web analytics

National’s rhetoric problem

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, September 21st, 2019 - 19 comments
Categories: national, phil twyford, same old national, Simon Bridges, transport, uncategorized - Tags:

It is regrettable, and not helpful for a properly functioning democracy, but National’s rhetoric is getting more extreme, and getting to the pants on fire stage. As well as being unnecessarily personal.

Take for instance this tweet sent out on Thursday.

There was one slight problem.  GDP actually increased by 0.5% in the latest quarter and has risen by 2.1% in the past 12 months despite Trump’s trade wars and the pending disaster of Brexit. Compared to many of our overseas trading partners we are doing remarkably well.

And there was this further example this week involving the NZTA board which Chris Bishop tweeted on in this way:

I was intrigued by this.  Was it true?

Well there were six new appointments made and five directors had their roles completed.  But this was in the nature of a refresh and not a summary sacking.

Of the existing directors:

  • Brian Roche remains as chairperson.
  • Nick Rodgers had indicated in August that he was going to retire this week.
  • David Smol and Sheridan Broadbent were short term appointments.
  • Leo Lonergan and Vanessa van Uden and Mark Darrow were appointments made by Bridges himself.

All of their terms had expired.  And none of them had asked to stay on.

It is common when there is a change of government and a change of direction for boards to be refreshed.   In fact National tends to get rid of directors unceremoniously and immediately.  Labour tends to be much more gentle and lets people serve to the end of their terms.

And there was this particularly egregious example of a self own.

Maybe Jordan was not aware that outgoing director Vanessa van Uden was also a member of the Taxpayer’s Union board. Surely they have met.

Bridges’ attack was aimed at Patrick Reynolds.  From Stuff:

Bridges had accused Twyford of appointing “enthusiasts” to the board, specifically Patrick Reynolds, a well-known transport blogger, whose appointment Bridges called “farcical”. 

I beg to disagree.  Patrick has considerable experience in transport and urban design issues and you only have to read his posts in Greater Auckland or the Spinoff to appreciate the quality of his thought processes.

And attacking a politician is one thing. But attacking a board appointee who has no ability to respond?

Is a picture appearing?  Being a Board member of the Taxpayer’s Union is fine but appointing someone who has immersed himself into understanding the relationship between transport and urban form is somehow verboten.

Come on National.  You can do better than this.

19 comments on “National’s rhetoric problem ”

  1. Dukeofurl 1

    That dumping of Mike Williams from board appointments was back in Dec 2008, after he didnt take the hint

    "Speaking on Agenda yesterday, Mr Key said he was not aware of Mr Williams resigning, and indicated he faced being sacked if he did not.

    He said it was appropriate for any appointees from "political favour" to step down in a change of government. "

  2. Stuart Munro. 2

    National runs on the spoils system, like any other group of plundering brigands.

  3. mac1 3

    "Come on National. You can do better than this."

    In Wanaka, when he promised a birthing unit building, Bridges is reported thus. "He also spoke of the importance of having targets and performance measures."

    Now, note the conversion in National thinking about targets and performance measures. They can do better.

    In 2013 the National government was criticised by the Children's Commissioner for not having the very same thing. English refused to set targets and performance measures on child poverty. Paula Bennett was the Minister then and was criticised here on the Standard in 2013 for the same thing. Note in this Standard post the reference to a Herald article by reporter Simon Collins which gives detail on National’s refusal to have targets and measures. (in areas where they were shaky, it seems to me.)

    Outsourcing poverty: Paula Bennett’s shame

    The cynic in me points out the difference in National's policy when in government and when in opposition!

    Can they do better in government? pfffft!

  4. Graeme 4

    Vanessa van Uden was our mayor in Queenstown Lakes from 2010 to 2016. During that time she was variously known as V. van Uturn and V. van Useless, and for looking after her mates.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/83916043/vanessa-van-uden-honestly-reflects-on-six-years-as-queenstown-lakes-mayor

    Also spent an inordinate amount of council funds and time trying, unsuccessfully, to protect the local Placemakers branch from competition of Mitre10 and Bunnings.

    Not many we sorry to see her go.

    Had a crack at getting Todd Barclay's job too, again unsuccessfully, but popped up on NZTA board shortly after.

    http://www.scene.co.nz/queenstown-news/resort-pair-in-nats-bid/

  5. mauī 5

    Shock horror, the New Zealand party of Gross Hypocrisy strikes again!

    Nice to see someone who really knows their stuff, won't tell outright lies and isn't a tool of the business elite on the board.

  6. mac1 6

    Further on National's rhetoric.

    Where is the stinging condemnation from Paula Bennett upon the proven allegations spoken of by a judge for years of sexual misconduct by a leader of a friendly-to-national fellow conservative party?

    And also why have the media not asked Paula to comment upon his proven peccadillos?

    Hypocrisy much?

  7. Ad 7

    NZTA would be in a far better space right now if this government had wiped their board clean with their own people.

    Same for most other SOE boards. 2 years in and the boards stacked with National appointments don't execute fresh policy and do resist change.

    It's slowed this whole government agenda down.

    I do get your point about tone Mickey, but this government has generally mismanaged command of the governance levels.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Do you reckon Ad that Labour has done a softly, softly and gently, and should have been firm and purposeful to make the most of their miniscule three years to initiate their better policies in for all to see?

  8. MickeyBoyle 8

    What was the GDP per capita statistic? That is more indicative of the economy as a whole and is the measure in which Robertson and co used to attack National on.

  9. Incognito 9

    National’s rhetoric problem is exemplified and amplified by their Leader’s rhetoric. Nothing is safe from their politicising propaganda machine as is clear – do we need to make it any clearer? – in Frank Macskasy’s excellent blogpost (https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2019/09/21/simon-bridges-the-15-march-christchurch-massacre-and-winning-at-any-cost/).

    A big plank of their rhetoric is “good, law abiding people” (read: National voters) versus everybody else (read: non-National voters). It is an excellent binary proposition that fits in well with and is propagated by partisan politics using wedge, polarisation, tribalism, propaganda, et cetera, and assumes that there is no crossover possible, that there is no middle or common ground. Suffice to say, the media love it (too).

    As a side note, I disagree with this:

    Just to remind everyone that the (alleged) Christchurch shooter was also a licenced, “good, law abiding person” – right up until he pulled the trigger at his first victim. Then he wasn’t.

    IMO, this is like the “pretty legal” meme that is a legalistic ‘escape clause’ for morally- and ethically-challenged people and actions. In other words, as long as you don’t get caught, as long as long as you don’t get found guilty, you have done ‘nothing wrong’. It could be an extension of National’s mantra: if you don’t know about it, it won’t hurt or bother you. The cognitive dissonance is strong with National, but they don’t know it 😉

  10. Matiri 10

    IMF have just given NZ's economy a big tick, with special mention of the well being budget. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/399270/tick-of-approval-from-imf-for-nz-s-economy

  11. Give yourselves a treat: read the comments under Soimun's tweet.

    Hilarious and reassuring – kiwis not so easily fooled.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Edit
    John Key's particular rhetoric problem within the umbrella of Nationl's rhetoric problem, means a doubling of the problem.

    And that can have bad effects on those who attempt to bring sunlight to dark places where money laundering is done. (See 10 above where Matiri has link, says IMF have given us a tick. So we’re good, or making the right noises – ‘wellbeing budget’, so safe to have dealings with for business anyway.)

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/399280/daphne-caruana-galizia-malta-to-hold-inquiry-into-journalist-s-murder

    It is widely believed she was targeted because of her ongoing investigation into Maltese government corruption and international money-laundering.

    She spoke about the scandal on RNZ in 2016 following publication of the Panama Papers, which showed that the Maltese energy minister and prime minister's chief of staff had secret New Zealand trusts called the Haast Trust and Rotorua Trust.

    In June the Council of Europe human rights watchdog said the failure to identify who was behind the culprits raised questions about the rule of law in the country.

  13. Peter 13

    If National have an Idiot Quota on working groups it appoints when it's elected Jordan Williams is in with a chance of a position.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 mins ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago