Norman coming into his prime

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, May 9th, 2008 - 73 comments
Categories: greens, Media, youtube - Tags: , ,

The Greens have started to use Russell Norman as their primary spokesperson, instead of Jeanette Fitzsimons. Fitzsimons has never been great with the media, particularly in confrontational interviews and on TV. So far, Norman, while he still has much to work on, is a vast improvement. Take a look at how he handled an aggressive and unprofessional Paul Henry on Breakfast on Wednesday (minutes before, Henry had given John Key another sweetheart interview where he held his hand through the hard parts and offered him lines).

Norman is calm, rational, and unflustered by Henry’s attempts to bully him into submission. He confidently explains his position and makes a good argument.

There must be a realisation in the Greens that Fitzsimons doesn’t indeed to stay in Parliament forever and that Norman will be the senior co-leader in the future. It’s also said that Norman wasn’t terribly successful being the ‘behind the scenes’ co-leader, looking after the Party’s organisational structure and activists. That has always been one of Fitzsimons’ strong points.

If the two have indeed swapped roles- Fitzsimons doing the organisational stuff and Norman doing the media – that is a change for the good and sets the Greens up for a much better campaign this year.

73 comments on “Norman coming into his prime”

  1. vto 1

    Agree he did well against the typically bolshy Henry.

    But why is that the Greens attack every single issue, bar none, with a tax/levy mentality to try and alter people’s behaviour? All that does is take money off the people with little other effect. Bad approach.

  2. TomS 2

    My flatmate turned on the television and I watched a few minutes of Henry this morning. I haven’t seen breakfast for months – I turned off Paul Henry at the beginning of the summer. I think however hew has got worse if what I saw this morning and this clip is any guide. Rude, egotistical and biased. He is just another right wing shock jock. I’ve emailed my complaint to TVNZ. As Diane Witchell put it, “Breakfast – determindly subtracting from the sum total of human knowledge”. Oh and Pippa Wetzell? Determindly putting back the cause of female journalists being taken seriously by acting as the bimbo Faye Wray to Henry’s wannabe King Kong impressions.

  3. mike 3

    Putting all of your bitterness for Paul Henry aside for a minute SP you must acknowledge he won the argument.
    Did you see brekky this morning? Good interview with UK correspondent on Labours flagging hopes in Britain. Looks like a global rebellion..

  4. Ted 4

    I don’t want to sound petty but I think Norman needs to get a haircut and a new suit if he wants to be the mkedia front for the Greens.

  5. big bruv 5

    What video are you watching Steve?, Henry wiped the floor with Norman.

    I disagree about the merits of Norman fronting as the Green party spokesman, he comes across as arrogant and elusive (slippery is a term I know you like)

    His hard left communist leaning also comes through for all to see, IMHO Norman is not a real Green and has simply hitched his wagon to the Green vehicle as a matter of convenience

  6. Felix 6

    Has Paul Henry been studying at the Bill O’Reilly school of interviewing?
    What an obnoxious human being. Can you imagine an interviewer calling any other political leader by their last name?
    “Now listen here, Key”

  7. Stephen 7

    At least Norman doesn’t have his collar outside his jacket now…

  8. rjs131 8

    Norman advocating higher petrol costs and increase in benefits is really going down well in middle income new zealand!

    The reality is that both appeared argumentative and arrogant if anything. Norman needs to be appreciate that higher taxes is not the answer to everything, and taht some people dont watn to travel by bus/train/horse and cart like he does

  9. Joker 9

    If he is going to front the Greens media campaign I would suggest he does it through radio.

    He is a ginger. It is a shamefull thing to say but people can’t help but hate gingers.

    I was living in the UK when Neil Kinnock lost to John Major for no other reason than because he was a ginger (probably being a welsh ginger upped the anti a bit).

    The tories were universally hated at that time but when push came to shove people just couldnt bear the thought that over their weetbix every second morning they would have to see a ginger on the front page of their paper.

  10. Tane 10

    He is a ginger. It is a shamefull thing to say but people can’t help but hate gingers.

    Two words: Rod Donald.

  11. Santi 11

    No, it wasn’t a good performance at all by Norman. Only slightly better than his dismal appearance on Agenda.

    Regardless of your opinion of Paul Henry, it’s clear that Norman must improve if the Green Party is going to make it. He comes across as slippery, unable to answer but only providing vague and generic answers to questions from tough interviewers.

  12. Panda 12

    Look we all know the Standard is just a left wing mouth piece set up to attempt to counter the widely successful kiwiblog

    but come on

    Why is that any female jurno in NZ who isn’t butt ugly is a BIMBO

    and was the grand master of TVNZ jurnos Brain Edwards any better than Paul Henry
    Get used to it Boys and Girls the tide is turning against this socialist left wing Government

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    Rattus, panda-boy, (and Dime?) that you?

  14. Tane 14

    Some context for readers:

    Panda, Dime and that Rat fellow from last night are from the Pandasport forum, a place where juvenile young men use soft porn for their avatars and brag about getting themselves banned from the standard.

    Go see for yourselves. Almost makes Kiwiblog look sophisticated.

    Oh and Panda/Dime/Rat – you wondered last night how many blogs you could get yourselves banned from – consider yourselves banned from this blog for life.

  15. Lyn 15

    “Putting all of your bitterness for Paul Henry aside for a minute SP you must acknowledge he won the argument.”

    That comment caught my attention – I never knew that a good political interviewer was supposed to engage in an argument with their interviewee, at least not right off the bat. It’s quite quite apparent from the video that Paul Henry has a personal barrow to push and I found that really, really annoying as a viewer – this is a broadcast interview, not a comment thread on a polly blog. I always liked Kim Hill because she was prepared to go for the jugular on anyone, from any angle. Henry’s sanctimony and personal investment in the issue of cross-subsidising are simply ridiculous to watch. His obviously personally-held political position is obtrusive and unprofessional and the interview is constructed to generate interpersonal conflict rather than explore the issue in question. Henry actually makes it harder rather than easier to understand what’s being discussed.

    And as for that comment about gingers – for f**k’s sake. Tell it to Angie Everhart.

  16. vto 16

    Sheesh Tane, talk about a clash of cultures. The so-called bozo sports fans versus the so-called facist communists(?).

    From what I see you are all as bad as each other, with as many prejudices, arrogances, name-callings, etces.

  17. Stephen 17

    We aren’t talking about Kiwiblog here vto…

  18. vto 18

    It’s just a mild version of the same thing Stephen. The feelings I imagine are just as intense even if the words are not.

  19. Joker 19

    Look we all know the rules.

    Attractive gingers are not gingers at all they are strawberry blondes.

  20. vto 20

    In fact I feel the feelings are more intense here. More passionate, more religious type fervour. Anyway, going off-topic. enough from me

  21. Stephen 21

    I think the people who post are a lot more rational, not to say there aren’t any at Kiwiblog. But yeah this topic was covered at Frogblog a while ago, not too happy there either, not to say that they’re throwing their toys or anything

  22. This is an open letter I sent to the Russel, Jeanette and Keith yesterday I hope that Russel will act upon it.

    [Tane: Comment clipped for being far, far too long. Please link back to your website in future. Letter can be found here.]

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    Travellerev, given that you didn’t know what the PRT was, your accusations of complicity against Clark and Goff aren’t holding much water for me.

  24. roger nome 24


    “But why is that the Greens attack every single issue, bar none, with a tax/levy mentality to try and alter people’s behaviour?”

    What part of supply and demand curves do you not understand?

    What Norman should have gotten across is that it’s Green policy to cut low-threshold taxes in order to compensate people for increasing waste-taxes. It’s not Green Party policy to impoverish people, but to switch tax from income to waste. Simple and effective.

  25. roger nome 25


    “In fact I feel the feelings are more intense here. More passionate, more religious type fervour.”

    Debates at K-blog are definitely more personal and abusive. i.e. a left-wing redbaiter wouldn’t last two seconds here.

  26. roger nome 26

    This isn’t to say that Russel didn’t do well though. Henry was very aggressive and inflammatory, trying to take the discussion away from reason/rationality, and lead it down the track of rhetorical fisty cuffs. To his credit Norman didn’t buy into and stuck to his game.

    Actually it reminded my of a debate between Richard Prebble and Kieth Locke a few years ago. Prebble’s tactic was to scream over the top of Locke when ever it was his turn to speak, calling him an “old leftie”. Seems to be a common debating tactic on the right. It must really piss them off that they can’t do it in online debates, though they still tend to heap on all the personal abuse they can.

  27. vto 27

    Roger nome – agree kiwiblog is more ‘attack-style’ but I think they are a little more relaxed over the actual issues.

    My point re taxing to affect behaviour is based on experience – they simply very rarely work. And all they do is complicate systems… make one regulation and double the complexity, make two nd quadruple it, etc. It is exponential. And people find ways around them. Remember the maxim K I S S ?

    In addition, they usually simply affect the poorer. e.g. increase ciggie taxes doesn;t affect the richer, only the poorer, and to only a very minor extent re their health (but huge re their wallets). Now I am aware that the price of ciggies is having an affect but look at the price! It is so high it may as well be banned. I am in favour of more concrete solutions if there is an actual problem e.g. ban things, drop the speed limit, ban v8s, require speed inhibitors. Have some conviction if a pollie has a conviction. BAN IT!

    Ban meat pies, ban fat, ban this ban that. But leave people’s money alone ffs, they need it to put a roof over their head and food in their mouth.

    The govt really truly needs to learn to keep its fingers out of people’s wallets. Find another way to solve the problem – get creative, get bold, think outside the rhombox. BUT LEAVE OUR MONEY ALONE!

  28. r0b 28

    Roger nome – agree kiwiblog is more ‘attack-style’ but I think they are a little more relaxed over the actual issues.

    An interesting observation vto. Think about what it means. The Right is focusing on personal attacks, the Left is focusing on issues.

    In the broadest sense this is consistent with philosophical roots and historical trends. Conservative parties by their very nature Conservative. They don’t like change. Liberal governments reform, they change things, they stir things up.

    I’ll also do some stirring, and throw in a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

  29. Ari 29

    Russel did quite well in dealing with Henry, but it was a vastly different style of interview than the one he gave Key. Key’s interview was conducted professionally and he threw some easy questions in, too. As Lyn points out- an interviewer is not supposed to be there to say very much at all themselves. Every time they say something it is supposed to be to probe their interviewee into revealing something themselves. Henry just talked over Russel the whole time about cross-subsidisation and wouldn’t listen to his reply.

    Frankly, I his questions were completely fine. It’s only the fact that I didn’t get to listen to Russel’s answers that annoys me- he wasn’t being evasive at all, just disagreeing with Paul Henry’s Economic Universe, where all cross-subsidisation is acceptable and vague promises of action on climate change are real commitments.

  30. roger nome 31

    Ok I’ll put it in simple terms for you VTO:

    When you increase the price of a good or service with a tax, you mimic a drop in supply, all other things being equal, demand re-adjusts/drops to re-establish market equilibrium.

    So, you put higher taxes on wasteful goods and services and drop taxes on efficient goods and services etc…

    The net result is less pollution and waste (remember, we live in a world of finite resources), and a healthier environment, all with minimal impact on living standards.


  31. vto 32

    rOb, ha ha don’t disagree. They do discuss ideas, just in a different style. No reflection on the quality of the idea. Maybe a reflection of other things, perhaps worthy a separate thread.

    Roger nome – I understand that. Doesn’t affect my post above tho.

  32. mike 33

    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.’

    OK Rob – that would explain the fixation on John Key posts here.
    Thanks for that

    DF is always posting on policy and ideas where as the Standard focus on the man. Look at the latest posts list, Clarkson, norman, cullen, brownlee.

  33. Sorry Tane,
    won’t happen again.


    This stuff doesn’t go away ever again.
    It has a half life of 4.5 billion years, and comes home with the troops, and disperses in the atmosphere. 4.5 billion years.
    500 tonnes were used in the Gulf war and in both Iraq and Afghanistan some 2000 tonnes each has been blown into a toxic airosol spray.
    It’s effects have been documented way back in the fifties and the UN has voted for a resolution to make DU an illegal weapon of Mass destruction.
    Doesn’t it strike you as somewhat odd that we went into Afghanistan to free the Afghans and now our coalition partners are using these horrific weapons.
    And doesn’t is strike you as odd that the US is still in Iraq using this stuff while bringing “Freedom and Democracy”. Being partners in a war with criminals who use illegal weapons of war makes us complicit in the crime.

    Either they don’t give a toss or they are criminally ignorant. Either way we need an investigation.

    In any case its environmental devastation should worry the Green party which is why I addressed it to them in the first place.

  34. Tane:

    I don’t use softporn for my Avater, I use Garth Brooks.
    Dime/rat/dime make some great points, you shouldn’t ban them for life.

    Thats going over the top, dont ya think?

    Anyway back to Norman, you know you can be the best public speaker there is, you could even win at toast masters, but if what you is saying goes against stats and hard data, then your not worth listening to.

  35. vto. I agree that the Greens should be more about investment and less about levy/tax – but the reason they do that is actually a rightwing economic argument – the costs of externalities should be put on the creators of those externalities, so pollutors should pay for polluting.

    I actually saw frogblog link to this on wednesday, maybe I should have hat-tipped them. but my angle is quite different.

  36. AncientGeek 37

    travellerev: I think you are under a misapprehension about half life. I could go into the technical about it. But it is a bit long.

    The short version is that a short-half life is dangerous, a long one is just background. A half line measures the time it takes for an unstable atom to release half of its energy. In the case of U238 (the major constituent of depleted uranium) it means that it will release its half its energy in about 4.5 billion years. That is approximately the current age of planet earth.

    You are orders of magnitude more at risk from radiation from common isotopes of carbon and oxygen in the atmosphere. They get created in the energetic conditions in the upper atmosphere. Or living in an area with granite rock with radioactive boron emissions. But life on earth has evolved with those as background radiation levels.

    The main problem with U238 is that it is a heavy metal. If you want to get upset about something, then look at that. But I’d point out that the effects are similar to something like gold – and people wear that as jewelery.

  37. r0b 38

    OK Rob – that would explain the fixation on John Key posts here.
    Thanks for that

    It is the fact that you think that they are “John Key” posts (the person) that illustrates exactly why Elanor has you sussed mike.

  38. Matthew Pilott 39

    travellerev, the use of DU is controversial, I did not dispute that. I said nothing about the war itself, nor paradoxes implicit in using such weapons in a war for ‘freedom’. in fact i probably agree with many of your points. You’re pretty much pre-judging what I say to you and writing some stock-standard response without any concession regarding the comment directed at you. Waste of time in my eyes.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, if our being in the PRT is collusion, I expect to see you demanding the Red Cross and co to be taken to a war crimes tribunal for their supposed ‘collusion’.

  39. AncientGeek 40

    Dug into one of my old geochem text books for the U238 decay series.

    U238 -> Th234 emitting an alpha particle at h/l of 4.5 billion years.
    Th234 -> Pa234 emitting beta at h/l of 24 days
    Pa234 -> U234 alpha 1.1.75 minutes
    U234 -> Th230 alpha 24750 years
    eventually winding up at Pb206

    alpha particles are not particularly dangerous in small doses – they are elections with little mass. Betas are in quantity.

    There is about 3.3 x 10-3 parts per million by weight of U in seawater, and about 1.1 parts per million in the earths crust compared to silicon (the major component). The vast majority is U238 because of its long half-life.

    That means that you ingest fairly large quantities of U238 over your lifetime from purely natural processes.

  40. AncientGeek 41

    The dispersal in the atmosphere can’t really happen. The atomic weight is just too high. What does disperse is an isotope of radon at a much lower atomic weight.

    From memory that forms after a beta particle is emitted from the decay series and changes another element (?). But to do that you have to have large concentrated sources – like a mountain of granite.

  41. roger nome 42


    “Roger nome – I understand that. Doesn’t affect my post above tho.

    Ok, so you don’t believe that price affects demand. Curious.

    Did you know that oil intensity (barrels of oil per unit of GDP) in the EU it is in the US 60%?

    This is partly because Oil as per cent of total energy supply is slightly higher in the US, but it’s mostly due to petrol taxes being much higher in the EU.

    See fourth graph at the following link:

  42. roger nome 43

    well stuffed that post up. Should have read:

    “Did you know that oil intensity (barrels of oil per unit of GDP) in the EU is on 60% of the US’s ?”

  43. vto 44

    roger nome, no of course price affects demand.

    Using this (tax/levy) as a solution to altering behaviour I think is a case of theory not equating with reality, for whatever reason. Also, it typically punishes the poorer more, which is a little unfair in this situation. Also again, it too easily complicates and that always results in unintended consequences (biofuel-food shortage by way of example).

    I just don’t like the levy approach. As I say – leave our money alone, we need it for other things. Resolve the problem in some other way. Carless days maybe!! Gotta go.

  44. roger nome 45

    “Using this (tax/levy) as a solution to altering behaviour I think is a case of theory not equating with reality,”

    I think the US-Europe example proves that wrong. Though I will agree that demand elasticity is low in the short-term for things like electricity and petrol (there aren’t adequate substitute commodities, and it takes time for the price mechanism to cause adoption of more efficient technologies) waste/pollution taxes do work in the medium to long term -adn that’s what the Green movement is all about, a long term view of the economy, society and the environment.

  45. roger nome 46


    “Also, it typically punishes the poorer more, which is a little unfair in this situation.

    I’ve addressed this twice now, yet you still pursue this line of argument. Why?

    “Also again, it too easily complicates and that always results in unintended consequences (biofuel-food shortage by way of example).”

    Russel, PhilU and I to name a few Greens have been against biofuel from the start. In any case, it ‘s not using market mechanism, but subsidy.

  46. vto 47

    mr nome, must have missed your point re punishing the poor, and no time now. Will have to come back to it one day.

    One thing I did note though with a post of yours above, which is a favourite of the greens and many other people, but I run counter on… namely, your statement that we live in a world of finite resources.

    If only we knew that for sure.. illustration by way of example – people living on oceanic islands in previous centuries thought the same, namely that what they saw was all there was (the island and the ocean they could access). They had no idea of the wider world. Turned out they were wrong…

    Its another whole topic.

  47. roger nome 48

    Careful VTO – you’re starting to sound like one of those libertarian sci-fi geeks 🙂

  48. Dear AncientGeek and Mathew,
    Thank you for are actually beginning to treat me like sane human being. And I don’t mean this in any way derogatory or patronising. I’m impressed with your knowledge ancient geek and I would like to respond in a similarly factual way. As I have been told off by Tane about the length of my comment when I send in my whole letter to the Green party leadership I will do so would links in the hopes that you will take to trouble to go there and watch the videos. If you would like to debate and research with me what depleted uranium actually does on the battlefield I would like to invite you and Matthew a new forum I just opened called I will set up a forum about depleted uranium so we don’t burden this blog would off topic discussions.
    From the name you will of course gather that the main subject is that the events of 911, and your all cordially invited to become members of the forum if any of your wishes to partake in research with regards to 911 and there is even a forum where people who want to debunk 911 truthers can debate us. Membership is free and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new or alternatively you can convince us of the error of our ways.
    At the bottom of the page containing my open letter are three presentations of scientists specialized in nuclear energy and in the use pleated uranium in the battlefield.

    Doug Rokke is a man who has been in the United States army through the Vietnam war and all the way through to the end of the gulf War, he is a specialist in cleaning up toxic materials and he was exposed to depleted uranium in the gulf war and he will disprove your assertion that depleted uranium is too heavy to be dispersed.
    Sr Rosalie Bertell, PhD is a nuclear scientist and she will tell you what nano particles of depleted uranium will do in the human body.
    Helen Caldicott, PhD is a nuclear scientists as well and awesome lady who has been campaigning against nuclear energy and nuclear weapons for most of 40 years and she has a thing or two to say about depleted uranium too. Her entire lecture at a Canadian University is a well worth watching. You see AncientGeek I don’t just say things, I do the research first.
    If you still have energy after that I suggest you watched the seven part documentary about American soldiers who are ill and dying from the effects of depleted uranium and other toxins that were released when the Americans carpet bombed Iraq the run up to war.

  49. Oops make that

  50. Steve, I think you watched a different interview to the one I did. When Norman started asserting that he and the rest of the bus passengers were subsidising car drivers I nearly fell out of bed, Is there a single unsubsidised public commuter bus service in the country?
    What this bloke fails to grasp is that talking of more/new taxes in a time of recession is electoral suicide.
    Although seeing a green party person concentrating on green/ environmental issues is a refreshing change. They should leave the intrusive social engineering to labour and concentrate on the environment.
    On the Henry issue I think he is hilarious. far superior to the half man hoskins who preceded him.

  51. Paul Robeson 52

    Gee you are right Paul Henry is a nasty piece of work isn’t he? I used to think he was just vapid.

    So to get his reasoning- overseas there is no greenhouse effect? Companies overseas will not be affected by the greenhouse effect, and possibly not even by those pesky things called human rights!

    Norman looks the goods doesn’t he? Calm secure and reasonable in making his points. If only someone like him had had a bigger effect on the anti-GE campaign.

    I have enjoyed watching Jeanette Fitzsimmons interviews, particularly some on alternative stations that allowed more than soundbites. But this rebrands the Greens as younger, and away from (apologies dare I say it) the hippy generation a la Michael Caine in that film Children of Men.

    Yes, I love it when the right get on their well everyone is going overseas cos we aren’t free to pollute. FFS in Australia public transport is recognised for the substantial public good that it is and subsudised by 3 levels of government.

    So John Key does your plan to keep us here include excellent public transport as is available in every major city in the world?

  52. Paul Robeson 53

    Oh and JK is an idea- ie Cameron in the UK, the vandal who got in and tore Sweden to pieces when they just wanted rid of a guy they didn’t like, etc etc…

    The palatable conservative- the bland and safe Tory who will run on saying as little as possible before the election.

    The reason for the discussion is so that NZ knows as much as they can about this National party before the election. It has really changed little in personel from its extremely right wing agenda under Brash. In fact it has cleaned out some of its moderates.

    A bad idea for NZ.

  53. roger nome 54


    The majority of people in the 9/11 truth movement is wacky to say the least. Dozens of people would have known about the “planting the explosions in the buildings” – and to think none of them have gotten drunk with their mates and outed the whole thing? It’s just beyond belief.

    The most credible “truth” theory I’ve seen involves the CIA failing to pass on information to the FBI about know terrorists – i.e. one of the terrorists know to be an al queda operative was given a US passport, the CIA was informed about this, documented it, but the FBI said they never received it. The CIA’s official story is that they passed the information on to the FBI, and the FBI’s story is that they never did. This is all quite public information, and proves gross negligence on behalf of the CIA in the very least. They obviously should have made damn sure that the multiple people in the FBI got it, but they claim that they only sent it to one person once.
    So while this level of negligence seems unlikely from a highly professional organisation, on such an important issue, it’s not out of the question that it was just a screw-up.

    It’s all in James Bamford’s book excellent book:

    “A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies”

    Bamford’s been writing excellent stuff on the US’s intelligence agencies for 20 years now, and is a well-regarded journalist, so it’s definitely worth a read.

  54. Hi Roger Nome,

    I see that you have become a member of
    I’m looking forward to a good debate with you.
    By the way did you know that the Manhattan project, responsible for the
    development of the A-bomb had more than 125.000 co-conspirators who did not leak one aeota of information to the public about what they were doing for 4 years until they were ready to announce the existence of the bomb with a loud bang.

  55. Why don’t we start the debate on 911 truth with a link to a 6 minute video from an Italian documentary about building 7.
    It will only take six minutes of your time, and will chance your live forever.

    We are not the good guys in Afghanistan.
    I hope to see more of you on the 911 forum.

  56. Santi 57

    “I see that you have become a member of”

    An excellent place for roger, who wears his tin-foil hat all the time. A welcome addition to that motley congregation of nutters.

  57. 2_dead_dogs 58

    “Norman is calm, rational, and unflustered by Henry’s attempts to bully him into submission. He confidently explains his position and makes a good argument.”

    No he wasn’t, he looked like he was about to cry.

  58. Phil 59

    125,000 co-conspirators on the Manhattan project?

    If you really belive that, then you don’t know the first thing about how the military works.

  59. roger nome 60


    “An excellent place for roger, who wears his tin-foil hat all the time.”

    I’m a skeptic santi (the guy who’s conspiracy theory is that Labour keep people on the benefit so they get re-elected, yet it’s common knowledge that numbers of people on a main benefit are far lower under Labour than they were under national, doh!). I also rely on figures and facts far more than 99% of the kiwiblog crowd. So nice smear attempt, but it ain’t sticking I’m afraid.

  60. 2_dead_dogs 61

    roger nome said:

    “it?s common knowledge that numbers of people on a main benefit are far lower under Labour than they were under national”

    Which is a little bit misleading. What about all the other benefits? Like WFF?

    The truth is that more people than ever have to now rely on a government handout.

  61. roger nome 62

    “What about all the other benefits? Like WFF?”

    That’s a tax-rebate. not a benefit.

  62. Roger, you say tomato I say tomoato.
    You say potato I say potato
    You say tax-rebate I say election bribe
    WFF is nothing more than a divisive electioneering lolly scramble.
    “Denying the childless some of their earnings” would be a more apt description.
    But hey if they don’t keep creating these slippery schemes we wont need DOUBLE THE STAFF IN IRD SINCE 99 would we?

    If some of you policy analysts and union flunkies actually have a look at the you tube at the top of this post you will see and hear Russell Norman the australian mention that we are about to pay for a billion dollars in kyoto credits.
    Personally I take offense to his use of the word we. I also take offense to a billion kiwi dollars being sent to Russia based on dodgy science and 21st century witchcraft.
    More importantly, many kiwis struggling to buy petrol cheese and butter might not be too impressed either.
    Surely these numpties know not to talk about extra taxes in election year.

  63. r0b 64

    WFF is nothing more than a divisive electioneering lolly scramble. “Denying the childless some of their earnings’ would be a more apt description.

    Well BB, I guess we have to balance your affluent whining with the experiences of real people in the real world. Here’s some quotes from letters sent to the PM:

    “Working for families has meant the difference for me and my son in being able to eat decent food and not having to stress any more about when I can juggle the budget in order to buy food. Any day I run out of a food item, I can just go out and buy it.
    This might not seem much to someone who has never had to struggle, but I can tell you for me it is HUGE. Thank you so much for looking after the families in this country.’

    “I would like to take this opportunity to say a personal thank you for the changes your government has implemented that have made a huge personal difference to my family. I currently have an interest free student loan.
    Last year, my partner and I purchased our first home using the Welcome Home loan scheme. We have two beautiful daughters who attend pre-school with the support of the child care subsidy, as I am currently studying a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. We receive a weekly support from Working for Families.
    I can honestly say that if you had not been elected, buying our home and studying nursing would have absolutely not been possible for us. We have also just signed up for KiwiSaver.
    I know financially life is only going to get easier for us, and I will reflect back on this time and be truly grateful for the opportunities we have been given. In the future, I plan to look at the ways we can give back to a society that we have received so much from.’

    As quoted in:

  64. vto 65

    WFF is very much like a benefit,

    Funny top tax rate can apply.

  65. vto 66

    rOb is letter 2 true?

  66. roger nome 67

    “WFF is very much like a benefit,”

    You could say any targeted tax rebate is then. Did you know there’s also a low-income tax rebate? No one calls that a “benefit” though. It’s called a “progressive tax system”. I suggest that you’re showing signs of Redbaiter’s humpty-dumpty approach to language.

    “There’s glory for you!”
    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,’ ” Alice objected.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is, ” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty. “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  67. r0b 68

    rOb is letter 2 true?

    Good that you ask the question instead of just saying hah hah it must be fake! I doubt that the PM made up such a thing for a speech to party faithful.

  68. vto 69

    really rOb, that would be very surprising I would imagine. I wouldn’t have a clue so I have to imagine.

    mr nome, you fullas are funny. You trying to yank me onto a tangetialness?

  69. r0b 70

    Not sure where you’re coming from vto, but whatever.

    WFF and other policies put money in the hands of those that need it. It changes real people’s lives for the better.

    That’s what behind the politics and all the silly squabbling that we do on blogs. Real people’s lives.

  70. roger nome 71


    Just correcting you. That’s all.

  71. FFS, thankyou letters. Have you no shame.
    The person who wrote this letter is a typical Labour voter, too stupid to realise that the government are not actually giving them anything that was not already theirs.
    Roger is it a benefit or a tax rebate? If it is a benefit then call it that but if it is a tax rebate then the argument should be to lower taxes to the level of the payment.
    Thanking somebody for giving you back your own money.. Ridiculous.
    But we must create work for the extra IRD employees mustn’t we?

  72. r0b 73

    FFS, attacking the people. Have you no heart.

    For you “not already theirs” = tax I guess, but apart from WFF the letters mention KiwiSaver, interest free student loans, and Welcome Home loans, all new opportunities that are not related to tax.

    Perhaps you’d like to explain how a country can be run without taxes BB. Given that taxes are necessary, note that personal tax in NZ is the third lowest in the OECD:

    In that context your whining about taxation is just an expression of petulant personal greed.

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    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    6 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    17 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    22 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    24 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    24 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    24 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    1 week ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    1 week ago