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National’s PR support springs into action

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, September 2nd, 2022 - 52 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, grant robertson, Hannah Tamaki, national, nicola willis, same old national - Tags:

Nine days ago Christopher Luxon refused to rule out going into coalition with Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church after the next election.

This should have been a really simple response for a politician to make.  Like do you approve the mass murder of kittens or the clubbing to death of baby seals?  It should have been a simple no.  But somehow Christopher Luxon failed to say this.

The calculations that must have gone on in his head would have been along the line of National needs every single vote it can get even from people who have been deluded by the Tamakis and you never know, they may sneak an MP or two.  So let’s not rule anything out and hope to at least get their party votes.

Nine days ago instead of saying no way no how he said that it was too early to tell.  If somehow “Bishop” Tamaki gets enough support Luxon would be willing to sell his soul to the Bishop for power.

On Wednesday Grant Robertson let National have both barrels in Parliament.

His concluding remarks must have really hit a nerve.  From Hansard:

Now, everybody in the House knows that I enjoy taking the mickey out of a National Party leader that makes a colossal cock-up like this, who shows their inexperience. But I actually want to say something serious to Mr Luxon: doing what he has done gives legitimacy to the most extreme views in our community. Doing what Mr Luxon has done gives confidence to those who have threatened and harassed our health care workers, our journalists, many politicians in this House, and citizens around New Zealand. What Mr Luxon has done, by failing to rule out Brian Tamaki, undermines the inclusive and accepting society that I would have hoped he would have been part of.

Now, it’s probably in the Labour Party’s interest for Christopher Luxon to go on deciding that he does not want to rule out Brian Tamaki. I am pleading with Mr Luxon to do the right thing. Do not say to young, gay New Zealanders that they don’t matter. Do not say to the women of New Zealand that they don’t have a place in leadership. Because, Mr Luxon, you will be judged by the company you keep. You have a chance and you have an opportunity to stand up for New Zealanders’ values. Do the right thing, Mr Luxon, rule out working with Brian Tamaki, or else New Zealanders will continue to believe you stand for extremism, you stand for bigotry. Rule out Brian Tamaki.

National’s leader in waiting Nicola Willis showed what she thought by talking about “the rantings of a crazy pastor who no one wants to engage with”.

This must have gone down really badly in focus group land, which has a turn around of no less than seven days because yesterday National’s head of media relations, also known as Mike Hosking, delivered up as gentle and as scripted a response as you can imagine.

From Newstalk ZB:

National will not be going into coalition with Brian Tamaki’s new umbrella party should it need a majority to rule in next year’s general election.

Christopher Luxon this morning unequivocally ruled out engaging with the fledgling Freedoms NZ coalition party that was announced in a mass demonstration on Parliament grounds last week.

He told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking that as a new leader in a beltway game of ruling parties in and out he was not going to be presumptuous and talk about coalition arrangements when there was still a lot of work to do in the National Party.

But to rule out any speculation that National would be interested in speaking with the anti-Government faction he ruled a line in the sand.

“What I’ve tried to say consistently is that I’ve got nothing in common with Tamaki. I think they’re crazy, I don’t think they’re serious, I don’t think they’re going to make it and you saw that coalition fall apart if you read between the lines.

“If it helps Mike, I’m very happy to give you a Mike Hosking exclusive that I’ll certainly rule out Tamaki and never work with him.”

It makes you wonder why Luxon had to go away for eight days before stating what should have been obvious.  And his acknowledgment that he had tried to say consistently that he has nothing in common with Tamaki but had actually failed to say that he had nothing in common with Tamaki for over a week is really, really weird.  I mean it is not hard.  Prospective Prime Ministers should be able to communicate clearly.

Nine days ago Luxon said that it was “way too early to talk about [going into coalition with Tamaki’s grouping] or speculate about it”.  Now he is saying that he has nothing in common with Tamaki and thinks that Tamaki is crazy and will rule out working with him.

There is wriggle room.  What if this grand coalition of weird views gets enough votes to get into Parliament and then as a negotiation point disregard Tamaki as leader and go with Sue Gray instead?  Will Luxon negotiate with her?

And Tamaki has announced that he is not going to stand for Parliament.  Will National rule out working with the Voices for Freedom/Destiny Church coalition in whatever form it takes?  Stand by for the next seven days as further focus groups results are collated.

52 comments on “National’s PR support springs into action ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    Like do you approve the mass murder of kittens or the clubbing to death of baby seals?

    Well…to anyone decent with a moral compass. Pretty much precludes the dirty politics set ….and NACT. Their (maybe?) conflicted minds….

    cute kittens..baby seals…..hmmm ah how many votes…for murder/clubbing ? As against ?

  2. James Simpson 2

    I don't see much difference with this and neither National nor Labor ever ruling out going into coalition with the most bigoted and racist party in New Zealand – NZ First.

    • alwyn 2.1

      I asked Grant Robertson, who happens to be the MP in the electorate where I live, before the 2020 election whether Labour would go into a coalition with Vision New Zealand if they were required in order to get a majority.

      He told me that he refused to answer such hypothetical questions. I wasn't actually sure if he knew who Vision New Zealand were.

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        You made that up, didn’t you? When did you ask, do you have witnesses, links, proof?

        • Nic the NZer

          Even in alwyns imagination Grant has way more natural political nouse for avoiding scandal than Chris.

        • alwyn

          No. It was simply at a social event long before the campaign had actually started. It was probably in mid-July 2020. He may have forgotten who they were and that they had been rejected much earlier by National and Labour so that he just tossed out a standard dismissive response but he did say it. Alternatively he might just have been getting nervous about how the election might go.

          And no, I don't have any proof, or witnesses. Do you have witnesses for everything anybody might have said to you?

          I understand that people like the US President never talk to anyone outside their immediate staff without having witnesses to the conversation but I don't really have to be that cautious, or paranoid, do I?

          • Incognito

            In that case, both of you were very poorly informed because Jacinda Arden had ruled out working with the Vision New Zealand Party in Dec 2019.


            If it did really happen, and not just in your imagination, I’d like to think that Robertson was being polite to you and didn’t real hear or understand your silly question. I assume it was a very busy social event.

            • Nic the NZer

              The conscious mind later will fill in the details to generate a coherent narrative of the dream. If Grant had answered in the affirmative Alwyn was ready to rip off his shirt, showing his Vision NZ t-shirt, and publicise the newly formed political alliance.

              Fortunately Grant guessed he was being hallucinated in the immagination of a Vision NZ supporter and skirted the issue.

            • alwyn

              " Jacinda Arden had ruled out working with the Vision New Zealand Party in Dec 2019."

              Well yes, I know that that had happened although I don't remember who it was that said that. Didn't you read what I said? I stated that "He may have forgotten who they were and that they had been rejected much earlier by National and Labour". I don't see how you can turn that into saying that I was poorly informed and I only offered it as a possibility for Grant? If I could mention it here then clearly I know it had been dismissed by the Labour Party.

              Perhaps you should read what I say a little more carefully in future before you proceed to traduce me.

              And yes it did happen. Making quotes up was (is?) a standard habit of Labour MPs but I don't indulge. Do you not remember the phantom quote from Phil Goff about a supposed statement by Don Brash that the ban on nuclear ships would be removed? That was something that both Don Brash, and two US Senators present, denied that it had ever been said? Or Trevor Mallard proposing that he had heard a remark, with his deaf ear, that would have been mildly insulting about the PM? No one else ever heard it and I understand that there was nothing like it on the tapes recording the proceedings in the House.

              But that was MPs playing their peculiar political games. I am not one and I don't play at their games.

              • Incognito

                If you knew the answer at the time then why did you even ask the question to Robertson? Sounds like wasting time and squandering a good opportunity, which is a bit like what you do here on this forum.

                Whatever you say is mostly innuendo, smear, and imagination, but very light on facts & links.

                For those reasons I cannot take your word for it and anything you say unless you can back it up. I think you like to play games here but few like to play with you.

                Not sure what you were going on about with Brash and US Senators and all that but I’m sure it made sense to you when you wrote it.

                You sound like the perfect candidate for one of National’s Focus Groups: one foot in a rabbit hole and the other dipping a toe in reality.

      • Jack 2.1.2

        As far as I’m aware Robbo hasn’t categorically ruled out that Labour would consider going in to coalition with the Monster Raving Loony party if need to form the next Government. Unless of course anyone can refute that premise based on any links, proof, press or eye witness statements.

    • higherstandard 2.2

      How is NZ first bigoted and racist ?

      While I know this will go down like a cup of cold sick…. why would you not apply the same lens to Te Pāti Māori ?

  3. Incognito 3

    The Focus Group results hadn’t filtered down to Nicola Willis (or Mike Hosking) yet on Tuesday because she was as reluctant and evasive as Luxon not to rule out working with Brian Tamaki: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-30-08-2022/#comment-1908156 (about 7:50 min into the interview). National needs better Focus Groups!

    • Peter Kelly 3.1

      Or maybe National need a moral compass that registers more than just the pursuit of power.

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        Nah, it’s [in] their DNA.

      • newsense 3.1.2

        It’s a lack of political instinct, while in trainer wheels. Possibly will never be there as strongly as someone who meets a lot of constituents, does donkey work for conference etc etc.

        Possibly it’s the North American faith based politics and a slight variance of opinion to them.l.

        It’s important to remember that Luxon did do some politicisation of the protest, for which even the Herald ticked him off.

        Again the right in the US is so batshit crazy and the internet is so open that it’s hard to know what effect that might have, but any confident political tea reader wouldn’t have had to wait.

        A politician who rules out parties appears strong, a major determiner in how we view political competence. So imo ruling out Tamaki immediately would have shown the greater desire for power.
        Edit: sorry mods looks like I’ve messed up my email or something there

        [fixed e-mail address]

  4. KJT 4

    "Nothing in common with Tamaki"?

    It is funny how religious fruitcakes, like these fellow “prosperity Gospel” evangelists, deny being the same as the other religious fruitcake.

  5. Ad 5

    Any time Ardern wants to sully her fingers and join in on The Standard or indeed The DailyBlog I'm sure she'd be welcome.

    She won't win without bringing her base.

    Or she could just leave ZB to itself.

    • Anne 5.1

      I left my message for Jacinda Ardern and co. on yestereday's TS to the effect:.

      drop the pc language and start calling a spade a spade. When the NActs and their media poodles play foul (as they did over the so-called tax debacle) stand up and call them out on it – no holds barred. And do it up-front outside of the debating chamber.

      That's the only language many NZers understand which is something the Nats recognised long ago, while Labour still skirt around the nitty gritty by adopting corporate speak. It doesn't work any more Labour.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.2

      Sully her fingers.

      Get down dirty like the National Party?

      Stop being dignified?

      Stop applying the rules?

      Oh, be like them?

      Your comment implies the PM is "playing at being a lady" Ad.

      She can't change into a bigoted man to soothe your anxiety.

      Let us all recognise “Dirty Politics” and as Robertson did, call out actions and their hidden message.

      Our PM is consistent. One wee job given to Parker and he badly muffed it as he lives in his head, and does not have cut through.

      The pebbles cause ripples, so we must aim more carefully than Parker did.

      • Ad 5.2.1

        Ardern is a set-piece wonder.

        If you think she's winning, just relax and do nothing.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Feck off!! I donate, support, and promote. You pull people down!!

          You behave like a half cup full of misery.

        • Anne

          Plenty of us front up and criticise Labour if we think it is warranted but we do so in the hope of a positive outcome. But with you Ad it is always negative, presumptuous and often prompted by plain nastiness.

          • Patricia Bremner

            I agree Anne. I admit I lost it!! If he made one positive suggestion….

            Jacinda Ardern "A set piece" Wow what that reveals about him.

            We do have a fight on our hands this time, but many remember Key and the empty businesses, jobless people wearing backpacks as they walked to Polytechs to learn to write CVs.

            The cruel repetitive interviews, the shrinking of all benefits to the "jobseeker".. dying or not.

            The endless lies and the so called Rock star economy, where the rich set up shonky trusts to dodge taxes, joined in the Fire Sales of Public Property and the poor got 50c an hour increase once a year, if you were not in the 8% unemployed.

            A place where stats were massaged and politicians had side hustles, and the PM could fondle a young girl's hair with impunity.

            It was great for the wealthy, and they want that back.

            The rest of us are bottom feeders.

            We do not need a poor copy of Key.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            With you, Anne and PB.

  6. AB 6

    Has Tamaki also ruled out Luxon? Or do extreme right wing Christian fundamentalists all regard each other as devil's spawn heretics?

  7. Peter 7

    You know how this would have been spun if some boots were on some other feet.

    Tamaki and his motley mob are all for 'freedoms and rights' and 'freedom and choice.' It's like those words and notions have been tithed to them.

    Imagine Labour coming out as National have done this week about Tamaki and there was nothing else on the attack agenda for the week. What would we have? You know it, in the headlines "Labour against freedoms and rights!" and "Labour wants nothing of freedom and choice."

    • Mike the Lefty 7.1

      Tamaki and his mob don't know what freedom and rights really mean.

      They fail to grasp the fact that with freedom and rights comes responsibilities.

      Somehow that bit always seems to elude them.

      If you think you deserve freedom and rights you have to show that you can use them wisely.

      Tamaki and his mob haven't done that, and to date their behaviour suggests that they never will.
      As for Hosking – he is just an egotistic tosser.

  8. I feel as much as the focus groups there will have been a consultation with the pastor of Luxon's higher power/room at the top/table at the top (whatever it is called) church. I have a feeling that a party espousing any sort of biblical view would not be put aside or turned away lightly.

    Powerful & statesman-like words from Grant Robertson.

  9. " This should have been a really simple response for a politician to make. Like do you approve the mass murder of kittens or the clubbing to death of baby seals?

    We all know you get so carried away with these posts but do you have to lower yourself to make these kinds of statements to try and maker your point which without that reference we already got.

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