Open debate

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, August 2nd, 2011 - 129 comments
Categories: accountability, election 2011, john key, phil goff - Tags: ,

This development is going to generate a fair bit of discussion in the media! Duncan Garner reports:

Key, Goff refuse debate with minor parties

The public will once again be denied the opportunity to see John Key and Phil Goff debate all the minor party leaders during the election campaign. Key and Goff have teamed up to turn down TV3’s approach and desire for a 90 minute prime time television debate featuring all the party leaders.


Key says the election is about “who is Prime Minister”, not about who can work together.

Pure arrogance. PMs come and go at the whim of their parties. The election is about which parties form a government. Maybe the electorate will choose to remind Key of that fact.

And because Key won’t do it, Goff has fallen in behind saying he will debate Key anywhere Key wants to front. That means Goff won’t do it either. This is the same cosy backroom deal Helen Clark and John Key did in 2008 – ignore the minor party leaders on the big stage – and debate amongst themselves.

But Goff could and should have taken a different approach. He could have accepted our offer and forced the Prime Minister’s hand. Key would have been the only leader not there. He would have been forced to the table. He would have been subject to taunts of “chicken” had he not fronted. Goff has lost a prime opportunity. He should have taken the risk.

I agree. These “one on one” debates further build the mindset of “presidential” style politics in NZ, and it’s a mindset I think we could well do without. Let’s hear from everyone, and let it be about policies, not politicians.

I can see I think where Goff is coming from. He looks forward to debating Key personally, and expects to come off best in the encounters. It’s good to display that kind of confidence. But bigger picture I think it’s still a mistake. I’d like to see the leaders of major parties sharing the stage, and debating ideas with all comers.

129 comments on “Open debate ”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    All so-called debates are circuses in which all the issues that actually matter are avoided like the plague and the participants churn out platitudes in answer to rigged questions.

    I won’t be wasting any of my time watching any of them.

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    I wonder if it has occurred to Duncan Garner that maybe this is what happens when his barely disguised political sympathies rule over balance in his reporting?

    Maybe this is just Phil Goff giving a not so subtle kick to the nuts to the Pie Boy.

  3. fabregas4 3

    Goff should have said no.

  4. just saying 5

    And Labour is keeping Goff on because?

    Quite apart from being out of touch with reality if he imagines he will best Key one-on-one, it is yet another anti-democratic action from Goff, and yet another of the political blunders for which he has become famous.

    • Um Key made the decision and Goff went along with it.  I understand why Goff would prefer the ability to debate properly with Key without the others there, but I think that all leaders should take part.

      But good attempted transfer of blame though. 

      • AAMC 5.1.1

        I’d call it a lost opportunity.

      • just saying 5.1.2

        You don’t think “going along” with someone else’s decision without the sightest protest qualifies as a decision?

        Phew, thank God Goff isn’t responsible for all those pathetic and embarrassing ‘me too’ actions. The poor guy had no choice. Exactly what the nation is looking for in a PM.

      • Richard 5.1.3

        Yes, Key is behaving like his usual facile, anti-democratic self. But Goff is *supporting* Key. You can’t blame Key for Goff’s actions.

        It is issues exactly like this, that mean I am not voting for Labour.

        I’m voting for Mana.

  5. Rich 6

    Is this even legal? Aren’t the broadcasters obliged to give each party equal access – if Key won’t play, they should have a Lab/Green/ACT/MaoriNat/Mana debate.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Broadcasters can’t force people to participate.

      • Rich 6.1.1

        No, but they can be required to invite everyone or not have a debate. If parties don’t turn up, then it’s their call.

      • mickysavage 6.1.2

        Jim Anderton succeeded in 2005 in an application to review.  He applied to the High Court for review of a decision to exclude him from a leader’s debate and succeeded.  Some details are at

        Sorry will look tomorrow for more information but the decision may be capable of review. 

    • Blighty 6.2

      except Goff wouldn’t be there

  6. vto 7

    The solution is easy…

    Goff should say he will take part in an all-party debate only. Then Key can wank.,. I mean debate,, himself alone. Perhaps with a picture of Liz Hurley on hand.

    If you lefty labourites let this happen then you deserve to lose. You’re getting outsmarted, you need to be quicker on your feet.

    • AAMC 7.1

      Agree, Goff could have looked like he actually wants to participate in our proportional democracy, leaving Key to look like the elitist he is.

      He should have said, sure, I’ll go toe to toe with Key, but I’d rather we were all there together, so why don’t we do both. Even if it didn’t happen, he would have looked inclusive.

      Looks to me like they’ve been paying too close attention to the Debt Ceiling debacle.

      This is what Krugman had to say about that;
      “Many pundits view taking a position in the middle of the political spectrum as a virtue in itself. I don’t. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily reside in the middle of the road, and I want leaders who do the right thing, not the centrist thing.”

      • just saying 7.1.1

        Maybe we could slip that link into Pete Squirrel’s suggestion box.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        The democrats in the States have lost it, Obama gained nothing, no extra revenue, no taxes on the rich, and the Republicans got a deal around the spending cuts they wanted.

        Its The Bankers Party on one side and The Other Bankers Party on the other.

        It’s “free choice” as long as its out of the 2 choices they want you to have.

        • AAMC

          Obama has just finally acknowledged that he is after all a Republican. You just need to look at his increased use of drones, extension of his wars into Pakistan and Yemen, Guantanamo still open and now this Austerity move with no change in their dismal tax rate.

          Off topic sorry, but all of our leaders do seem to mimic America’s style of politics. To come back to an NZ context, here Juan Cole has an interesting graph outlining tax’s in the OECD in 2009; look at that, we didn’t have high tax’s after all, appreciate you’re all conscious of this already.

          • Colonial Viper

            NZ needs to recreate its own way of doing things, and come up with leaders willing to do it Aoeteroa style.

            Not in the style of the bloody US Republicrats or the olde world UK system.

  7. Mac1 8

    I think some questions need to be asked here? What is a minor party? Will Goff and Key have to stand on the same platform as the Wacky Baccy party and the Empire Royalists and anybody else who manages to form themselves a party?

    What other debates will be scheduled? Will there be minor party leaders’ debates as I seem to remember from last time? What TV time will be granted to other spokespeople from the parties so that we can judge the calibre of those lesser but still important luminaries such as potential finance, Social Welfare, Education, Health ministers etc etc.

    Finally, does anybody remember the strange anomaly of the Worm which gave Peter Dunne extraordinary publicity and votes which he has not repeated since those days, not having had that opportunity since?

    The two main party leaders should debate head to head in my view. They are after all the ones who stand best to be PM after November 26, and who will, importantly, form the next government. However, I do agree that NZ politics has become too focussed on the leaders. I would like to see good national exposure to other party leaders and also to the politicians who stand a good chance of being important members of the new government.

    I would also like to see debates conducted in a useful way for voters to decide, and not just be a vehicle for ‘personalities’ to show off a la Holmes et al.

    • AAMC 8.1

      “I would also like to see debates conducted in a useful way for voters”

      We might need to import a real journalist to host the debates then, cause there is currently a massive fail from all practitioners in the MSM.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        Julian Wilcox from MaoriTV is the goods. Other than that yeah, we could be served better.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      Determining who is a valid minor party is easy – anyone with an MP in Parliament today.

      And those registered parties without MPs – should get some TV time for a debate of their own as well.

      • Pete George 8.2.1

        I think that’s the best way to differentiate – but if you wanted to be provocative you could make it “any party leader in Parliament today”.

    • freedom 8.3

      If you qualify for the Electoral Ballot you qualify for the debate. It’s called Democracy not Popularity. Excluding a party for not being in Parliament is a self fulfilling and elitist restriction on participation in a functioning Parliamentary Democracy

  8. chris73 9

    I agree with John Key doing this (if its good enough for Helen…) and I think Goff did the right thing in agreeing to this

    Why should they debate with the minor parties, the minor parties can debate amongst themselves but having more time for the two that could be PM is much more worthwhile

    Also where could it end? Aotearoa Legalise Canabis Party, Communist Party (or whatever name they’re under) Bill and Ben party (well maybe not ;))

    • Bored 9.1

      Rubbish C73, its actually that Winston would slay Key on a TV debate, and Keys far too frightened of losing face that he wont show for that appointment. Goffs easy meat by comparison. Last thing Key wants is Ma and Pa seeing the ugly truth and running off Gold Card in hand back to Winnie.

      • AAMC 9.1.1

        They should do both. We don’t have – and hopefully won’t have – a FPP system, and so the smaller parties should have the opportunity to debate with the main leaders.

      • chris73 9.1.2

        You don’t get to make a 50 million dollar fortune and become PM of a country by being stupid

        Winston is a very good speaker, why would you give him a platform…

        • Pete George

          It doesn’t matter who might do what in a debate.

          We should have an open democracy. Elections are one of the few opportunities for people to have a say, we mustn’t allow politicians to dictate what sort of campaign suits them.

        • Ianupnorth

          FFS he was a money trader = professional gambler – luck, not skill!

          • Colonial Viper

            I’d say that some people playing pokies have a lot of skill at playing pokies. I’ve seen them in action.

            However, at the end of the day trying to make out that this makes them “good business people” etc. is just ludicrous. And people who wear suits and ties should frequently be doubted. They are more likely to be faux experts then real ones.

            There was good reason why the bankers and moneylenders of old were treated with high suspicion.

          • chris73

            So his education was luck, his working his way up the ladder was luck, everything hes done is luck?

            You do know the old adage of the harder you work the luckier you get…

            • McFlock

              Luck, shifting the blame onto subordinates, and a vacant smile. Judging by his prime ministership, of course.

              Edit: oh, and his education was taxpayer funded. Now part-timers can’t even get a fucking loan for course costs. So “stamping on the fingers of other people on the ladder” should probably be included.

              • chris73

                Wow you make it sound so easy

                • McFlock

                  It is if you’re not inhibited by conscience.
                  But most of it’s luck. And a good start from the welfare state he’s dismantling behind him.

            • lefty

              Once you put the suit on and join the bankers club you don’t need luck. The pack is automatically stacked in your favour.

            • Vicky32

              You do know the old adage of the harder you work the luckier you get…

              That adage isn’t worth the breath it takes to say it. and it’s only the smug, and yes, the unreasonably lucky I have ever heard say it! F’r instance, there are 100s of us out here, who would be lucky to get the chance to work at all!

    • felix 9.2

      Why shouldn’t small parties be involved in debates, chris73?

      Why are you so scared of democracy?

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        He’s Tory, only the born to rule should have airtime.

        Of course Key would look pretty stupid preening for an hour on stage by himself so now he has Goff to keep him company.

      • chris73 9.2.2

        I’d rather hear more from the two who are likely to be PM than the support partners

        • Colonial Viper

          Gotta get out of that FPP mindset mate, the small parties can make and break the deals in an MMP environment.

        • felix

          Understandable I suppose, but that’s not really what you said earlier.

          Why shouldn’t Key debate the leaders of smaller parties? Why shouldn’t Goff?

          Why shouldn’t their ideas be put to the test on a level footing with other parties?

          Shit, why don’t we do away with debate and just interview the leader of the largest party? They’re most likely to be PM, aren’t they?

          • chris73

            I wasn’t on this site in 2008, if you were can you remind me what people thought of only Helen Clark and John Key debating each other

  9. davidc 10

    Key knows that Goff cant decline to oppose him, Goff needs to try to gain some traction with the punters so is forced to play by whatever rules Key offers.
    Key also knows one on one he will utterly smash Goff in the eyes of the public.

    On a lighter note tho…seeing the (6?) minors go at it would be a laugh! Team tactics will win out!

    Self edit… Would Winston even be invited? I mean he isnt showing on ipredict now!

    Re edit: I refreshed and WinstonFirst was back on ipredict. Volatile much!

  10. Colonial Viper 11


    The Left is a Broad Church. Labour should be supporting multi-party democracy 100%, with ACTION not WORDS.

    Agreeing to this Presidential style debate plays right into Key’s strengths and National’s framing.

    Fraking Labour in the UK couldn’t bring themselves to wholeheartedly support moves to a more proportional voting system there either, because it would encourage a plurality of political parties.


    • RobC 11.1

      100% agree. I’d add that Goff needs some serious independent advice if he believes he can out-debate Key, based on what I have seen from question time over the past few months

  11. Pascal's bookie 12

    Personally I think most debates are garbage, not helped by crapulistic hosting.

    Glowing exception to that rule is Julian Wilcox who was a legend moderating Don Brash V Pita Sharples.

    So if I can’t have Wilcox moderating the poo flinging, I want half hour interviews of each leader by someone trained in getting answers. Like a QC say. And I’ll have my pony with laser beams plz, and the pricks under oath.

    K thx bai

  12. gobsmacked 13

    Yet again, Russel Norman comes out looking better than Phil Goff.

    And it’s all so predictable and avoidable. Is there nobody at Labour with any grasp of strategy? Nobody who actually spends five minutes thinking about this stuff? Week in, week out, same old “Politics For Beginners” – fail.

    How hard is it to understand the following …

    1. There are TV debates in every election campaign.
    2. So, before that, there are debates about those TV debates, in every campaign.
    3. Therefore Goff had to be prepared for this.
    4. Therefore, Goff had to anticipate Key’s approach – which was entirely predictable.
    (i.e. what anyone would do in his position)
    5. Therefore, Goff had an opportunity to take the initiative.

    “Inititative” could have been many things … announcing his plans in advance, calling on TV networks to commit to the public, saying “the people are our employers, we should show up for the interview”, labelling it a Democracy Pledge or some such, getting other parties to sign it, or challenging Key to a specific kind of debate – take your pick – e.g. Helensville and Roskill town hall meetings, a Christchurch special, anything outside the box, anything with an ounce of originality and energy and incisiveness and aggression and …

    oh fuck, what’s the point. It’s Goff’s Labour. It’s a Risk-Free, Idea-Free Zone. Sit back, wait for Key to move, then feebly say “Me too!”. Yes, that’s working so well, isn’t it?

    Another day, another missed opportunity. No change there.

    • vto 13.1

      Agreed. Goff looks like he is being simply dragged along for the ride. Which he is.

      But it is not too late.

      Change course on this tonight Goff. Bring a headline in the new morning. Leave Key a-swingin’.

      After all, for the vast 99% of people this is way off the radar so any about change-face will simply pass by like that last breezy thing …

    • Yet again, Russel Norman comes out looking better than Phil Goff.

      Sad but strikingly true.

      The leaders should be dictating nothing regarding the campaign. Elections are for people. We shouldn’t hope for one leader or the other to “do the decent thing”, we should be telling them what is acceptable to us.

  13. Mike 14

    When was the last time there was a TV debate with the leaders of National, Labour and the minor parties – 1999?

    • gobsmacked 14.1

      Mike – 2005. And 2002 before that (Dunne’s worm).

      You might remember Dunne and Anderton going to court to be included in 2005.

  14. Mainstream media and this government’s ability to manipulate it for their own ends will dictate the results of this election. We need our Fourth Estate to become more assertive and do their job!

  15. Terry 16

    The very thought of Goff imagining he can square up to Key makes me squirm (again). Key will use the usual tactic of abuse, rudeness, insult, and screeching over top. Afterwards, what will Goff do? As usual, shrug his shoulders. Pitiful. I am apolitical. Which politician deserves my vote? Possibly Winston, believe it or not!!

  16. Erentz 17

    Simple solution surely: do both. Goff can still turn around now and ask for an all leaders debate as well can’t he? Force Key to step up, and he will have to show.

  17. Matthew Hooton 18

    Let’s just bring this back to one very simple point: If you were John Key or Phil Goff why on earth would you want to appear in a TV circus with Russel Norman, Don Brash, Peter Dunne, Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira and Winston Peters (have I left anyone out?)? And maybe with a worm that rewards “I will increase education spending” and “I will cut taxes” but mocks “we have difficult choices to make”. It is not like Key and Goff can be made to appear in a TV format that is not in their interests.

    • vto 18.1

      If you were Goff why would you want to appear with Key?

      It’s not as if anything important will be discussed with any credibility.

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      And as voters interested in democratic debate we should acquiesce in this top down farce?

      Why let our freedom of choice be whittled away to the extent that it is any flavour you want as long as its vanilla or hokey pokey?

    • Carol 18.3

      Russel Norman, Don Brash, Peter Dunne, Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira and Winston Peters (have I left anyone out?)?

      Maybe a woman or 2?

      • R 18.3.1

        good point, Carol, and one which worries me too. Co-leadership is all women seem to have access to in this iteration of the system. Perhaps we have a long time to wait, swallowing the taste of our betrayal of a certain Ms K Sheppard?

        • Carol

          Indeed R. But I also find it curious that Matthew, with a couple of pairs of co-leaders to choose from, chose the male in each pair – especially as I think the females are the more capable of the pairs.

    • gobsmacked 18.4


      Key is acting in his interests. Goff isn’t acting in his interests.

      You’re right, they can’t be made to appear. But they can be made to look bad by not appearing. Goff had a chance to put pressure on Key, and blew it.

    • Let’s just bring this back to one very simple point:

      Let’s just bring this back to one simpler point – an election is one part of democracy in particular that the people should not accept any party leader trying to dictate anything, let alone accepting them picking and choosing how they should appear and in what debates they should appear.

      I can’t believe that media should accept this, if they do they are betraying their customers.

      We need to let the media know and we need to let the politicians know that democracy is ours, elections are ours, and they’re not for their manipulation and convenience.

    • AAMC 18.6

      If you were Goff you should see the opportunity to call Key out, whether you’d rather debate him alone or not.

      We have a proportional system, we should see all that is on offer.

    • Puddleglum 18.7

      If you were John Key or Phil Goff why on earth would you want to appear in a TV circus with Russel Norman, Don Brash, Peter Dunne, Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira and Winston Peters?

      Well, let’s start with the obvious: (1) By appearing with all and sundry you get to demonstrate conclusively why your party (and yourself) is head and shoulders above the minnows – assuming of course that you and your party are. That is, it helps to emphasise why your party is a ‘major’ rather than ‘minor’ party through direct comparison.

      (2) Another reason might involve backing yourself to project a certain humility and respect for democracy that might warm the cockles of the voters’ hearts. 

      (3) A further reason might be that you actually do believe that the policies, vision, etc. that you hold to is the best for New Zealand of any on offer and you want the chance to show that to New Zealanders by direct comparison.

      (4) Finally, you don’t simply want to win by exploiting the psychological benefit of seeming to be ‘above the fray’ of the ‘circus’ by excluding yourself from political debate.

      Of course, if (1) you know you and your party aren’t ‘head and shoulders’ above the others and it’s actually all about smoke and mirrors, the backing of powerful interest groups and money; and, (2) you don’t back yourself to project humility and respect for democracy; and, (3) you actually don’t believe that your policies, vision, etc. are the best (or you actually don’t have any vision); and, (4) you would like to win by exploiting the psychological benefit of appearing ‘above the fray’ because you don’t think you can win on any other grounds or ‘level playing field’ then, ‘yes’ you probably wouldn’t want to appear with the other leaders. 

    • R 18.8

      Because every party leader in this country owes their party, their constituents and their potential voters the capacity and ability to represent and argue/defend their policies, in any medium they can possibly access in an election year.

      Shock, horror, Matthew. Perhaps you’d prefer a ‘Woman’s Day’ -run ‘NZ’s Top PM contest’ as opposed to the proportionally representative system that was democratically awarded by the nation to their elected representatives.

      Much as JK despises Aotearoa, we are not America. Yet.

      ETA: Ugh. You may as well have said ‘let them eat brioche’. That’s how relevant you are.

  18. Reality Bytes 19

    TV is a joke.

    Any savvy politcal party should shun it and embrace Internet broadcast of debates with the same level of production values/quality as made for TV.

    Goff should boycott the debate if Key is too pussy to go toe to toe with Winston and Norman.

    Seriously, Key would look like an utter knob if he went ahead with it debating by himself, he would be an absolute laughing stock and utter joke that could only play out well for Goff.

    Meantime all the other parties could have a proper debate embracing the modern forums of Internet broadcast etc, whilst we all laugh at key talking to himself.

    Shame Goff doesn’t cotton on to this strategy. He’s not going to win this by himself, he needs the Greens and NZF to combat key too if it’s going to be mainstream TV, and if ACT was on too, they’d only embaress the Nats even further. Agreeing for a 1 v 1 with Key on prime time telly is fail strategy imo, when you consider all the other angles that could have been played here.

  19. ChrisH 20

    A most baffling tactical blunder IMHO, everyone knows that Key’s National’s strength, anything that frames the issue in presidential terms is obviously no good for Labour and makes Goff look like Jimmy Carter to Key’s Ronald Reagan, or Rowling to Muldoon, but without the benefit of incombency (!!!). And that’s quite apart from the democratic damage (and lack of logic) involved in excluding the minor MMP parties including future coalition partners required if Labour is to have any hope whatsoever of getting over the line. Key could have been made to look bad if he would not have debated the minor parties and Goff could have emerged as the inclusive leader of a broad popular front. Oh well, I guess when the present generation of political strategists are finally put out to pasture, we will get ones that can think in MMP terms.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      There is still time for LAB to reconsider and pull back out of the trap before they are fully encircled.

    • McFlock 20.2

      If Key and Goff had the other leaders to debate against, several of the smaller parties would be getting easy points off Key – who doesn’t deal well with hard questions.
      If Goff and Key go head to head, Goff could pull it off, but would need to be challenging Key every inch of the way. If he fails even by a little bit, Garner et al will proceed to fellate Key on air. However, the other smaller parties would probably eat Brash alive in their debate (if it doesn’t become a Mana/MaoriP slanging fest).
      If Goff only debated with the smaller parties, he’d be the prime target for the others.
      What Goff could do is offer a few times to do the wider debate if Key is willing. If Key backtracks then all is good. If Key doesn’t (and he won’t) then during the “presidential debate” a fallback position is to point out that Key can’t really make plans without input from coalition partners – and pop in some choice Brashisms (better yet, paraphrasing Brashisms in the best possible way for the Left). Things like “cutting funding to healthcare, leaving sick babies untreated” would be good paraphrasing and extrapolations of Act policy. And gifting electorates to the junketing party, that sort of thing.

  20. Reality Bytes 21

    I appreciate substance over style, so I appreciate what Goff has to say over what Key has to say a lot of the time. But unfortunately there are also a lot of voters out there that have the opposite attitude and give priority to style over substance.

    I wonder if Goff is in Lester Burnham mode, i.e. “I’m just an ordinary guy, with nothing to lose”… He ain’t been PM yet, this is probably his last punt, the odds are stacked against him, he has nothing to lose. I wonder if that gives a him a “zen-like Lester Burnham, fuck em all, it’s all or nothing time” attitude.

    He’s a smart guy, I just hope if he does end up going one to one with Key he focusses simply on slaying him and calling him out, forget educating us, just annihalte Key and call him out… There is SOOO much to work with. It would be truly awesome and election changing if done correctly, whilst even being hilarious and entertaining at the same time.

    • just saying 21.1

      I appreciate substance over style..

      So do I, unfortunately Goff has (publicly) shown no sign of either quality.

      he has nothing to lose

      He may have nothing to lose, but the nation has a lot to lose. As for zen-like you must be joking, he is the antithesis of calm, open and realistic. The chaos on the other hand, he has down pat.
      Key is an empty talking head ( a David Brent, to quote Felix), and I agree that a decent debater would be spoiled for material to take him down.

      I ask again why is Goff still leader?

      • Reality Bytes 21.1.1

        Haha, yeah fair point… I’m just trying to make sense of it. I mean he must be rationalizing his non-challant response to himself somehow, and from what I’ve seen he’s not getting very emotional about the whole poli’ palava. That’s why I’m saying he seems almost zen-like, perhaps a little too chilled? But who know’s. If he’s going to go toe-to-toe with Key and have any hope he will need to come across as cool, maybe he’s psyching himself up for that. I’m just trying to make sense of his strategy because it seems over/super-confident to me.

        • billy fish

          Musings on the debate – it would be an interesting model to have an independent fact checking team. Pause every 15 minutes for a FC team to question dubious information.
          This gets around the “last word” problem of the last lie is the truth issue of a question rebuttal format

          Of course I simply fantasise.

  21. alex 22

    What is going on? Are we on the verge of going back to a 2 party system? That can only be bad news. I am genuinely frightened of the possibility of a National dictatorship after the election. Someone needs to tell people, theres a lot more to National than just benign friendly John.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Listened to Bryan Edwards this afternoon. Reckon he is correct – people still aren’t feeling or behaving like it is an election year. Chances are that they are really only going to start paying attention to politics at the start of November.

      The danger is of course that the country sleepwalks into an increased National majority and we are truly sold down the river.

      • AAMC 22.1.1

        “The danger is of course that the country sleepwalks into an increased National majority and we are truly sold down the river.”

        Which plays to the point that’s been made a few times in this thread. The MSM doesn’t have a monopoly on information anymore. If all of those who are so dedicated to commenting on this blog spent a quarter of their energy engaging their not so politically focused friends and family and really went to town disseminating the graphs and you tube links and links to posts on this and other blogs via their facebook and via twitter and calling and txting radio stations we could start a diologue. Shit, you just need to txt bfm in regards to anything political and they read it out, to their entire listenership. Which other radio stations do that? Find out, exploit it.

        Time to learn from the Arab Spring, stop relying on antiquated and vested interests.


      • Deadly_NZ 22.1.2

        You know what would spark up the Labour party ? A David Cunliffe vs Blinglish No holds barred, death match debate.

        • Colonial Viper

          With one or two of the hot MPs from each side walking around the ring holding up the signs inbetween rounds!!!

  22. fatty 23

    I can understand Goff being stupid, but surely someone else could point him in the right direction…
    Winston needs to debate Key on TV, its Goff’s only chance.

    Are Labour trying to lose this… is Ashton Kutcher going to reveal himself soon as the Labour Party strategist?

    At least in a few months Goff will be gone and the reds can think about being useful again

  23. burt 24


    I had a quick scan over some of the threads on political debates from 2008. I’m not seeing much consistency in your position on presidential style debates. Seems it was just fine and dandy. On The Standard: Clark Takes Round 2 you are jovial and supportive of the format.

    What’s changed rOb ?

    Oh, and boy they tore you a new one after tying you in knots in ‘The King Maker Debate’.

    • felix 24.1

      I don’t see the format being discussed. Can you point it out?

      • burt 24.1.1

        Well, no I don’t claim to have an example where rOb defended the format, but he certainly cheers his team loud and clear. Would you do that if your party leader was the PM and you were totally unimpressed with the format?

        • McFlock


          Edit: So if someone doesn’t like the 5% threshhold, they’re not allowed to give credit to any politician who performs competently?

          • felix

            If someone says or thinks anything, they’re not to say or think anything else.

            See burt for examples.

        • felix

          “Well, no I don’t claim to have an example where rOb defended the format”

          Yeah you did claim that, burt. It was right here: (To r0b)

          On The Standard: Clark Takes Round 2 you are jovial and supportive of the format.

          You remember writing that, don’t you burt? What did you think it meant?

  24. freedom 25

    this is a slightly edited repost from earlier in the day on another thread

    I propose a radical restructuring of the concept of a Leaders’ Debate. The Leaders’ Debate should be a full engagement on set issues with all balloted parties being represented in a 5 evening series of debates. Three debaters per debate all drawn from a hat a week before in a nationally televised draw, using the ‘lotto rules’ would be good. They are fair, tried and true and the symbolism is not without its mirth.

    here is how the draw works:
    All parties are put in the hat. The first draw of three is done, those three are left out, next draw, those three are left out, etc,. When the hat has one name left, irrespective of how many empty slots remain in the debate being drawn, all parties so far removed are put back in. The process continues until the debate roster is complete. Five nights, three debaters, fifteen slots, all will get representation and none should be favoured over any other. The Parties deceide who they send to speak. Simple, fair and doable.

    The series of debates are using questions from wherever. It does not really matter, what matters is the draw of the participants. Until we see the ballot we will not know final numbers obviously, but a rotating roster of debates where the Greens may be on stage with just ACT and United would be a good debate. National up against Mana with Progessive along for conscience would have its moments. Labour and Greens and Maori Party would be a riot and i suspect a hasty unforseen event would cause transmission to be interrupted soon into the broadcast.

    Give it some consideration. The media driven Election campaigns warrant an event of this scale. More and more influence is attributed to Tv Media so it makes sense for the Public to find a way to ask that the media become a constructive particpant and not just a manipulative tool.

    • R 25.1

      that would be awesome, but how would we make it freely available via mainstream media? Donations? I’d donate to a decent political channel if it was available online… However, anything which cost money would automatically skew the results/effect… Oh, wait…

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        I’d donate to a decent political channel if it was available online…

        Would only need $500K pa to run.

        I’d put in 0.5% of that myself. Only 199 more volunteers to go.

        • burt

          You could run a political channel for $500K pa ? Good luck finding quality staff, paying depreciation on equipment, lease on premises and insurance for that. An HD video cam and a bit of space in the garage won’t really cut it CV.

          It would probably cost $500K to stage the debate. Would you been keen to fund 0.5% of that for a big round of debates once every 3 years ?

          • Colonial Viper

            You could learn a thing or two about assymetric campaigning…

            PS we wouldn’t be paying the kinds of rates that Garner, Espiner, Holmes etc would be interested in

            THATS THE POINT 🙂

          • felix

            “It would probably cost $500K to stage the debate.”

            Are you high? Do you know how simple it is to film people standing still and talking to each other?

            It’s 2011 burt. Your grandkids could sort it out for you after school.

        • R

          seriously, I’d defo want to be part of it. I’m not sure how to obtain an independent domain, organise things legally, etc., does anyone have any advice to share?

          • Colonial Viper

            Best done off line, you know *hush hush*. Plenty of people who visit this site have all the technical and legal knowledge required.

            The whole thing would need to be run by about 3.0-3.5 FTEs max and gain leverage by finding freelance commentors, writers and journalists willing to work for reduced rates. Content would be clearly partisan in nature, leaning towards social democratic and democratic socialist values, while disassembling RWNJ propoganda.

            There is a long list of notable people who never get interview time on the MSM who could be interviewed to generate original content. There are many blacklisted economists and commentators whom the MSM will never touch, preferring instead to go with some aparatchik from one of the big banks.

            Content sharing agreements with the likes of RNZ, Aljazeera, RTV, local TV stations and documentary providers/aggregators would be useful in bringing a broad local and international perspective, and add a scientific and historical perspective to current day happenings.

            There should be fun social segments on Thu Fri and Sat nights with solid revolutionary music videos.

            Finding synergies with The Standard would clearly be important 🙂

            • freedom

              If I had the resources i would be pushing this idea through every gimmicky PR co/booking agent, Magazine/ full page ads in Newspaper. I would be challenging the parties, all of them, to face up to the debate or explain in plain english why they choose not to. Then using that answer in as many creative ways as possible to name and shame. I so wish i had the resources to do this for this election.

              What i am striving for here is a re-engagement with the general public for our Democracy. A single debate between two fluffed up spinmeisters does nothing. A week of having a Party’s policies under the spotlight and the associated media games would do more for the information war of politicking than any number of pledge cards or flashy fold-ins.

              The whole thing can probably be funded from existing Election funds anyway, or perhaps additional funds can be attributed to the party funds or even better a small take from the MP’s endless payraises? Most people i know in the media arts would gladly donate their time to support a civic event of this magnitude. Many who work in TV would probably feel the same . There is a difference between a one off debate and a week of getting to the heart of a matter.

              A nationwide week of soap-box bravado that gets intstitutionalised as part of the Election Campaign process might begin to introduce a wider audience to the realitiy that policy really does affect your country more than who you end up with as PM.

              So that is my 2c , wish it could be more, maybe by next Election i can do something more definitive about it, this Election I will be doing whatever i can to engage people that this Election matters. That this Election is not a fait-accompli.

              I will use whatever i have available. Mostly it will be information drops in public spaces, emails, the almost useful FaceBook, generally just walking that fine line where you try not to piss off a few friends with facts and figures they do not want to hear and continuing until they begin to listen. You can do the same. Our future as a free country really does rely on removing National this year.

              • I thought that was an excellent comment until I got to the last sentence, that negates your expressed ideals substantially.

                You said: “What i am striving for here is a re-engagement with the general public for our Democracy.”

                You seem to be confusing “our Democracy” with your narrow aim.

                • freedom

                  your comment was pointed out to me so i hope you do not think i am being a hypocrite considering i said awhile ago i stopped reading your contributions. which itself is pretty stupid but it was a rough day. So figure that will make two retractions in one comment. ouch. good thing i do humble well 🙂

                  here is the second one, Pete, you are completely correct.. The last line is unnecessary and definitely steers the point of the issue away from my chosen port. Chocolate fish to PeteGeorge.

                  I ask a mod out there to remove the last sentence of this linked post


                  [lprent: It got referred to so I don’t delete it. I have struck it out. ]

                  • freedom

                    much appreciated, and i see the sense in the strikeout.

                  • terryg

                    Freedom, nicely done. There’s nothing wrong with mistakes, only with denial thereof. Hell, mistakes are how we learn……

                    Pete George: I’ve read a number of really good comments from you over the last couple of days, in this thread and others; enough to revise my opinion of you (FWIW).

                    Maori TV might be a good place for these debates – they have some really good programming….


      • freedom 25.1.2

        doesn’t New Zealand still own a Television station? I believe it is called TVOne.

    • burt 25.2

      I think it would be like ice cream to political junkies but way to much for most partially (or not at all) interested viewers. The problem is we the few will want the majority to pay for our indulgence – because that’s how socialism works.

      Perhaps we could make the cost of political campaigns like ACC levies, most people have no idea how much they are actually paying overall.

      How about equal funding for all registered parties for a grand debate – Actually freedom you could register a political party with that as it’s only policy and all of who like the idea can give you our party vote. We could put you into the house to make it happen! It only takes 5% to have a crack at getting the other 95% to share the cost.

      • felix 25.2.1

        Let it all out burt.

      • Colonial Viper 25.2.2

        The problem is we the few will want the majority to pay for our indulgence – because that’s how socialism works.

        Amen for socialism, said the millionaire investors in Southern Canterbury Finance.

      • AAMC 25.2.3

        The privatization of profit an the socialization of risk.

        Anyway, I clearly read CV suggesting another 199 donators. Sounded like community action rather than socialism to me Burt.

      • freedom 25.2.4

        ‘I think it would be like ice cream to political junkies but way to much for most partially (or not at all) interested viewers. ”

        Burt why do you declare that most people would not engage with the debates. Are you nuts? This is a whole different beastie than a one off show-down. A week of nightly battles would easily be the highest rating show on TV by the third night. Simply because of how the media machine works and the animal it is. They would smell a fresh ratings pack and the blood would flow. Advertisers would be hammering down doors to get their slots. You have to break from your ‘it has always been and always thus will be’ Burt. It stunts your growth.

        Media changes, it is in its nature to adapt and advent ideas, look at reality Tv the last ten years. If I had told you a decade ago that a bunch of people cooking cakes would be one of the highest regular rated shows in TV history, you would have handed me medication.

        I would bet the futures of undiscovered rare metals that the only people not wanting this idea to progress would be the majority of politicians themselves, irrespective of their public statements.

  25. felix 26

    I found this thread where burt says he loves to spank himself with cucumbers: It’s here.

    Bit embarrassing burtie boy, considering your well documented hatred of cucumber fetishes.

    What? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never claimed that burt said anything about cucumbers at all, but he definitely said some other shit about something else, right?

  26. terryg 27

    It pains me to say this, as I am well aware of the ramifications, but:

    Fuck me, Labour DESERVE to lose this election. FFS Burts posts contain more sense than I am seeing from Labour (hint: none). Labour are utterly fucking clueless, in so many regards – like, say, repeatedly violating the election advertising act (or whatever its called).

    I had hoped getting rid of that craven media advisor John wots-his-face would help, but Goff et al seem to have gotten worse, not better. un-fucking-believable, and entirely self-inflicted. Thank fuck I’m not poor, because we’re in for a shit of a time when NACT win, right when we need it least – and AFAICT the damage will be irreperable. Aaaaaaaaarghfuck, I dont think I can take any more of this – time to bury myself in physics for a few years while my beautiful country shits itself into oblivion. Somebody wake me when its over…..

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      time to bury myself in physics for a few years while my beautiful country shits itself into oblivion. Somebody wake me when its over…..

      You got one of those neat frozen carbonite hibernation systems? Might come in handy.

      Seriously, LAB is full of good people working very hard. The polls need only move from 32% in the BS MSM polls to 40% in the Poll Which Matters and Key is out.

      Seriously, thats all it will take. Thats why Key English Joyce are still sweating bullets every minute of every day, despite the MSM declaring hourly that “National will Govern Alone!!!! (So There!)”

      • terryg 27.1.1

        Hi CV,

        alas no, but I do have a sizeable pile of highly technical work within which I can subsume my consciousness for a year or three.

        I think you’re right about LAB having plenty of good people – but I dont think that Phil Goff is a capable leader. One might blame the advisors, but Goff is (allegedly) in charge…..

        You are of course dead right re. the only poll that counts (the election). Had I imaginary friends I would pray that happens; alas I dont, and frankly I cant see your +8% happening. The frustrating thing is that its clear it COULD – if only oh, I dunno, say LAB read this bloody website, and actually acted on some of the more erudite suggestions.

        I forget who remarked that LAB seem to see themselves as “the good guys” (not far from correct IMO) and interpret that as meaning they are always right by definition, but I reckon that was spot on.

        this debate twaddle perfectly illustrates my reasons for despair. How ignorant do Goff et al need to be to not notice that DonKey will win the personality contest if they allow it to become (remain, more like) one? do they even watch the MSM? if so, is there any comprehension whatsoever, let alone at a strategic level?

        This from someone who has voted party Green, constituent LAB at every election I’ve been here for. The bit that really irks is I’d like to slap LAB by not giving them my vote, but that will only make it worse…..


  27. Tangled up in blue 28

    The bottom line is that you can’t force parties to participate into a debate and understandably Labour and National don’t want a 90min group debate as this format doesn’t strategically suit them atm.

    Maybe MSM needs to have more frequent prime-time minor party debates right up to the election so the amount of exposure might mean the big parties start taking an interest.

    • freedom 28.1

      quick question, have you even read this thread?

      There are a dozen statements above that explain how the focus is on having the debate. Who turns up is entirely at the whim of the party and so would be their need to deal with the fallout from the public’s response to that decision.

      It is kind of a classic ‘If you build it they will come’ moment.

      It is up to us, the people, to build this idea. The MSM won’t do it. Why should they, they have all they want, vegetables locked into cooking shows. The cannibalistic nature of media is astonishing.

      • Tangled up in blue 28.1.1

        Afaik MSM haven’t said “no minor parties, no broadcast” so I assume that National & Labour will still be turning up for their debates like last election. All the other parties still get coverage just at different times. What makes you think that there will be a significant public response this time?

        • freedom

          if all they get is the status quo then the apportioned response will be apt

          if ‘they’ rose to the challenge ‘we’ should be willing to support it

          I still suspect you have not read the thread

          • Tangled up in blue

            I’ve skimmed it. Nothing really convinced me why it’s in the interest of JK & Goff to participate when the context is eight participants in a small time frame and it’s unlikely it would provide any kind of helpful debate.

            • freedom

              what eight participants in a small time frame are you referring to?
              Speaking for myself i proposed a fifteen member event in a series of three person debates over five nights. Hardly insubstantial in comparison to recent years’ efforts.

              if you are referring to the format we have had the last few years then you have not read or even skimmed this thread. There is an entirely different focus in the dialogue occuring here and you may have something useful to contribute, but if like many naysayers it is more about just adding to a list of veto remarks then i see why you would not bother

  28. Tangled up in blue 29

    Hey I’d like a different format too.

    My judgement about National & Labours refusal to debate is made in the context of which they’re actually facing, not an imaginary scenario that I would prefer.

  29. chris73 30

    I wasn’t on this site in 2008, if you were can you remind me what people thought of only Helen Clark and John Key debating each other

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    Luxon in 2021 as a new MP, before his rise to PM and subsequent plummeting popularity. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the 10 things that stood out for me from me reading over the last day, as at 10:10 am on Wednesday, April 10:Must read: Tova O’Brien describes ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • What’s happening with Airport to Botany
    One of the few public transport projects the current government have said they support is the Airport to Botany project (A2B) and it’s one we haven’t covered in a while so worth looking at where things are at. A business case for the project was completed in 2021 before being ...
    3 days ago
  • Bishop more popular than Luxon in Curia poll
    Count the Chrises: Chris Bishop (2nd from right) is moving up in the popularity polls. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: These six things stood out to me over the last day in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy, as of 7:06 am on Wednesday, April 10:The National/ACT/NZ First coalition Government’s opinion poll ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Silmarillion Fan Poetry: A Collection (2022-2024)
    It’s been some time since I properly exercised my poetic muscles. Prose-writing has been where it’s at for me, these past few years. Well, to get back into practice, I thought I’d write the occasional bit of jocular fan poetry, based off Tolkien’s Silmarillion… with this post being a collection ...
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is not causing global warming
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: What’s to blame for the public’s plummeting trust in the media?
    The media is in crisis, as New Zealand audiences flee from traditional sources of news and information. The latest survey results on the public’s attitude to the media shows plummeting trust. And New Zealand now leads the world in terms of those who want to “avoid the news”. But who ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Dead on target
    My targets for today are: 1 newsletter sent out by 4.30pm 800 words of copy delivered to a client by COB, as we say in the world of BAU1 dinner served by sunset GST returnSo far so good. Longer-term targets are: Get some website copy finished before I get on a plane on Saturday ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The PM sets nine policy targets- and in case you missed the truancy one, Seymour has provided some...
    Buzz from the Beehive Targets and travel were a theme in the latest flow of ministerial announcements. The PM announced a raft of targets (“nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders”) along with plans to head for Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines. His Deputy and Foreign ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Unwelcome advice
    Yesterday He Pou a Rangi Climate Change Commission released two key pieces of advice, on the 2036-40 emissions budget and the 2050 target. Both are statutorily required as part of the Zero Carbon Act budgeting / planning process, and both have a round of public consultation before being finalised and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • In a structural deficit, the only real tax cut is a spending cut
    Eric Crampton writes –  This week’s column in the Stuff papers. A snippet: Tabarrok warned that America had two political parties – “the Tax and Spenders and the No-Tax and Spenders” – and neither was fiscally conservative. In the two decades after Tabarrok’s warning, the federal government ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • A Return to Kindness?
    New Zealanders are a pretty fair minded bunch. By and large we like to give people a go.Ian Foster, for example, had a terrible record as a head rugby coach. Like not even good, and did we let that bother us? Yeah, but also Nah. Because we went ahead and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    Geoffrey Miller writes –  This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Back to the future, with a 2032 deadline
    Aiming to look visionary and focused, Luxon has announced nine targets to improve measures for education, health, crime and climate emissions - but the reality is only one target is well above pre-Covid levels. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Why Rod Carr is optimistic farmers can beat climate change
    The future of farming went on the line yesterday when the Climate Change Commission presented its first review of New Zealand’s target of net zero emissions by 2050. The Commission said New Zealand’s target was unlikely to be consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of holding temperature rise to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Grifters, Bigots & Booling With the Dawgs
    Hi,I hope you had a good weekend. I was mostly in bed with the worst flu of my life.Today I’m emerging on the other side — and looking forward to what I can catch of the total solar eclipse rippling across parts of America today.Whilst hacking through a cough, I’ve ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Goldsmith spots a cost-saver in his Justice domain – let’s further erode our right (under Magna ...
    Bob Edlin writes – Chapter 39 of the Magna Carta (from memory) includes the guarantee that no free man may suffer punishment without “the lawful judgment of his peers.” This was a measure which the barons forced on England’s King John to delegate part of his judicial authority ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Is Global Warming Speeding Up?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Thanks to climate change, 2023 has shattered heat records, and 2024 is continuing where last year left off. With this devastating ...
    5 days ago
  • Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister!
    Brooke is on the TV, being a Minister! She is going to talk to Jack on the TV!It's hard to watch Jack on the TV without thinking to yourself:How can anyone be that good-looking,and also be even brainier than they are good-looking?Talk about lucky!But also, Jack works for the TV news. So ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • There’s gold – or rather, energy without carbon – in that rock, but Jones reminds us of the Tr...
    Buzz from the Beehive Oh, dear.  One News tells us an ownership spat is brewing between Māori and the Crown as New Zealand uses more renewable energy sources. No, not water or the shoreline.  Ownership of another resource has come into the reckoning. The One News report explained that 99% of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Bad faith from National
    One of the weird features of the Zero Carbon Act was its split-gas targets, which separated methane, produced overwhelmingly by farmers, from carbon dioxide produced by the rest of us. This lower target for methane was another effective subsidy to the dairy industry, and was the result of a compromise ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Israel’s murderous use of AI in Gaza
    This may seem like a dumb question– but how come Israel has managed to kill at least 33,000 Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including over 13,000 children? Of course, saturation aerial bombing and artillery shelling of densely populated civilian neighbourhoods will do that. So will the targeting of children by IDF ...
    Gordon CampbellBy ScoopEditor
    5 days ago
  • Total Eclipse of the Mind.
    All that you touch And all that you seeAll that you taste All you feelAnd all that you love And all that you hateAll you distrust All you saveEarly tomorrow morning as the sun is rising in Aotearoa many people across North America, from Mexico to Canada, will be losing ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • So why do that degree… here?
    A report – and discussion – from the university front line… Mike Grimshaw writes – I have been involved in numerous curriculum and degree reviews over the decades and in all of them the question always skirted around is: “If you had to leave now with ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The hunt is on for an asterix for farm emissions
    The Government is setting up its own experts group to review the goalposts for farmers to reduce methane emissions. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items of note for me in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy as of 9:06 am on Monday, April 8 are:The Government is setting up ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: Aukus or not, New Zealand’s foreign policy is being remade
    This could be a watershed week for New Zealand’s international relations. Winston Peters, the foreign minister, is heading to Washington DC for a full week of meetings. The surprisingly lengthy trip just happens to coincide with a major trilateral summit of leaders from the United States, Japan and the Philippines. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Kaka’s diary for the week to April 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to April 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is scheduled to hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4 pm today. The Climate Commission will publish advice to the Government this evening.Parliament is sitting from Question Time at 2pm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #14
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, March 31, 2024 thru Sat, April 6, 2024. Story of the week Proxy measurement via Facebook "engagement" suggests a widely welcoming audience for Prof. Andrew Dessler's The Climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Their Money or Your Life.
    Brooke van Velden appeared this morning on Q&A, presumably paying homage to Margaret Thatcher. The robotic one had come in an 80s pink, shoulder-padded jacket, much favoured by the likes of Thatcher or Hosking. She also brought the spirit of Margaret, seemingly occupying her previously vacant soul compartment.Jack asked for ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Truth pulls its boots on
    It's a lot easier to pull off a lie if people don't know much about what you're lying about.Sometimes, watching Christopher Luxon, you get the impression he doesn't know all that much about it, either.​​ That's the charitable interpretation. The other is that he knows full well.He was on the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Those of a certain vintage in this country will recognise that as a paraphrasing of the much celebrated Paul Holmes sign-off from his nightly current affairs show, yes, he of the “cheekie darkie” comment infamy (that one aimed at then-UN Chief Kofi Annan, and if unfamiliar with what followed in ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Are You Missing Kindness Yet?
    In my last newsletter I asked how is Luxon this out of touch? Many of you, quite wisely, don’t do the Twitter thing so I thought I’d share a few of the comments from the cross section of humanity that you encounter there.The comment from Clandesdiner@boglyboohoo, not sure if that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • How NZ and Taiwan differ in disaster preparedness
    Peter Dunne writes –  Taiwan and New Zealand are two small island states with much in common. Both are vibrant, independent democracies, living in the shadow of an overbearing neighbour. (Admittedly, Taiwan’s overbearing neighbour has far more aggressive tendencies than our at-times overbearing neighbour!) There is a strong ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Bryce Edwards writes – Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Nearly a month of it
    Hello! There has not been an omnibus for about three weeks because covid and bereavement got in the way.Here’s what you may have missed if you’re not a daily reader.Life’s Little Victories - I think I’ve dodged COVIDTwo Bar Blues - I haven’t Relentlessly Negative - Things seem to be ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coastal court action flies under the radar
    Graham Adams says NZ’s coastline may end up under iwi control. Former Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson is known for his forthright and sometimes combative language. In 2022, in discussing opposition to co-governance, he referred to “the sour right” and “the KKK brigade”. Last week, in ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    1 week ago
  • Does a Fiscal Debt Target Make Sense?
    Do we treat the government finances with the common sense that household’s manage theirs?It is a commonly held view that we should treat the government as if it is a prudent household. We don’t when it comes to its debt. Currently the government says it wants to constrain its net ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Why Shane Jones sunk the Kermadecs Marine Sanctuary
    Did vested interests prevent New Zealand from establishing a world-leading environmental marine reserve? There are strong signs that in killing off the proposal for a Kermadec Islands Marine Sanctuary, Shane Jones has been doing the bidding of several industries and groups that he’s closely connected with. As Oceans and Fisheries ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Spite destroys success
    The clean car discount was a real policy success in pushing electrification of transport. It worked so well that EV adoption was running five years ahead of the Climate Commission's targets, giving us a real shot at decarbonising light transport. National killed it out of pure spite. And as expected, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    14 hours ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    15 hours ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    18 hours ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    19 hours ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    20 hours ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    1 day ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    1 day ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    2 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    2 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    2 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    3 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    3 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    3 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    3 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    4 days ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    4 days ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    4 days ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    4 days ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    5 days ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    5 days ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    5 days ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    6 days ago
  • $4.9m project completed with marae reopening
    A significant marae has reopened in the heart of Rotorua marking the end of renovations for the Ruatāhuna Marae Renovation Cluster, a project that provided much-needed jobs and regional economic stimulus, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones was at the official reopening of Mātaatua ki Rotorua Marae today. ...
    7 days ago
  • Pure Tūroa Limited to operate Tūroa ski field
    Ko Tahuarangi te waka – Tahuarangi is the ancestral vessel Ko Rangitukutuku te aho – Rangitukutuku is the fishing line Ko Pikimairawea te matau – Pikimairawea is the hook Ko Hāhā te Whenua te ika kei rō-wai – Hāhā te whenua is the fish (of Māui) whilst under the ocean ...
    7 days ago
  • Methane targets to be independently reviewed
    Rebuilding New Zealand’s economy will rely on the valuable agricultural sector working sustainably towards our climate change goals.  Today, the Climate Change and Agriculture Ministers announced that an independent panel of experts will review agricultural biogenic methane science and targets for consistency with no additional warming. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ and Nordics: likeminded partners
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has highlighted the strong ties that bind New Zealand and the Nordic countries of Northern Europe during a trip to Sweden today.    “There are few countries in the world more likeminded with New Zealand than our friends in Northern Europe,” Mr Peters says.    “We ...
    1 week ago
  • First New Zealand C-130J Hercules takes flight
    The first New Zealand C-130J Hercules to come off the production line in the United States has successfully completed its first test flights, Defence Minister Judith Collins announced today. “These successful flights are a significant milestone for the New Zealand Defence Force, bringing this once-in-a-generation renewal of a critical airlift ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to rephase NCEA Change Programme
      The coalition Government is making significant changes to the NCEA Change Programme, delaying the implementation by two years, Minister of Education Erica Stanford announced today. “Ensuring New Zealand’s curriculum is world leading is a vital part of the Government’s plan to deliver better public services and ensure all students ...
    1 week ago
  • New Ngāpuhi investment fund Chair appointed
    Ben Dalton has been appointed the new board Chair of Tupu Tonu, the Ngāpuhi Investment Fund, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Finance Minister Shane Jones. “Ben brings a wealth of experience in governance and economic development to the position. He will have a strong focus on ensuring ...
    1 week ago
  • Education should be prioritised ahead of protesting
    Students should be in school and learning instead of protesting during school hours, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “If students feel strongly about sending a message, they could have marched on Tuesday when there was a nationwide teacher only day, or during the upcoming school holidays. It has become ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering on Local Water Done Well
    Cabinet has agreed on key steps to implement Local Water Done Well, the Coalition Government’s plan for financially sustainable locally delivered water infrastructure and services, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says.  "Councils and voters resoundingly rejected Labour’s expensive and bureaucratic Three Waters regime, and earlier this year the Coalition Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Peters to visit New York, Washington D.C.
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will engage with high-level United States Government and United Nations officials in the United States next week (6-12 April).    The visit, with programmes in New York and Washington D.C., will focus on major global and regional security challenges and includes meetings with US Secretary of ...
    1 week ago

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