web analytics

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 911truthaotearoa.myfreeforum.com 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 911truthaotearoa.myfreeforum.org

  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 911truthaotearoa.myfreeforum.org
    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 911truthaotearoa.myfreeforum.org”

    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: http://www.labour.org.nz/speeches/12042008_address_to_new_zealand_labour_party_congress_helen_clark.html

  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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

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

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    26 mins ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passes first reading
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has passed its first reading and will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice select committee. “The Bill updates and improves New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Statement on The Speaker and Annual Review Debate
    “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035. Michael Wood said investing in our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Drop in unemployment shows Govt economic plan is working
    The Government’s economic recovery plan continues to be reflected in the labour market, with more people in work and unemployment falling. Stats NZ figures show employment rose by 15,000 in the March quarter, with 14,000 more women in work. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government sets pay and workforce expectations for the Public Sector
    The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful health and economic response to COVID-19. This has been supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Author Ben Brown is New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador
    Lyttleton writer Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) will be New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, promoting the value of reading for children and young people, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. A poet and award-winning author, Ben Brown writes books, non-fiction and short stories ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating New Zealand’s firefighters this International Firefighters’ day
    With two fire stations already complete, and building underway on 16 fire stations around the country, today we celebrate International Firefighters’ Day for the important role firefighters have in keeping communities across the country safe, says Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti. The work is progressing due to Government funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ron Brierley knighthood to go
    Ron Brierley has written to the Clerk of the Executive Council to tender his resignation as a Knight Bachelor. The Queen has been informed. The forfeiture follows the Prime Minister initiating the process to remove his Knighthood. The Clerk of the Executive Council wrote to him on 6 April 2021 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Employment boost for rural communities
    The Government is continuing to create opportunities for at-risk rangatahi overcome barriers to employment, education or training with the next tranche of He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re focused on supporting rangatahi to get what they need to progress in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you for the invitation to speak today, it is great to be here.  I mean that both sincerely and literally. For this equivalent speech last year I took part virtually, beaming in from the Beehive Theatrette with only a socially distanced press gallery bearing silent witness. You are a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2021 reprioritises nearly $1 billion
    The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, Grant Robertson said in his annual pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce this morning. “As part of Budget preparation I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech on Digital Identity Trust Framework
    I'd like to start by thanking Graeme, David and Ben from NZTech and Digital Identity New Zealand for inviting me to speak to you. I’m so sorry I can’t be there in person, but I want to acknowledge those of you who are, including some of this country’s top tech ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ Cook Islands travel bubble significant step in COVID-19 recovery
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown have today announced that, pending final confirmation by New Zealand’s Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health, two-way quarantine-free travel will commence between the two countries on 17 May (NZT). “Two way quarantine-free travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister for State Owned Enterprises saddened by passing of KiwiRail Chair
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises, David Clark is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of KiwiRail Chairman, Brian Corban. “I know Brian was seen as a transformative leader within KiwiRail, well respected for his wisdom, honesty and sense of humour,” said David Clark. Mr Corban served as Chair of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit by the Minister for Trade and Export Growth
      Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.  Tena koutou katoa.  Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you today for this China Business Summit – my first as Minister for Trade and Export Growth as well as Minister of Agriculture – and to have the opportunity to speak to you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Productivity Commission inquiry into immigration settings
    The Productivity Commission will hold an inquiry into immigration settings to ensure New Zealand’s long term prosperity and wellbeing, Grant Robertson and Kris Faafoi say. This inquiry, the first under the new Productivity Commission chair, Dr Ganesh Nana, will focus on immigration policy as a means of improving productivity in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to China Business Summit
    Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, ate marie, tena koutou katoa, good morning. I am very happy to be here with you once again at my fourth China Business Summit. Thanks again to you, Fran, for being the driving force behind this event.  As ever, I’m very pleased to see such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Te Taumata Wahine Toa Hui, Kerikeri
    I would like to begin by acknowledging a few people here today.  Firstly, Chris Karamea Insley for his hard work and commitment to the vision of Te Taumata. I’d also like to acknowledge Minister Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s first Maori wahine Minister of Foreign Affairs, whom you have just heard ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature to boost employment in the South
    A suite of significant Jobs for Nature projects will boost conservation efforts and create jobs across the southern South Island, Acting Minister for Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall announced from Te Anau today. “The Government’s Jobs for Nature programme is investing in the future of the area’s stunning environment, with projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Regional economic potential unlocked as Bay of Plenty project gets underway
    A milestone for jobs, businesses and regional economic development in Bay of Plenty is being marked as construction gets underway on the multi-million dollar Ōpōtiki harbour infrastructure project. Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has joined Whakatōhea iwi, local councils and representatives of the aquaculture and marine industry at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Pilot to unlock cultural potential in communities
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni today announced Manatū Taonga (Ministry for Culture and Heritage) is now accepting applications from cultural sector organisations to host cultural activators in eight communities around Aotearoa. “This pilot, as part of Te Tahua Whakahaumaru (Creative Arts Recovery and Employment Fund), aims to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders Through Winter Months
    From tomorrow, 1 May, over one million New Zealanders receiving either a Main Benefit or New Zealand Superannuation will get more money each week through the Winter Energy Payment. “The Winter Energy Payment started as part of the Government’s December 2017 Families Package designed to help older New Zealanders and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to donate 250,000 courses of COVID-19 vaccines to Fiji
    New Zealand has offered, and Fiji has accepted, sufficient doses of AstraZeneca for 250,000 people from New Zealand’s domestic vaccine portfolio, New Zealand Associate Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio and Fiji Health and Medical Services Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete announced today. “New Zealand and Fiji are working together closely to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Te Ōhanga Māori Report Speech
    *Check with delivery* Insights from Te Ōhanga report First and foremost - thank you for the mahi of everyone who has been involved in producing this report. The Government needs up-to-date and accurate data on the size and scope of the Māori economy for us to understand how best to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New ACC Board Chair Appointed
    Minister for ACC Carmel Sepuloni is delighted to announce the appointment of Hon Steve Maharey CNZM, as a new member and chair successor for the board of ACC. He will commence as a member on 1 May 2021 and become Chair on the retirement of Dame Paula Rebstock on 31 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago