O Winston I love you

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, October 18th, 2020 - 50 comments
Categories: nz first, uncategorized, winston peters - Tags:

Winston you were my man when your dark brown wavy hair and beatific smile rose to glory within National when National needed to prove again that Maori could rise to elected respectability within even the most tilted of social structures. You were partnership material at Russel McVeigh like no Maori before you. Women secretly swooned for you. You were like George Hamilton III had emerged fully formed as a perfect symbol of bicultural New Zealand before the term was even invented.

You were the highest of one of those few loyal and deeply patriotic families of New Zealand who felt that serving both the law and as a Member of Parliament was the essence of honour and of being a patriot for your country. Like serving in law and in parliament was the kind of patriotism we used to feel from our military. But you rose even higher, and for longer, than your brothers.

Winston you were my man because straight after graduation you stood up for your people the Ngati Wai successfully against Labour’s attempt to take land for coastal reserves – giving inspiration to Dame Whina Cooper and the great Land March. You rose to fight, and won, and you did so for your people.

Winston I love you because you were the one who in defeating Malcolm Douglas in Hunua in 1978, ensured that there was no succession plan for Roger Douglas his brother. Labour would crest and crack in the late 1980s, but it would never recover its foolish Rogernomics ways without a broader core of support.

Winston I love you for loving our country as much as your namesake loved his. Rising under the nationalist economics of Birch and Muldoon in the face of global crisis, you understood the deep and permanent reliance of New Zealand business on a very strong state which needed large subsidies for production sustained by taxing wealth highly. It always has and always will. Back – though few now remember it – when state-enforced egalitarianism through tax was an actuality, not running like a dog hiding under the political bed from thunder.

You kept alive that memory of the state working to develop the weakest with real and believable enterprise for five decades of public service in Parliament, until you could truly bring it out once more in its strong form of the Provincial Growth Fund. Maybe it will take us a decade to understand its impact, but you back yourself enough to know that it will be good.

Winston I love you because you were the one who really first sank the shank into the Lange-Douglas regime through ripping open the corruption of the Maori Loan Affair in 1986. In December 1986 you completely sideswiped that government with revelations that the Department of Maori Affairs had sought to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from a fraudster. As Labour ex-Minister and eminent political historian Michael Bassett commented: “Several ministers would agree in later years, that it was about the time of the Maori loans affair that cabinet solidarity began to fall apart.” The following Commission of Inquiry fully vindicated you, and set your course to prepare the full reform how Maori were engaged by the Crown as a Department. You saw the infection of fraudulent international capital for what it was, when most in government and in the financial sector were bedazzled by it.

You would describe players like John Key  as “apologists for crooks“. You would name those crooks like few would have the courage to do so.

Winston you were my man who loved the law. Not the law as a set of enforcement measures that gets changed according to policy whim. No: law as the very warp and weft of our social order which has grown thread by thread since 1840 andas the utter substance of the operation and constitution of New Zealand as a nation. You who went by the law, saturated your mind and cloth in the law, recognised the primacy of the law, you fought for all to be held to that sacred framework of common accountability – like no one else had before. Because without all being subservient to the law, we would remain a colony and Maori forever colonised.

Winston, I loved you for being the regulator we always should have had. Your scorching of the Serious Fraud Office and Inland Revenue Department through the Winebox inquiry was a first. You appeared to fear no one – neither government departments, nor our richest citizens. The Commission that followed was weak. And those who could like you draw the inter-party webs (such as Brian Easton and Bruce Jesson), knew precisely how deeply the money men had taken over our country in the late 1980s from the true nationbuilders who had grown through the 1930s, to the 1970s.

Winston I loved you because you smashed the white barrier of the whitest in the Tauranga electorate, being elected in a general seat as very few Maori had before. Even in 2020, there are very, very few who can do that in the Labour Party. That Tauranga victory rebuilt our national confidence that biculturalism really was possible, so soon after the joyous patriotism of our 1990 sesquicentennial.

You really were a symbol of something about us all.

Winston I love you because you raged against the sale of our long term wealth, and you were prepared to politically die for it. Has any other politician in our history done this as much or with as much cost? When National agreed to the sale of Wellington Airport, you said this was why you were quitting, and you did so. And now, nearly four decades later, cities who sold off their airport shares like Auckland and Wellington are bereft of funding, unable to support even the barest of essential services, precisely because corporatisation and privatisation of our assets stripped them of their income. You raged against the sale of Silver Fern Farms when few others would. You raged against the sale of the national electricity generators. You raged against what Brian Easton called The Commercialisation of New Zealand. You were a shining knight against the forces who weakened the power of the state to have the income to keep us all going. If you had won more of your battles, New Zealand would be strong like Australia is now, not a weak state with low ambition, low savings, and a hollowed out business sector craven to foreign capital.

Winston few loved you like I did. You were stabbed deeply and often by National. No other politician would have survived what they did to you. For daring to side with Labour in 2017, someone at a very high level in National leaked your superannuation details. Because you were unable to prove your case in court, you were clearly in the right to all but the law and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars. Every other single other politician in parliament this century would have been laid waste and fired and bankrupted from that. But you dared continue. For daring to hold those treacherous villains to account, and losing, and continuing bloodied but unbowed, I loved you still.

Winston, I love you for smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and having good taste in tailored six-button suits. Damn them all.

Winston I loved you for being the walking counterfactual history of a dignified and strong nation who could take care of itself. If you had been born 2,000 years ago you would be Belisarius. You’d be at the Rhine against the hordes, whether the Rhine froze or not.

Winston I love you still. You love this country, you love its people. That’s enough for me.

50 comments on “O Winston I love you ”

  1. Martin 1

    I for one won't miss this dinosaur at all. We don't need bullies in govt.

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Sometimes you have to bully to get things done in government – that need to be done. Balance is what is needed, and wisdom – the experience, the maturity, the vision for better for people and the land, to know when to bully and when to defer, change, improve some policy idea. Your comment Martin is naive and wet.

  2. Ovid 2

    I’d really like Winston to write a memoir. I bet with 40 years in politics he’s got some stories to tell.

  3. Treetop 3

    Peters got it right in 2017 when he formed a coalition with Labour. Had this not have happened I dread to think the shape which the country would now be in.

    Peter's needs to be his best friend now and to look back on his political achievement spanning 4 decades with pride.

    • cathy-o 3.1

      totally irrelevant to this thread, but how can you possibly put an apostrophe in the middle of someone’s name ?

      apostrophes have two purposes only

      1 to indicate possession – fred’s widget

      2 to indicate missed out letters – wasn’t

      that’s all. (that is all)

      sorry to be a pedant but ….

      and yes, Winston has been our most entertaining politician by far, i will miss him

  4. Rupert Watson 4

    Thanks for a fine political eulogy. I love the reference to Belisarius. Spot on.

  5. Foreign waka 5

    He will be missed indeed as he was known of not being afraid to call out when something did not make legal sense and he also recognized that the average old person needed assistance not euthanasia.

  6. dv 6

    Sir Winnie

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    I wonder if he could be sent to bedevil Trump…

    • dv 7.1

      HA

      Sir WINNIE US ambassador

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.1

        I think he'd be too polite. But it would be good to see him go after Trump the way he's gone after local ne'erdowells.

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.1

          Let him choose – Trump and Bedlam or some time with his horses and encouraging the racing industry, with some possible work for the government when they need someone to sum up a situation.

    • George 7.2

      Trump wouldn't actually know he was being bedevilled. He would tweet about "the fellow from NZ who thinks he's just tremendous…"

  8. Rosalene Bradbury 8

    Time to make Winston Ambassador to CHINA.

    Winston was a great foreign minister. He will be a fantastic ambassador. I know the part about Winston being a great foreign minister how? Because that most diplomatic of corps, the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by the merest of facial expressions lets it be known who they do and don’t accept as foreign minister. And they had Winston back.

    Winston would be an excellent ambassador to China. His whole life has prepared him for the role.

  9. AB 9

    Very well said – and why on the whole I found myself cheering for Winston more often that gritting my teeth and wanting him to eff off. His particular ability to get under the Nats' skin was unmatched.

  10. SPC 10

    In death many of scandals are damned with praise.

    I presume you are hoping to encourage him on his journey from political life with such exuberant politeness.

    Arise Sir and begone, begone I say.

  11. swordfish 11

    .
    First time I ever saw one Winston Raymond Peters was in National's 1978 Election Campaign ads … he pretended to be a neutral journalist interviewing Muldoon … and at the end turned to the camera, as if an objective observer who had clearly just been thoroughly convinced by Rob's answers & looking straight down the barrel at viewers concluded: "So you see, it's true ! National really is keeping its Word !" … immediately followed by the Campaign song: "It's time you hear-er-er-erd, We're Keeping our Wor-or-or-ord, It's time you heard. we're keeping our Word … (pause for added gravitas) … We're keeping our Word" (final 4 words sung like a highly emotional ballad in a particularly idealistic way with clear hippie overtones … incongruous for a Party dominated by Rob's Mob, I would've thought).

    We did laugh somewhat sarcastically at the contrived set-up at the time … while simultaneously noting Winston as a potentially significant New Kid on the Block (& a Muldoon Favourite to boot)

    • swordfish 11.1

      Interesting / Surprising that, back in the early-mid 80s, Colin James had Winston down as one of National's Drys (in the Ruth Richardson Camp).

      • millsy 11.1.1

        He did sell 100% of the Crown's shareholding in Contact Energy in 1998 (when he didn't have to).

  12. left_forward 12

    Kia ora … thank you for your mihi to Wynston.

  13. millsy 13

    With Winston goes the last pre-Rogernomics link in the NZ Parliament.

    It really is the end of an era.

    • SPC 13.1

      Winston, a former Prime Minister, leaves through one door and the only politician around longer sleepwalks through another into the Oval Office.

  14. observer 14

    His decision in 2017 saved lives. He should be thanked and remembered for that. It's his greatest legacy.

    The rest of his career achieved little of note. Rhetoric is not results. Being "colourful" or a "character" or any of those descriptions commonly heard over the decades … means nothing. He was in Parliament/government to serve the public, not to provide entertainment for reporters.

    Yes, there were all kinds of episodes that made headlines. But what laws did he shepherd through Parliament? What lasting change did he bring about? He was the ultimate "Not" politician, so the lasting image of him holding the "No" sign is ironically apposite. He opposed. But did not create.

    • rawsharkyeshe 14.1

      Cab you spell GOLDCARD ? Simply but one of his innovations. And can you spell WINEBOX ?

      I am so grateful for his presence in our lives.

      • observer 14.1.1

        Reaching for glorified supermarket vouchers as a legacy of 3+ decades really does illustrate my point.

        • rawsharkyeshe 14.1.1.1

          Clearly, I have a different wattage lamp to illustrate his career and benefits to us.

          • greywarshark 14.1.1.1.1

            Who benefits from the Goldcard – I know that one! If he could have brought it in so that all bennies benefited from it, that would have made him great, we would all have been greatfull then.

            I am grateful for the Gold Card myself but I think back to being younger, poor and honest and striving and if Winnie had won with a bennies gold card that alone would have deserved a knighthood for having cut through the thick contempt that burdens welfare delivery to parents and young people.

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    Well I've never voted for him but very grateful for a lot of his actions over the years.

    Going with Labour in 2017 kept a lot of us alive, the wine box of the 1990's outed a lot of upper level financial wrongdoing that the right have still not forgiven or forgotten – hence the regular attempts to take him out of play.

    The political mastery and humour of the "Great Ferry bottom grounding incident" that he hounded Richard Prebble so successfully about. The great sound bites that usually cut to the heart of the issue. Everybody leaked to Winston – who will take his place for this?

    Lets hope he has a job now worthy of his talents, ambassador or governor general? and time to go fishing.

  16. Patricia Bremner 16

    Winston has always been for NZ, and like all of us he has faults, but I will always value the wine box work, the gold card and his choosing Labour last election.

  17. Shanreagh 17

    Winston I love the fact that having worked in parliament when you were a Minister I know that you were a good boss to your staff. (Some Ministers are not)

    I know this because your staff told me you were. I know this because the spouse of one of your staff told me after she had rung you to talk to you directly about one of your forays into the seedy world behind politics.

    Winston I love you for the fantastic jokes & stories you told at Thursday drinks, one of which I still tell.

    Winston I love you for when you were so good to my bro in law one time having a meal in the staff cafeteria, when he could not restrain himself and leapt up to shake your hand which had a tray in it at the time…..nothing happened to the tray but you quickly made him welcome.

    Winston I love you for coming from a family with manners and having a brother, Wayne, also an MP for a time, who often walked me down to catch the bus home after drinkies, one day a week.

    Winston I love the fact that you have a command of the verbal and written word. And for not being afraid to speak or write.

    Winston I love the fact, as pointed out by Advantage, that you pursued the appalling breach of privacy by low flying turds that saw details of your superannuation leaked. I am ever hopeful that one day we will know exactly who this was and be able to gaze on the leaker and say 'well you at least have no honour, scruples or honesty unlike the person you aimed to hurt'.

    Winston I love the contribution you have made to the political scene over the years.

  18. McFlock 18

    Never voted for him, always liked him.

    Although he's come back from the electorally-dead before, lol

  19. Byd0nz 19

    The wine box thingy, his only saving grace.

  20. sumsuch 20

    I suppose him fighting every interviewer and his strange step work made me sigh at the mention of his name. But my rationalism has confined me to very little influence in government. And he was half Scots, for better or worse. After him, mental cases in the populist space. 2.5 % voted for conspiracy theories. Glad my BAC relatives are in the severe minority.

  21. Marcus Morris 21

    Thanks RSE – you beat me to the "draw". I am a rural dweller but love using the Gold Card when I use public transport in the cities. I have a feeling too that the people of Tauranga have Winston to thank for their second harbour bridge. The country shunned his superannuation proposal in the late nineties but I think that Kiwi Saver was actually quite similar without being compulsory. I have cheered for him and been exasperated by him and I will be eternally grateful to him for going with Jacinda in 2017. A transformational move.

  22. greywarshark 22

    I thought some quotes would be interesting. Winston has been a bright and sometimes sharp star in our firmament.

    This from Labour: "Winston Peters is the blow fly of New Zealand politics."- Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen on the propensity of Mr Peters to wallow in political refuse.

    From Winston – "Smart alec, arrogant, quiche eating, chardonnay drinking, pinky finger pointing snobbery, fart blossom." – Peters on big city media commentators in 2002.

    "That will be a public relations feat! After they have finished they will then portray Osama Bin Laden as tolerant, the Chappell brothers as good sports and the Pope as Jewish." – On ACT intentions to portray leader Richard Prebble as compassionate.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/winston-peters-memorable-quotes-20051018-ge12mh.html
    .

    "Excuse me for laughing, but it's been a long time since I've been ravaged by a toothless sheep." – Winston Peters on Gareth Morgan.

    “For overseas observers, in NZ elections, we all vote then take the ballots—chuck them out—and ask a man called Winston Peters who won.” – Writer Ali Ikram tweeting about the 2017 election.
    https://www.thehits.co.nz/the-latest/these-are-the-finalists-for-new-zealands-quote-of-the-year-vote-for-your-favourite/
    .

    And finally Winston and his media relations are included in this excellent item which is a send-up of how pollies can hold their own against these pesky persons. Winston's use of the 'Headbutt' is so exemplary, he is described as the Master. (The link below gives audio and written content.)

    In this example, Mr. Peters utilises it in a particularly adroit fashion, suggesting that his question is more interesting than the interviewer’s. He is being interviewed about the decision of David Bradshaw, the head of the serious fraud office, not to prosecute those involved in the Winebox transactions.

    When he started the investigation, he did say that he didn’t shirk from prosecution if he found the evidence. Why would he be doing that?

    I’m not interested in what he said. I’m interested in this fact: that if he cannot, as they couldn’t in the past, find evidence in this matter, then they should be removed from their job and someone competent and able to understand the issues be given the job….

    Summary to the item: This is an aural instruction manual for incoming politicians giving guidance on how to answer those tricky questions from the media when you’d rather not. Using examples from the masters, including Sir Keith Holyoake, Sir Robert Muldoon, Winston Peters, Helen Clark and Jenny Shipley, the guide offers advice about giving earnest, fulsome and convincing replies without actually answering the questions. The Guide takes us through the Seven Strategies of Successful Subject-Shifting, including Answering a Slightly Different Question, the "Let-Me-Just-Say-This" Manoeuvre, Attacking the Critic and the Amazing Shipley One-Size-Fits-All Multi-Purpose Response.

    https://www.ngataonga.org.nz/collections/catalogue/catalogue-item?record_id=303644

    Commenters on Radionz have said that Labour has about 20? new pollies coming on board and what a job it will be to orientate them. They might like to listen to the masters and mistresses of the political comment, as part of losing their naivety and gaucheness?

  23. Phillip ure 23

    While I recoil from the nativist bullshit he peddled…he gets my respect for being the first to stop/roll-back the rogernomics fuck-the-poor/weakest policies…with his coalition condition being bringing back free healthcare for children…I was a sole-parent raising my son at the time…I remember it well…and more recently of course..in 2017 he opened the door for ardern/labour…it would be somewhat churlish to ignore/forget that..

  24. lprent 24

    I think this post requires a reprise.

    A tribute to the number of times he has arisen from the ashes of his political career.

    This time could very well be the the final time.

  25. Hunter Thompson II 25

    Years ago I heard the live broadcast of the Parliamentary debate in which WP alleged the head of the Serious Fraud Office couldn't investigate his way out of a wet paper bag, there had been a big cover up, tax dodging etc.

    And so the Winebox Affair kicked off …

    Great spectator sport. And in those days we had real investigative journos too, so NBR's Warren Berryman was right onto it.

  26. Chris T 26

    Might have been mentioned and I have missed it, but do we know if the Profential Growth Fund is still ok with Labour, or has it dies a death?

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    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    4 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    4 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    6 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    7 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    7 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 week ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

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