosman 37

    Why are people attacking Luxon on his religious beliefs? If he was Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or Hindu would people being doing this? I very much doubt that.

    • Treetop 37.1

      I do not like anyone's religious beliefs being attacked.

      • Shanreagh 37.1.1

        Even if they are part of a cult, as opposed to a mainstream religion? I think a bit of discernment is necessary otherwise you fall into the trap explained by Observer further up thread and the observations from Weka regarding the views of the pastor at his church.

        I think people are wise to reserve judgement on the whether these views will have an effect on the direction of the National Party. I doubt very much, if push came to shove, that the views of his liberal deputy would be able to keep the ship afloat if Luxon felt he was able to get ‘cut through’ or a call to his masses on an issue involving the views of his ‘church’. If you check the tweets from Weka above you will see that these involve a closer alignment to Trumpists views than many NZers would be comfortable. Many Nats I know think Trump/his views/some of US Republicans’ views are really weird. They see no connection with the more traditional broad church National Party of old.

        • Gosman

          What is your definition of a "Cult"? I am pretty sure Luxon's chosen faith doesn't qualify unless you widen the definition to include most religious people.

          • swordfish


            Speaking as a lifelong Athiest & Rationalist … I'd say the core dogmatic Woke, their beliefs in the fantasy claims of Critical Theory & their authoritarian demands that everyone defer to this highly contested dogma … are at least as Religiously Cult-like as Protestant Evangelicals [and probably a damn sight more]

            The Woke enforcers you often see on social media … (esp, of course, Twitter … moral panic / purity spiral HQ) … bear a marked resemblance to Church of Scientology enforcers. Problem is the former are becoming increasingly powerful as gatekeepers of the Establishment, shoehorning complex reality into their Peter Pan Fantasy Worldviews.

            • RedLogix

              Speaking as a lifelong Athiest & Rationalist

              An interesting comment there. While I'm always willing to go into bat to defend rationality and progress – it's always been my strong sense that these are in isolation an insufficient narrative to maintain a cohesive, meaningful society.

              Without wanting to defend the woke ideology – it does seem to be very much an attempt to fill that religion shaped hole that lurks in our psychology. I can have some sympathy for their need to fill it, even as I vehemently oppose how they've gone about it.

              • swordfish


                I don't want to sound like some kind of dry, dessicated ideologue when I say Athiest & Rationalist … but I have inherited what looks like a long family history of disbelief in the supernatural (although I accept that Christianity, for example, is multifaceted & can involve a quite subtle & sophisticated belief system for some that doesn't conform with crude New Athiest stereotypes of religion).

                Increasingly, I think that if I have a religion … it's employing independent thought & scepticism to get as close to reality & the truth about how society works as poss … and going back to first principles, esp in terms of fundamental human rights & reciprocal obligations … as you know, Wokedom severely perverts ethics, morality and basic understandings of Right & Wrong … while claiming to be unusually morally good.

                • SPC

                  An atheist, not a commie or fascist, has found a way create their own narrative of good and bad. If the woke did not exist, or exist as you portray, you might have to imagine them.

                  As Red Logix would have it, a void in one life filled.

                  • swordfish

                    Bizarre stuff.

                    Most people inherently know right from wrong, what's just & unjust … obviously uber-relativists like you don't. Not least because your type never have skin in the game … you get to play around with other innocent people's lives, always doubling-down on your grand social engineering & always sheltered from the potentially enormously negative consequences.

                    • SPC

                      And everyone you deign to be woke has all the negative characteristics you prescribe to them ….

                • RedLogix

                  That's fine swordfish – I have zero problem with your position here, it's sincere, it's thought out and you're willing to express it honestly.

                  In many ways I prefer your integrity on this, to zealot fundamentalists who exploit religion for their own purposes.

              • Obtrectator

                Or, as Paul; Johnson put it in The Offshore Islanders:

                "It takes enormous energy to change the … course of … history, and such energy cannot be drawn exclusively from physical forces; something metaphysical is required too."

          • Shanreagh

            Well a good example is the Upper Room.


            Weka had a few examples of his Pastor's sermons. I am not sure that a sermon that includes references to Trump, in a praiseworthy manner qualifies as a credible religion, or any religion that sets out to guide followers in a political way


        • RedLogix

          Cults are essentially coercive.

          The list in that reference is neither exhaustive nor definitive. It would take a pre-ponderance of these items to qualify.

  36. Ovid 38

    Has anyone called him Lux Luthor yet?

    • Robert Guyton 38.1

      Master stroke!

      • SPC 38.1.1

        Someone with 7 properties does not do manual labour, besides they would not want the person in the upper room to find out.

    • Gezza 38.2

      Only one name-calling plonker that I know of, so far. Supported by another, it seems.

      • alwyn 38.2.1

        smiley Beautiful Gezza. Absolutely beautiful

      • Robert Guyton 38.2.2

        Should we call him Chris, Gezza, or Christopher?

        • Gezza

          Pathetic, Robert. Funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but why not just forget attempting comedy & go back to sleep? 🤔

          • Robert Guyton

            I asked you whether you thought we should call him, "Chris" or "Christopher', Gezza. It's the same question one interviewer asked him earlier today. I'm puzzled by your acerbic response – you seem a bit highly-strung?

            I also wondered at your, "Only one name-calling plonker …" comment in response to Ovid's amusing quip: given that calling someone "plonker" could be seen as…name-calling; I was again, quite puzzled by your response. I think that if you read around, you'll find that there are plenty of commenters trying-on creative (and funny) titles for the new leader of the blue team.

            I myself wondered if "Sir Chris" would be appropriate, but perhaps you feel, too early?

            • Dennis Frank

              I'm pleasantly surprised nobody has complained about me calling him Humpty yet (got that off a kiwiblogger) but I guess it's just a matter of time..

              • Robert Guyton

                Gezza'll see you right 🙂

              • Gezza

                One observation like that does not a regular sinner make. But if YOU don't like being called nasty names, don't let dickheads suck you into calling others by nasty names. It's childish & soon lowers the tone of political debate and discourse. That's my view, anyway. Rise above it, Dennis.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              "Chris" or "Christopher"?

              Christopher to his children, apparently. Just hope that, as the owner of 7 properties (6 in Auckland), Christopher 'Robbin' will be working for all Kiwis.

              When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is to not let the bees know you’re coming.

              • Robert Guyton

                Simon Bridges as Tigger?

                • Robert Guyton

                  Pooh? Is Brownlee still in the blue team?

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Reminds me of another classic hit from '69: Bluegreens on the Wing, which radio i played constantly here.

                    Bluegreens was not about algae from Oregon, but rather based on various events and Zen philosophies found in Winnie the Pooh.

                    The record was a tour de force of vocal overdubbing, unusual sounds, and a unique utilization of the synthesizer, which was a hot new item at that time. Reviewed as a sure hit in Billboard, this record actually received airplay in France and certain parts of New Mexico. It also became a Big Hit with the advertising agency handling the Taco Bell account, which proceeded to use parts of it in a Taco Bell commercial.

                    It also still sounds great coming off the SD drive in my Outlander. If Key had been smarter, he'd have ejected the Bluegreens from the mothership & they'd be flying high now. Singer William Truckaway tells his story here:

                    Couldn't find the lyrics online but Rabbit & Piglet get a mention in the song along with Pooh. Sopwith Camel had a hit in my final college year ('67) Hello Hello, rather hippie dippy but quite nice.

            • Gezza

              Your reading comprehension skills are not up to much if you can't see the obvious ambiguity in:

              Should we call him Chris, Gezza, or Christopher?

              particularly given your noted penchant for posting obscure comments.

              If you wanted to be clear, you should have expressed that as:

              "Should we call him Chris or Christopher, Gezza?"

              "I also wondered at your, "Only one name-calling plonker …" comment in response to Ovid's amusing quip: given that calling someone "plonker" could be seen as…name-calling; I was again, quite puzzled by your response."

              As a name-caller, naturally you would be. I understand and make allowances for that. The subtle difference has gone straight over your head, so don't let it bother you.

              "I think that if you read around, you'll find that there are plenty of commenters trying-on creative (and funny) titles for the new leader of the blue team."

              They're only "funny" to other name-callers, Robert. The grown-ups have better, more intelligent comments to make.

              "I myself wondered if "Sir Chris" would be appropriate, but perhaps you feel, too early?"

              I wonder if you've had too much sugar or something? Has he been granted a knighthood? If not, what on earth are you blithering on about now? It's not funny & it makes no sense at all.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Why such animus towards a fellow Nature-lover – unless you feel Robert was laying a trap @38.2.2?


                • Gezza

                  I've got a thing about childish nasty-name-callers. I come from a blog that eventually banned it as inimical to good commenting.

                  • lprent

                    … come from a blog that eventually banned it as inimical to good commenting.

                    We don’t until it gets irritating or tedious to read. Then moderators will get tedious and irritating put the name in the auto-moderate list until the idiots who delight in it find that it gets in the way of their commenting. If it gets too tiresome for moderators approving comments manually, we just get irritated and ban for some time to reduce our workload.

                    It works pretty well. One offs can be amusing. Getting tedious about it is a sure way to eventually get moderated – and there isn’t a set policy on how a moderator will moderate (apart from some backend discussions), so it becomes a matter of luck and risk management by the commenter. Gambling offers an extra spice… eh?

              • Robert Guyton

                Thanks for all that useful correcting, Gezza!

                • Gezza


                  Feelin the love, Robert heart

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Thanks for that link with the song lyrics. Now I know I heard it wrong! The line I thought was Rabbit was in no hurry getting where he wants to go. My memory may have scrambled my childhood reading of the source with Wind in the Willows

              • Shanreagh

                I usually have much support for your views Gezza but not in this. I find them OTT and overly directed at one fellow poster.

                Using loaded words like 'blithering' & 'dickheads' doesn't fill me with the strength of your anti name-calling views.

        • Blazer

          Maybe somewhere in the middle of Chris and Christopher….Christ has a jolly ring to…it.

    • SPC 38.3

      How's Veronica Lodge Archie, still laughing at your jokes?

  37. Weasel 39

    I wonder what Nicola Willis' views are on climate change and energy given her father's various roles in the oil industry?

    NZ Energy Corp Board of Directors
    James Willis, Chairman

    James Willis is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and has an extensive background in the oil and gas exploration and production industry particularly focused on commercial and contractual issues affecting industry participants. He was a partner at the New Zealand law firm of Bell Gully for 25 years specializing in oil and gas matters. When he retired from Bell Gully he took up a position as managing director of an Australian oil and gas exploration group which had a large portfolio of offshore permits around Australia and New Zealand. Since returning to New Zealand in 2011 he has held governance positions with and consulted to various participants in the oil and gas exploration sector.

    [link added]

    • Gezza 39.1

      The apple appears to have fallen far from the tree.

      Willis is described as a social liberal, and has a focus on LGBT rights and action on climate change. She is a member of the National Party’s BlueGreen environmental caucus.

    • alwyn 39.2

      What does her fathers work have to do with her? Are you really going to argue that the views or actions of the father are therefore the views or actions of the child?

      If so are you going to argue this view for the senior members of all the parties in our current Parliament? Where are you going to start, and who are you going to expel from the House because of something there parent may have done.

      Jeez, you really are an a****e aren't you?.

      • SPC 39.2.1

        There is the question of legitimate political comment and then there is resisting the temptation to be abusive on blogs.

        • Robert Guyton

          I thought Weasel's comment entirely valid.

          • SPC

            If one was really wondering, one could at least check – it would not have taken Geeza long to do it for us.

            • Gezza

              I googled Nicola Willis Climate Change. Lots of hits. Wikipedia had the best quick summary. Took maybe 2-3,mins?

    • weka 39.3

      if you copy and paste from somewhere you have to link. It's not hard, and it's a requirement. I'm in the habit now if just deleting if regulars don't, but giving you a heads up for now.

  38. alwyn 40

    My conscience is troubling me. On 29/11 I said that Simon Bridges was an idiot. That was because I thought he was going to force an election for leader.


    He didn't. He is not an idiot. I was wrong when I said it.

    • lprent 40.1

      I accept that I also thought the same thing. Fortunately I didn’t say it, so no mea culpa from me.

    • Dennis Frank 40.2

      The jury is still out. He did enough idiocy already for the voters to stick that label on him, according to media vox pops.

      That said, I like his switch to amiable instead of worried. Could imply a new level of maturity but time will tell. I guess Luxon will make him justice spokesperson, in which case his temptation will be to play the fool by pretending `ain't broke, so no need to fix it'. Bet he defaults to that out of laziness!

  39. Tiger Mountain 41

    “Here comes the conman

    Coming with his con plan.

    We won't take no bribe;

    We've got (to) stay alive.

    We gonna chase those crazy –

    Chase those crazy baldheads –

    Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown.”

    Thanks to brother Bob Marley

  40. Jenny How to get there 42

    Did anyone else make this observation?

    From Facebook

    Bryan Bruce

    Yesterday at 7:58 PM ·

    Among the many predictable platitudes Christopher Luxton uttered today after the announcement that he is now the leader of the National Party was this one I thought I’d draw to your attention.

    "We will bring the tide back in and lift all boats” said Luxon today.

    This, is a much used phrase by neoliberals and is a version of trickle down theory.

    What they mean is that if the already rich are allowed to make a tide of money then somehow that will lift the living standards of everyone.

    We know, from bitter experience that this is a lie.

    Rich people get rich by holding on to their money and sharing as little as possible of it with the society , without whom, they could not become wealthy.

    So when you look at Christopher Luxon remember the self-centred politics of John Key.

    When you look at Nicola Willis remember the 'mother of all budgets' of Ruth Richardson that made life harder for a generation of kids from poor homes than it ever needed to be.

    Because by “reset” it is clear this is an opposition leadership that wants to take us Back to a Future of the good old days when the government pandered to the rich and told the poor that poverty was their own fault

    #bryanbruce #Luxon #aotearoa #NewZealand

    PS I am not writing on Facebook much at the moment. I am spending all my energies on finishing a series on Justice issues for Prime . But I could not let this tell- tale phrase “ to lift all boats” go by unchallenged.




  41. Robert Guyton 43

    I think we can dismiss Mr Key-lite Luxon – John Key spoiled his chance – we (eventually) learned what Key is.

    Luxon has lost the advantage of surprise.

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