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Open mike 26/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 26th, 2020 - 163 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

163 comments on “Open mike 26/05/2020”

  1. Ad 1

    I just hope to God all this worker assistance provides just something to get us through this bleak, dark, miserable winter ahead.

    So many I know in real pain.

    • Enough is Enough 1.1

      The financial assistance is needed and appreciated by people I know.

      But there is massive anxiety about what comes post September. There are not exactly a lot of jobs out there at the moment

    • adam 1.2

      What I thought capitalism was just fine Ad, us doomsayers who were saying structurally it was weak as piss were dismissed by you and yours.

      It takes almost total collapse, pain and suffering for middle NZ – for any of you to take notice. Well take notice- this is what it like all the time for the weakest in this society.

      Capitalism is a failed project. Time to grow up and change the economy.

      • Paddington 1.2.1

        I'm not aware of any country that has practised free market capitalism. I know plenty that have practised market economics, and as a result we have seen millions lifted out of poverty, and the standard if living for most westerners rise to well above anything ever experienced in history.

        • adam

          Silly little stawman, I did not say free market capitalism – so sorry for you.

          • Paddington

            You said capitalism. That is in itself a straw man, because in it's pure form no country practices it, least of all NZ. So your comment " Time to grow up and change the economy" is meaningless.

      • Ad 1.2.2

        Typically thoughtless, pitless fatalism from the Adam.

        Your mishmash ideology is nothing but a joyously sadistic apocalyptopia.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Is it just me, or does Raveen Jaduram, the CEO of Watercare, come across as curiously detached about the current water problems in Auckland, and acting like he is simply observing an incomprehensible slow moving train wreck that is quite beyond his control? His public utterances thus far display no sense or urgency or agency on his part and a sort of fatalistic shoulder shrugging abdication of responsibility.

    The guy should be jumping up and down, but instead he just seems to be meandering along as an useless CEO of a monopoly utility…

    • Sacha 2.1

      The architects of the Auckland region's local body restructuring made sure his particular empire was well-insulated, figuring it would be the first on the block. He has no connection with citizens, only with customers of a monopoly.

      • OnceWasTim 2.1.1

        I think they devised a formula sometime ago for CEO and senior staff both in the private and public sectors. The higher the salary, the more insulated and out of touch and less accountable you are allowed to be.

        • Tricledrown

          The reality is droughts we are not adapting to the need to use less water.

          Droughts are becoming more common yet everyone is looking to the govts to solve the problem.

          Farmers have had to face this problem for nearly 30 years but are largely farming for what was happening 30 years ago.Some farmers have buried 3 to 4 yrs of silage to mitigate climate change,changing feed crops not over stocking.

          City dwellers need to change habits as well cars can stay dirty.Houses don't need water blasting, gardens need to be drought resistant.Washing Machines water efficient ,Showers shorter and more efficient.

          Blaming everything on watercare is not going to solve the longterm problem.

          • Wayne

            There does not need to be any long term problem about Auckland water. At present Auckland takes 1% of the Waikato flow. Even if that increased to 5% (which would be twice Auckland’s normal daily usage) it would be literally unnoticeable in terms of the river.

            The current problem is entirely due to a lack of forward planning to take account of droughts. Water are has operated on the basis that the pipeline installed 20 years ago would be enough. In the meantime the population has virtually doubled.

            So the current problem is due to lack of future proofing using a readily available water source at our back door.

            • Andre

              At 150 million litres/day taken by Watercare, that's 1.7 cubic metres per second. Out of an annual mean flow of 330ish cubic metres/second at Tuakau. So about 0.5%.

              Current Waikato river mean flows are way above historical averages since the 1980s when the headwaters of rivers that used to flow into the Rangitikei, Whanganui, Whangaehu etc got diverted into the Tongariro power scheme. That increased the mean annual flow of the Waikato by about 29 cubic metres/second.

    • Dennis Frank 2.2

      He's clearly cognisant of the ubiquitous sense of entitlement that has long characterised Auckland citizenry. They've always felt entitled to use sprinklers regardless of droughts. First sign of getting real would be to eliminate car washes. Didn't happen last time the reservoirs were this low.

      I recall when the headlines were blaring dire emergency, heading into Les Mills & seeing the showers running continuously even though nobody was using them. The dork was actually then current mayor of Ak, blathering on air about water conservation. Typical rightist Aucklander, I thought. Aucks never change.

      • Molly 2.2.1

        You are missing the word "some" in several of your sentences. Including it appropriately would make your comment more accurate… but admittedly less dramatic.

    • Cricklewood 2.3

      Well not like he really cares his 750k Salary keeps him well insulated from real world issues.

      • woodart 2.3.1

        750 grand to make water run downhill! bloody outrageous.

        • Bearded Git

          He should be able to make it run uphill for that salary.

          • Tricledrown

            Thank Jenny Shipley for corporatising essential council services.

            Before a clerk of water services was paid a decent salary for doing the same job probably the equivalent of $150 ,000 to $200,000 in today's money perfectly adequate for a local govt job.

            Corporatization was supposed to make these CCO's more efficient.

            Reality is cost's have risen efficiency gains dubious and the service users left high and Dry.

          • McFlock

            that's how it gets into the header tanks lol

    • bwaghorn 2.4

      The government needs to step in a fix Aucklands water woes . Sure it's a drought but its government policies that have flooded the city with migrants ,both kiwi and foreign!

      • cricklewood 2.4.1

        Nah the absolute inaction over late summer when it was becoming apparent supplies were dropping fast.

        Instead they put the house on a change of season bringing rain, realistically we should be looking to manage fresh water year round so drastic steps are less likely.

        • Tricledrown

          The Free market answer put the price up to drive down demand.

          The poor can afford a Trickle while the wealthy can afford to drown their gardens and fill swimming pools

  3. "It's understood he was offered justice but declined to take it, asking instead for foreign affairs." (Henry Cooke)


    The reason for that seems obvious. There's the added expense of an interpreter on any overseas visit = probably more than one when visiting/grovelling the U.S

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Looking on the bright side, we've dodged both those bullets. Simon wouldn't know what justice was if it came up & bit him on the arse, and he's never had a clue about foreign affairs either. Todd oughta give him race relations (to keep us entertained).

      • tc 3.1.1

        Race Relations Toddy should man up and take himself, his views on the subject are of national significance now.

        Watch the kid gloves media handle him with going forward so as to not damage the brand after the mauling Soimons given it.

        • patricia

          Jack Tame took the gloves off. He asked Toll Muddler what he would do. Deer in the headlights comes to mind.

          • Kevin

            Did a lot of impressive hand waving though. For a moment I thought he was using sign language to get his answers across.

            • I Feel Love

              He did that in QT as well, and slowed down how he said a question (after repeating it), very "mansplain"-ish, he's gonna be fun to watch (in a cringe comedy kinda way).

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    Speaking of the Wealthy …wastrels

    Mr Todd will very soon receive his Muller knighthood. For he will have done what National and Hooton always does: namely

    He will have offered the wealthy National Voters large reductions in tax payments.

    Not even glancing over the thing we once called the Middle Class – but building the shameful poverty National has built up for decades, Courtesy of the savage NZ Landlords and the low wage Hounds.

    Maybe Grant Robertson and Treasury will develop an equality in New Zealand's Fiscal arrangements.

    After all is said and done – the duty of our Parliament is to build a Democracy. A thing Muller and his mates know nothing about. We are Not to build a bunch of weatlthy thieves such as present day Nationals.

  5. Sacha 5


    Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson told RNZ the new offering was a "very clear" admission that base benefit rates were not enough to live on.

    The Greens had pushed for all benefits to be increased to the new Covid-19 level, she said, but had so far been unsuccessful in getting that over the line.

    "Both New Zealand First and Labour need to come to the table on this."

    In October 2017, the Green Party co-leader James Shaw signed an agreement with Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, agreeing to support the government on matters of confidence and supply.

    In return, Labour made a number of commitments including one to "overhaul the welfare system".

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Public grandstanding becomes inevitable when you are ineffective in intra-party negotiations, I suppose. You'd think that the co-leaders would be forthright and honest about that – but no. Typical politicians. Treat the public with contempt and they will do it right back to you. Inept.

      • Macro 5.1.1


      • weka 5.1.2

        Do tell us how the Greens could have been more effective in intra-party negotiations. I'd really like to know how you see that. Because I can't see how the Greens can negotiate better on welfare if Labour and NZF are against what they want. Please explain how they can.

        • Dennis Frank

          Okay, let's assume Labour & NZF were indeed opposed to the Greens position: I would immediately flush out why. Not just have all the cards on the table, but for the voters to see them. I cannot accept that it is in our national interest to indulge the cover-up.

          Then the onus would instantly be on Labour to justify their opposition. That has to be done in reference to the memo of understanding or whatever deal the Greens made after the 2017 election that got them into the troika situation.

          We would then have a media frenzy examining the pros & cons of the Labour justification: it would hold up – or not. It could expose a cleavage within Labour, right? Neoliberals vs socialists. The latter supporting the Green position.

          Using triangulation within the govt only gets the Greens so far. If they come out of a negotiation as losers they must use the public as third party in the triangle. Grandstanding doesn't achieve that – it merely comes across to the public as losers whimpering. Greens using the triangle as leverage to produce suitable outcomes is the missing bit. Jacinda will always compromise for the greater good. That's the desired outcome. They just need to engineer it!

          The flaw in the above reasoning is whether the public mood will support the Greens. I have no rational basis for optimism on that point – just a hunch that the kiwi preference for a fair go for all will guide them to see that the Greens have got the issue right. I'm confident that suitable framing of the issue by the Greens will achieve that result. I suspect that whatever framing they used in the negotiation is root of the current problem…

          • weka

            what's the difference between what you are suggesting and Davidson has just done?

          • Dennis Frank

            I was sure I had explained that carefully! I see no evidence they have explained their negotiation failure. Nor that they are attempting to include the public in their process (participatory democracy). Just doing back-room deals (that fail) in non-smoke-filled rooms is merely traditional politics without the smoke. You can't cause a political paradigm shift by being so old-fashioned. Inclusion is the zeitgeist. That they don't get such a simple principle is depressing.

            Add to that process failure the key principle; to win public support you must explain your political positioning on issues. What we got was her lobbying for beneficiaries plus her reminder of Labour's commitment. No explanation offered for the negotiation failure. Reluctance to inform the public of that sends the wrong signal. Not only would beneficiaries like to know who to blame, I bet media pros would too. She would rather National grabs the headlines? Any publicity is good became a political truism long ago. Did nobody tell her?

            • weka

              "to win public support you must explain your political positioning on issues."

              MD just did that. She explained their political positioning on welfare, in response to Labour's.

              If I have understood you correctly, your main point here is that the process of policy development isn't transparent? I would agree with that. I'm not sure to what extent the Greens can do something about that, although I agree that they should be saying something. There will be some expectation of confidentiality. Breaking that will harm relationships, so there is a balance between going against Labour and NZF and being able to work with them (eg in negotiations). I mean, what is she supposed to say? Hey NZ, Labour wouldn't have such a stupid policy if it weren't for NZF, who actively blocked our suggestions on how to so this payment in a way that was better for all NZers.

              One thing that is clear is that lots of people, including those that comment on politics publicly, don't understand how parliament works. Or government. Or the Greens. I wonder if it would help if the Greens just started pointing this stuff out more generally.

              People slam the Greens for not using leverage, but the Green kaupapa is relationship based, they don't do macho politics. I like the idea of bringing the public into the process, just not sure how that would work. I would probably agree with your strategy more if I was more confident in how NZers would respond. I'm not, and the evidence for that is the people voting Labour instead of Green who used to vote Green. They stopped voting Green after Turei's speech and with the rise of Ardern. They haven't gone back. Maybe they just don't care that much about welfare, or maybe they think that Labour is getting the settings right, despite three years of it being explained how they're not.

              • Dennis Frank

                If I have understood you correctly, your main point here is that the process of policy development isn't transparent?

                No. Internal party policy process isn't the problem. Political positioning is something that caucus decides, to maximise impact on voters. I was explaining why they got it wrong on this particular occasion.

                The vital thing is not to appear in public as impotent losers. Nothing is more guaranteed to make voters lose confidence in the Greens than that. The only possible way to prevent the contagion effect of that perception snowballing in the public mind is via suitable framing – that's the x factor missing.

                The best frame would be via explanation of the outcome: NZF wouldn't agree, Labour wouldn't agree, both wouldn't agree. They not only failed to specify which reason produced the outcome, they seem not to have grasped the necessity of communicating an explanation to voters. Once again, clueless public relations. Do they not even use all those donations to hire somebody to explain this stuff – or did they hire someone useless??

                • arkie

                  Imagine you were hired to 'explain this stuff'. Could you provide an example of the way you would 'communicate an explanation to voters' without the 'missing x-factor'?

                  • Dennis Frank

                    As quoted here, Marama apparently did communicate an explanation to voters without that essential framing. So the best answer to your query is to read hers. Keeping in mind the technical possibility that she did explain which of those three viable explanations caused the impasse, and that bit didn't get included in the quote.

                    • arkie

                      I did read it and came to a different conclusion to you.

                      So, seeing as you have diagnosed the issue and determined their PR people are 'useless', I was asking you, in your wisdom, to furnish us with what you think the 'essential framing' should have been.

                  • McFlock

                    Personally, I find a turgid bloviate expounding forth upon PR and messaging to be the height of guerilla satire.

                • weka

                  I wasn't talking about internal policy development, I was talking about the government's policy development, which is influenced by the in-closet negotiations that happen between Lab/NZF and Lab/Greens (don't know if there is a G/NZF thing or a L/NZF/G). It's clear from the rest of my explanation that I was referring back to what we were discussing.

                  Now you've brought in something new, that the Greens' PR is an issue, because if they oppose Labour on a policy that they didn't get wins on they appear to be losers and people won't like them. Which takes us back to the framing. You seem to be saying that the Greens should take confidential information from negotiation processes and make it public as a way of blaming Labour and NZF for the GP not getting gains. Have I got that right?

                  Even if this were a wise strategy (I've already pointed out the problem of breaking trust like that), the GP aren't in Cabinet and don't have access to what L/NZF discuss.

                  I do see value in someone explaining to the public how government works, and how this one in particular works.

                  As an aside, your argument would be much easier to follow if you could resist sticking the boot into the Greens each time. I can't be bothered trying to parse past that much more. Hmm, maybe there's a communication fail there on your part.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Okay, sorry, I didn't get that. You're right that govt policy formulation is the underlying process in the situation, of course. If confidentiality prevents them explaining that to the public, I would view it as a design flaw – I haven't seen any such clause and am curious if it derives from MMP constitutionally or is something invented by Labour. Do you know?

                    If Labour really are trying to prevent transparent governance happen, they ought to be held accountable. As regards pointing to mistakes by the Greens, my expectation is that consciousness will be raised about how politics is best done. Learning comes from experience, and when ingrained beliefs prevent that others must catalyse the elucidation necessary. So it's a helping motivation…

                  • Dennis Frank

                    There was a report on TV3 news just now – Metiria has come out on the issue, I saw a tweet shown with a naughty word blanked out.

                    I did check online to see what the text of the Labour/Greens agreement says re confidentiality, and it became clear that they are unable to explain such negotiation failures to the public – so my criticism lacked a realistic basis, really. It is a substantial flaw in our democratic system to use a confidentiality agreement to prevent the public learning which party is discriminating against a significant minority group in the electorate!

                    • weka

                      A tweet from Turei? Not seeing anything from her two twitter accounts.

                      Yes, this is what I have been saying. The process is locked up, and the public are excluded, and this isn't the fault of the Greens. I doubt it is on Labour, more convention that has developed during MMP. The coalition partners (L/NZF) are bound by Cabinet rules. I couldn't remember what was in the agreements but the Greens would also be respectful of confidentiality because the relationships still need to be functional.

                      I would guess that NZF are a big factor, given they campaign in a way that is blind to the electorate.

                      This is why I'm saying that talking about the set up is important. We really have a poor form of democracy.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I thought that's what I saw but if you want to investigate it was from their political reporter (Jenna Lynch, if I remember that right) and they will probably have it on the Newshub site in print form some time this evening. Seemed contraversial, so I'd be surprised if it never shows…

                      Yeah, if you do write something, would be good to include the limitation imposed on the free speech of parliamentarians by the system. People do expect politicians to explain conflict between parties to both media and public (not just me being idiosyncratic). Using the agreement clause like a gag order isn't merely just a bad look. It blocks transparency, therefore is unprincipled. That said, they signed it, so must act in accord with it.

                    • arkie

                      From the link:

                      The Greens did have 'welfare overhaul' written into its confidence and supply agreement with Labour but other than a couple of minor tweaks not much progress has been made.

                      They need to do a lot more to convince voters that having the Green Party in Government is actually effecting change.

                      The writers also conclude it is the Greens fault apparently.

        • Bearded Git

          Dennis is a troll Weka…haven't you realised yet?

          To blame the Greens in this situation is simply trolling-it is all about coalition government under MMP. The Greens would be more effective in these matters if they got 10% in September and NZF 4.9%

          • Dennis Frank

            You might wise up a little if you read what Pete George cited below, huh? I'm not blaming the Greens, I'm pointing to the lack of leadership exemplified by the mishandling of the negotiation.

            Now if it turns out that either Labour or NZF are refusing to honour that agreement, I will happily blame them. But the current info on the situation suggests the Greens have decided not to inform the media & public about that. Presuming you have heard of the principle of transparent governance, do you approve their apparent decision to act in contradiction??

          • weka

            He's not a troll. He's got a beef for the Greens, but sifting past that he is pointing to something important here.

            • Bearded Git

              I still think you are both (Weka and Dennis) missing the point that it doesn't matter how well the Greens negotiate, if NZF don't like it then its gets voted down and so doesn't happen.

              So all the Greens are doing is getting the best outcome they can get within this straightjacket, and then spinning it as a good outcome because some Green elements have squeezed through. That is politics. It increases their profile and the public's perception of the party as achievers.

              To attack them for "public grandstanding" and being "ineffective" is completely unfair, without basis and purposefully inflammatory i.e trolling. They are perfectly entitled to scream to the high heavens how they would really have liked the negotiations to have turned out.

              To then point me to Pete George (of all people) to prove your case is simply rubbing salt in the wound, and says it all. (He ignores the reality described above in his post below.)

              I say yet again in TS; the only way we will have a government that is in any way genuinely left of centre/progressive is to Party Vote Green. If the Greens don't get 5% we will probably have PM Muller.

              • Paddington

                "If the Greens don't get 5% we will probably have PM Muller. "

                Or PM Ardern with NZF as their coalition partner?

              • Dennis Frank

                All you are really achieving here is exhibiting failure to comprehend the relevance of the clauses Pete George quoted – even though Marama's reference to them was flagged by quote at the top of the thread!

                Do you not understand that the agreement between Labour & the Greens operates just like a contract?? And that Marama is endeavouring to alert kiwis to Labour's failure to honour that contract?

                That's the guts of the situation. It's how MMP operates!! All them red herrings of yours aren't going to change that fact.

              • weka

                no, I largely agree with you and disagree with Dennis. I just thought the point about the invisibility of how government policy is developed was worth looking at. It's daft to blame the Greens for that.

                And yes, the only way we get a left wing govt is to vote Green. My personal view is that slagging off the Greens all the time just makes a L/NZF govt more likely.

                Otoh, I'm trying really hard today to not write a post called Fuck You Labour, so I can understand the sentiment of feeling deeply disappointed in a political party.

                • I agree with all of that Weka.

                  I vote Green but I have plenty of sympathy for Labour and I organised a public meeting for David Parker in Wanaka for the 2017 election. I wouldn't do this again in September because of the fast track RMA reform he is supporting. The public scrutiny afforded by the RMA is an important check and balance.

                  I'm also highly dubious about the two-tier unemployment payment policy just announced. This should be extended to all unemployed over the same 12 weeks-this would give a cash boost to the economy and would be fair. I thought Jacinda was into fairness.

        • Pete George

          Greens got the negotiating bit right on welfare at the start of the term. From Confidence and Supply Agreement between the New Zealand Labour Party and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand:

          Fair Society

          10. Overhaul the welfare system, ensure access to entitlements, remove excessive sanctions and review Working For Families so that everyone has a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity and participate in their communities, and lifts children and their families out of poverty

          And maybe here:

          Relationship to other agreements

          Both parties to this agreement recognise that Labour will be working with other parties both in terms of coalitions and confidence and supply arrangements. Labour agrees that it will not enter into any other relationship agreement which is inconsistent with this agreement and the Green Party and Labour agree that they will each act in good faith to allow all such agreements to be complied with.

          But since then Greens have not got close to negotiating what they wanted despite this formal agreement.

          It's too late to complain now, except for campaign purposes.

    • patricia 5.2

      "Overhaul the welfare system" Putting Wellbeing at the heart of things matters. It drives all future actions, even in a 1 in 100 situation.

      Perhaps the budget was going to do that, we will never know. I hear lots of fear and anger coupled with hope for change.

      Many of us feel more secure with this Government, and trust their direction more than any we have experienced for a while.

      They too are people who will not always "get it right"., But they have shown a capacity to accept and correct errors.

      I think it is wrong to label them as part of regimens that have gone before, as they have tried to keep their promises, though often blocked by friends.

      Jacinda Ardern is a rare being, and is recognised world wide for her advocacy and communication. We are fortunate to have someone of her calibre. She has kept her Ministers on track with few exceptions, and promoted high standards.

      Decisions to be made in the near term will not be easy, but she will show kindness tenacity and skill.

      Many aspects of our lives have been improved, and she has shown us the way. Help each other, support those in need, share more and base our lives around keeping our part of the world functioning.

      Some will say that is simplistic, but in lock down we discovered we need essential services (and they should be paid for). We need food producers. We need shelter. We need education and good health, but most of all we need each other with all our faults a foibles.

      We relearned what wants were, and looked askance at our collected debri. We learned most people want their friends and relatives to be well, and strangers are just folk we have not met yet, so we smile and wave when we see them, put teddies in windows for the children.

      We learned that for some this will be more frightening than for others given their health or starting point in life.

      The most important thing we learned was we can help others and ourselves. We can innovate create and share ideas thanks to technology. We need to believe we can make a difference, and then we will. IMO

    • RosieLee 5.3

      It's absolutely pointless overhauling the welfare system/increasing benefits unless there is a corresponding overhaul of housing and rents. Much more urgent impetus on state housing – driven by the state, not property developers, is needed. This government also wimped out on CGT, so residential property speculation remains as an attractive "investment" option. Much of the benefit increases will just go into landlords' pockets. All the talk about poverty and wellbeing is just that – talk. A rent freeze for a couple of years would be a good place to start in the mean time.

      • bwaghorn 5.3.1

        Lift benefit rates

        Build an endless supply of state houses (that can be converted to rent to buy that gets transferred to private debt once enough equity is gained)

        Relationship status shouldn't effect your benefit.

        Create jobs

      • patricia 5.3.2

        "This Government wimped out on CGT"

        I thought Winston made it fairly plain he blocked that. A coalition has to compromise even when it is painful. They have increased the house building and continue to do so, and have begun training apprentices again. It is not much over 2 and a half years!!. They may get a bigger mandate this time.

  6. burt 6

    The vote buying welfare industry is changing quickly, the new two tier system proves all animals are equal but some are more equal than others, comrade.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Ad 6.1

      Burt this isnt the post for social welfare commentary.

      Bill did one on that yesterday.

    • Tricledrown 6.2

      Normally unemployment numbers move up slowly this sort of economic shock hasn't happened since 1929.

      Cheap political point scoring.

  7. Sacha 7

    Muller being pushed as 'nice'? https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/121618232/its-a-brave-new-world-when-politicians-compete-to-be-the-nicest-and-kindest

    Muller’s suggestion of a non-combative election where he talked about ‘’what was right for families, not what was wrong about the Government," is a very different kind of brand to the National Party of old.

    All the while his colleagues repeated the word nice over and over again.

    It's clear the battle for power has had a makeover, if politicians are now competing for who can be the nicest and kindest.

    They are two quite simple words, but both will be used heavily to describe Ardern and Muller's brands as they face off in the election in September.

    • observer 7.1

      Problem there is that National have two "nice" senior MPs in Kaye and Adams who are both more experienced than Muller, had bigger roles in the previous government, have some crossover appeal to voters and are much better performers in the media.

      So, er, why did they pick Muller? Presumably to look like the CEO with balls (sic) who "gets things done". If they really wanted "nice" they had better options.

      • ScottGN 7.1.1

        Kaye and Adams standing dutifully either side of him while he outlined the shuffle yesterday just seemed to highlight the way National Party was overlooking their senior women MPs.

        • Peter

          You've got it! It's the kiwi bloke strategy. It's the front row of a rugby scrum look. Muller is the hooker. He's out trying to hook votes. The other two are mere props.

          As a hooker would he sell his soul for a vote? Too damned right.

        • Chris T


          National now has 3 women in the top 5 of their list and at last count Labour has 1

          • observer

            Fair enough.

            But Labour's woman is obviously better than the men she outranks. So – merit.

            Whereas National's man isn't obviously better than the 3 women he outranks. This is a problem.

            • bwaghorn

              Do you know if kaye or adams wanted the top job??

              • observer

                I assume Adams definitely didn't, don't know if there was any discussion about the positions of Muller/Kaye ticket.

                But we can be sure Collins and Kaye have future leadership ambitions after they lose (Adams might quit). They want to be leaders in government. Not opposition.

                So it really just emphasises that National don't expect to win. Muller takes one for the team, then the real contenders will target 2023.

            • Chris T

              I suppose it depends on whether they wanted to be leader AND warranted it over Muller.

              Just because Ardern is very good as a politician and rightly deserves top spot in Labour, this does not mean every other women MP currently in parliament should automatically deserve to be a leader of a party.

              It is like the line of Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe and Little are wiped from peoples memories, just because Ardern is a very good leader now.

              • observer

                Not automatically, of course not.

                I'm just suggesting that on the (limited) evidence so far Muller doesn't come across as the best candidate for the job. If after Bill quit they'd picked Amy Adams (on merit) instead of Bridges they might not have been in this mess.

                • Chris T

                  TBF I would have gone for Adams as well.

                  Maybe it was a too obvious a direct match try to Ardern though.

                  No idea.

                  TBF to Bridges, he did keep them in the running through a lot of crap, even if he did have the communication skills of the Swedish Chef in the muppets.

        • woodart

          those photos of adams and kaye, standing and looking upwards in awe at their leader, remind me of many of trumps photo ops. what a man! we are in his aura!

          • Adrian

            I thought they looked like those posed promotional posters from Bolshevic USSR and the 3rd Reich.

    • Sacha 7.2

      Not so 'nice' if you are Māori interests in his local electorate upsetting the white folk. https://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_news/MjQ1ODM/Muller-seeking-to-undo-Motiti-win

      Mr Muller has launched a petition aimed at pressuring the Government to overturn an Environment Court decision ordering the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to establish marine reserves on reefs around Motiti Island about 10 km off Tauranga Harbour.

      Motiti Rohe Moana Trust advisor Te Atarangi Sayers says hapū have pushed for more than half a century to protect their fisheries.

      The court’s decision was a major win for the hapū, and they don’t want to see their efforts to bring life back to the moana stymied by political posturing.

      • Anne 7.2.1

        Its looking pretty clear where Todd Muller stands on Maori issues and for that matter the environment. They're at the bottom of his list of priorities – if they’re on the list at all. Plays well to the demographic he's looking to gather into the fold though.

        So much for the "nice" Mr Muller who is honest and straightforward and is not interested in attacking opponents.

        • Enough is Enough

          Do you know why National signed up to the zero carbon bill Anne?

          • Anne

            Yes. Basically, they could no longer avoid not signing up to something and Muller managed to water down James Shaw's bill to such a degree it ended up a very weak imitation of its former self. Muller then agreed to sign it.

        • Adrian

          But but but says Nicky Kaye we've got plenty of Maoris, theres..there's oh Paula and Paul Goldsmith and Shane Whatshis name..!

          Paul G, a correction actually I'm not Maori.

          Nicky K.. but but but..actually I'm not Maori either but I've got connections !.

          Good luck Todd, you asked for it. plonker.

    • ianmac 7.3

      That nice Mr Muller last night on Q&A did not come across as nice or competent. An awful interview with nil substance. The panel was more interesting. Lila Harre was very clear whereas the usual confidence of Thomas was subdued.

      Starts about 8 minutes in.


      • Macro 7.3.1

        I was interested to note that the Nats have (had) a number of "Todds" in the line-up, so I wondered if it was short for some other name, but no it's not.

        It is its own name, and it has its own meaning.

        In English Baby Names the meaning of the name Todd is: Fox. Tod is a Scottish nickname meaning a clever or wily person.


        Sort of fits really.

    • If Mula (or should I say Maga?) tries to play the "kind" and "nice" game against Jacinda he will be playing on a steeply sloping pitch into a gale-force wind.

  8. tc 8

    Will Faafoi grow a pair and do something about the landscape in RNZ now.

    Hooton's played the system to line his pockets in a partisan way along with others for years. That’s without looking at his highly questionable personal morality.

    Just get national MP’s on and be done with it, cheaper also.

    Granny does as she always has but it's not taxpayer funded till COVID came along.

    Taxpayers funded soapboxes for the shills needs to stop if RNZ is to be of service to the people of NZ….all people not just the acolytes of the neolib construct.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      No one listens to Hootons twisted logic

      • Bearded Git 8.1.1

        Agreed Tricle….Hooton is capable of sounding quite rational for 70% of the time but then he goes completely off the rails for the next 30%….definitely not who you would want as chief of staff.

    • "Will Faafoi grow a pair and do something about the landscape in RNZ now."

      Somehow, I very much doubt it.

      Like his counterpart I L-G, they're too "nice". You could get some idea with their "core competencies" with the latest INZ fuckup.

      Sometimes I wonder whether JA quietly thinks to herself – FUCK guys! do I have to do everything myself?"

      I'm hoping the likes of AlJazeera (even DW and France24), Amnesty International and a few others don't get hold of JA underlings' dithering

  9. Anker 9

    I listened last night to muller on the Kathryn Ryan show from earlier that day.

    i did comment on this website that his first speech was good. The interview with Kathryn not so much. She was tripping him up left right and centre. The main thrust of his position was we are better than them. 17 empty chairs at the cabinet table, their plan is not coherent. And he would really understand small business. He is endanger of sounding like a white male whose knows it all (but hasn’t done it yet) saying” move aside little lady. Three is an edge of arrogance here that I think Kiwis will switch off from. An actually he was boring. Apparently he was a bit of a train wreck on q and a last night, answering many questions by dropping in Amy Adams name. Oh and Simons not going anywhere

    forgive me for quoting mike Hoskins but “happy days”

    • JanM 9.1

      Yes, I'm surprised nobody has said much about last night's Q & A interview – it was downright embarrassing!

      • KM 9.1.1

        I agree JanM. I could hardly bear to watch Muller's interview on Q & A – I even felt a tiny bit of pity for him. The Breakfast show usually follows up on Q & A – I was waiting for some commentary this morning – but nothing…

      • ianmac 9.1.2

        Yes Anker and Jan. Does Todd send shivers down your spine at the Todd prospects of overturning this Government?

      • OnceWasTim 9.1.3

        "……. it was downright embarrassing" I agree, but then I have to check myself.

        Do you really think Todd Muller ( or half his tribe for that matter ) give a shit what you 'feel'.

        Same shit but a substantially different stink for the Bridges tribe. I imagine that little tribe is now considered very,, very inferior – so let's throw them a bone and a promise or there could conceivably an uprising in the future (going forward, in this space)

  10. pat 10

    If 10 households default on their mortgages it is those households problem….if 10,000 default it is the banks problem….and consequently everyones problem.

    • Cricklewood 10.1

      Except the banks extract billions from NZ every year… I'm sure they can bare losing a billion or three to avoid those kinds of situations.

      • pat 10.1.1

        And you would be mistaken because the effect is not limited to those few billions but the system as a whole.

  11. Anker 11

    Just thinking about how people cite experience in big business, such as fonterra in Miller’s case, as being a great asset to running a country. But business is run with the key focus of making a profit. This driver is not a key focus of running a country. Sure finance ministers endeavour to balance the books, but that is a means to an ends.

    re miller’s embarrasing a and a interview, it occurs to me he has had very little experience of being interviewed. This could be a real disaster for the Nats. Meanwhile Amy who interviews we’ll surely must be wondering why she didn’t get the job in the first place. Meanwhile in the botany electorate Luxton is wanting Todd to fail. And do we really expect Simon not to sabotage when he’s back. Someone should make a soap out of this

    • observer 11.1

      " it occurs to me he has had very little experience of being interviewed."

      That's why the superficial comparison with Ardern 2017 is false. Another late change, and it worked, so National could do it too – that's the line.

      But Ardern must have given 100s of live interviews by then. Starting with TV's "Young Guns" in 2008, she was increasingly prominent in the media. It's a skill set that can only be learned through experience, and is unrelated to business meetings or whatever Muller brings to the job.

      He was undone by something as simple as the time delay. It made him look hesitant and evasive. That might seem trivial but it is something you have to get used to and allow for. He needs to learn fast.

      • ScottGN 11.1.1

        Agree re him not managing the time delay very well but I also think there was some evident frustration showing on his part that Tame wouldn’t just accept everything he said and move on to another subject. He looked a man more used to holding court rather than someone relishing the to-and-fro of debate. Doesn’t bode well for the campaign.

        Also did he seem, how shall I say it, a little sweaty?

        • observer

          He wasn't well prepared at all.

          Unless he's proposing new policies, his job is simply to know his party's policies and promote them. Falling back on empty buzz words is feeble.

          I honestly don't know which of the Bridges/Goldsmith economic policies are still in place, and which ones aren't. And I've heard him interviewed half a dozen times.

      • AB 11.1.2

        Business meetings too easily suffer from deference to authority, group-think, ideological controls that render some things 'unsayable', and participants afraid of losing their positions of prominence. Corporations are "private tyrranies" (Chomsky) and bringing the habits developed there into the public domain is not often a good idea.

      • McFlock 11.1.3

        There are sooooo many reasons why the todd change is no switch to Ardern.

        Ardern was deputy leader. Muller was who-ller.

        Ardern was visibly different to Little – not so much gender: energy, pace of delivery, enthusiasm. Muller doesn't seem to be particularly different to Bridges.

        Ardern changed the game against the nats – "let's do this" literally within a few days. Muller… ?

        The leadership change for Labour was amicable. This one – not so much.

        Labour knew that leadership was a poisoned chalice – Ardern took one for the team. I doubt anyone else wanted it. National has multiple pretenders sharpening their blades.Some of them might even think they can turn things around in seven weeks, so Muller needs to watch his back until August at least.

        God it's funny when it happens to them lol

    • ianmac 11.2

      "Just thinking about how people cite experience in big business, such as Fonterra in Miller’s case, as being a great asset to running a country."

      Does working inside say Fonterra count as business experience? I would have thought that the hairdresser or mechanic running his own business or engineer running his workshop with 20 workers are businesses people with genuine experience with trial/error determination coping with losses etc etc. Lets not rate Fonterra/Zespry as qualifying MPs.

      • KJT 11.2.1

        A "woodwork teacher" has generally had more hands on business experience, as most have been sole trader or small business tradespeople.

        Some inherited the business and made it fail, however,

  12. Adrian 12

    Pretty pale lineup.

    Is Todd getting payback for all "….the Maori kids flogged his flash sandwiches ".

  13. Obsever Tokoroa 13

    All the boys and girls came out to play …and messed up everywhere.

    As far as I can see

    First past the post is Clear Cut.

    Free by 3 times, the current speculative mess. Less expensive; easily comprehended. Absolutely Normal.

    Join the Political Party you value, Not with a crooked tree. and endless threats.

    • roblogic 13.1

      FPP: a recipe for gerrymandering, perverse undemocratic outcomes, and a two party system of rotating dictatorship. Kiwis chucked it because they were sick of getting Rogered and Ruthanasia'd by radicals

  14. swordfish 14

    Looks to me like more than 400k voters have switched allegiance from National to Labour since February … a profound realignment … possibly (entering the realm of speculation here) predicated first & foremost upon the gratitude of older voters.

    Don't rule out National crashing like 2002.

    In some senses, a different context … but also some striking similarities:

    Up against an unusually popular First Term Govt & PM, National's Oligarchs facilitated Bill English's toppling of Jenny Shipley in October 2001, 10 Months out from the 2002 Election.

    The leadership spill had zero effect at first – no post-leadership bounce, with the Nats & broader Opposition forces flatlining over the next few months. Over the New Year, however, a clear Leftward swing of around 4 points from National to Labour emerged as softly-aligned Nats began to bail, followed by another 2 months of relative stability, then another small swing from Nat-to-Lab.

    But most significantly from our 2020 point of view, Nat support very suddenly & very shockingly went into freefall over the final 3 weeks of the campaign … with almost all of this very late swing heading to conservative, centrist & Right parties … ACT surging, NZF & UF more than tripling their support (albeit with the help of the somewhat notorious 'Worm-Debate'). Nats plunged from 30% down to 21% over a remarkably short period of time, with ACT almost doubling from 4 to 7%, NZF from 3 to 10% & UF exploding from zilch to 7 in the blink of an eye.

    With the re-election of the Clark Labour Govt seemingly inevitable, more astute (or, at least, pragmatic) National voters saw the writing on the wall … hence the Right vote significantly fragments as large numbers of 1999 Nats seek to provide a counterweight to any leftward thrust of the incoming Govt, in the process, if possible, keeping the Greens away from power. Meanwhile, true-believers on the Right follow their hearts & desert to ACT.

    As a consequence, less than half of 1999 National supporters remain loyal, as the Party plunges to a historic low. Amongst a whole host of surprises, Labour wins the Party-Vote in all but 3 of National's Rural Heartland seats.

    Muller's toppling of Bridges & the release of the latest Colmar Brunton have occurred 4 Months out from the Election. Here's a comparison with the same point in 2002:

    …………. 2002 …………… 2020

    Nat …….. 35% ……………. 29%

    ACT ……. 4.0% ………….. 2.2%

    N+A …….. 39.0% ……….. 31.2%

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Well-reasoned, plausible. If Muller isn't adept at fronting media situations, it becomes likely. I stopped watching Q+A when it got too boring, but if he was as inadequate as commentators here suggest, that could become the determining trend.

      I reckon the election will hinge as much on competing recovery plans as on leadership charisma. If the Nats get theirs out in front of voters before the coalition govt gets theirs out, perception that they are sufficiently on the ball to govern will form. If the govt gets theirs out first, they'll win as long as serious flaws don't emerge…

    • Craig H 14.2

      I wonder which of 2002 or 2011 is the better comparison. Labour didn't roll Goff, but a first term government with a popular, bullet-proof PM in the backdrop of a natural disaster has some similarities.

  15. observer 15

    Latest National Unity news:

    Outside caucus, Muller tells reporters Paul Goldsmith is Maori. Then Goldsmith says he isn't. Paula Bennett laughs. So it's all going to plan.

  16. ianmac 16

    "National leader Todd Muller says his "Make America Great Again" hat is staying in its box in his new office, and he won't be unpacking it."

    Is the cat dead or alive in the box?

    • Nordy 16.1

      More mistakes from TM…..it seems he may be a front only for the Nats…a new face that is somehow, they hope, more acceptable to the electorate. Good times.

  17. Tiger Mountain 17

    Todd Conehead’s gem was sticking with Nat super at 67 policy. Sure some time out from implementation, but people close to 65 will still likely not be impressed. Cost Labour votes previously.

    • ianmac 17.1

      And sticking with the continuing Mining oil and gas he said last night.

    • Tricledrown 17.2

      So National are saying the younger retirees are going to pay double with less job security.

      Paying the debt down and no early retirement robots taking more jobs.

      Universal super should become UBI funded by a much bigger Cullen Fund + compulsory Kiwisaver.Then people can choose when to retire ie a builder could retire at 60 less physically demanding jobs can retire later.The builder may want to become a trainer or work in a bunnings store part time..

      The 4 day week needs to be seriously considered the 40 hr week is old hat.

      Time to be more adaptable,like farmers could have a 3 1/2 day week doing 35 hrs in 3 and a half days which would make easy shift changes.

      • Adrian 17.2.1

        Farm workers maybe, but farmers i.e owners, will still be working all the bloody hours under the sun.

    • Barfly 17.3

      I love that the conehead tag may stick devil rofl

  18. joe90 18

    Whoa…heard that one coming.

    edit: loud but weak


  19. ianmac 19

    Questions for Question Time today not yet up. A bit odd to be this late? What if…?

    • ianmac 19.1

      Has it already been said? Todd said outside caucus today that Goldsmith was Maori.

      Goldsmith said, "No I'm not!"

      • Nordy 19.1.1

        I think the comment has been attributed to NK…..but still…another failed attempt at relevance.

    • ScottGN 19.2

      Well they did forget to move the traditional vote of non-confidence in the Budget.

    • ianmac 19.3

      25 minutes to QT and no Questions up???

    • Nordy 20.1

      The only desperate thing here is your poor attempt at deflection.

      • Chris T 20.1.1

        Up until a few days ago the top two were Maori.

        Where are the women in the top 5 of Labour?

        I see just one.

        Does this mean Labour aren’t diverse enough?

        It is a silly attack

        • Nordy

          The only silly think here is your inability to count to 5. If you are talking about Cabinet rankings then there is more than 1 party in Cabinet.

          • Chris T

            The people criticising in the article I posted are Labour.

            And I even said "Labour's criticism towards the Nats"

            • Morrissey

              Funniest four words of the year: "And obviously Paul Goldsmith."

              REPORTER: Where are the Māori shadow cabinet members?

              TODD MULLER: [slowly, in order to convey gravity as well as "niceness"] There's Paula Bennett of course. And there's Shane Reti.

              NIKKI KAYE: And obviously Paul Goldsmith.

              ….Awkward pause….

              EVERYBODY WHO HEARD THAT ON THE RADIO: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

        • anker

          Chris T it's not Noah's Ark. A woman has the top job in Labour. It is generally agreed in Labour they need more women on the front bench. They have gender equality policies to promote this. They haven't got there yet, but they are working on it.

    • ScottGN 20.2

      Haha nice try. Ngati Goldsmith. Tova just tweeted ‘you can’t make this shit up’

      • Dennis Frank 20.2.1

        Goldsmith: "My great-great grandfather had European wives and Māori wives, and so I've got lots of relatives across Ngāti Porou – I don't claim to be Māori myself.''

        He could've added: "I'm proud to be descendant of a bi-racial polygamist." Some of these people haven't got a clue how to grab a headline…

        • pat

          sounds like something Shane Jones would say…not sure he's a great role model

  20. Adrian 21

    At a time when a lot of older people who got to quite like the lockdown for the slower pace and are saying they could go a shorter week, Todd Boofhead says National will raise the retirement age.

    Fuck me, the man can not read a room let alone the country. Nats to try for 25%. Go Team.

  21. Anker 22

    Chris T…re labour’s lack of women in the cabinet front row. They acknowledge that and have policies in place to develop gender equality in labour. Even so the front bench aren’t devoid of women, one has the top job.

    i look forward to the problems Toddy is going to have when his promoted his team as the more competent and he just dumped two Maoris and two out of the three labour ministers he’s said are non performers are Maori. Oh and did we mention the MAGA hat.

    it is not a good look when you promote your team as more competent and then one of them makes the unbelievable mistake of stating one her colleagues is Maori when he isn’t. Of course the other interesting thing is goldsmith refuted this immediately. So much support in this caucus, although really it was the only thing he could do

    • Chris T 22.1

      Fair call

      I just think it is a little throwing rocks in glass houses, using a criticism like that, given their own partys list.

      • ScottGN 22.1.1

        The interesting thing though is how badly they fluffed the response and how little support they got to smooth the blunder over from the rest rest of the caucus.

        • Chris T

          True They aren't exactly covering themselves in glory and a sense of stability. Lol

  22. McFlock 23

    I only just realised the thing that really pisses me off about "plan b" Thornley. Read somewhere that the dude specialises in economic impacts of health interventions, yet he provided zero – ZERO! – information. Just repeated basically that "cure might be worse than the disease" wank. Where was his data? If he studies this shit, where's his prediction of how many people would be killed by the economic flow-on of L4? QALYs? Estimated mortality?

    I bet that if he even did it, it's locked in a draw because it didn't suit his bullshit.

  23. I Feel Love 24

    Tova O'Brien, I've not liked her style but I just saw she antagonises the Nat supporters too, so I tip my (non MAGA) hat to Ms O'Brien, she must be doing something right (she's getting accused on the Twitter for making up the Goldsmith Māori gaff, like she said, "you can't make this shit up!").

  24. Morrissey 25

    Anderson Cooper flabbergasted by foolish person: "Wow, that's really ignorant."

  25. Observer Tokoroa 26

    She is a nice Girl.

    Her name is Tovi. She is like Toddy who is also training for the public. But much much smaller.

    Tova and Toddy – have a long way to go. They make stuff up a bit. To get by.

    Toddy don't even know a Maori from a Goldsmith. Ultimately Tova will be way in front. Thats' my pick.

  26. Fireblade 27

    The most exciting takeaway from the National Party in Parliament today was that Chris Bishop has cut off his mullet and that Paul Goldsmith is from Ngati Epsom.

  27. ScottGN 29

    6 new cases in Western Australia today, all from a Kuwaiti live sheep export ship that was cleared to berth by Federal Border Force agents in spite of them being advised that at least 3 crew had ‘elevated temperatures’.


  28. Dennis Frank 30

    "Former Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown has jumped back into the world of politics, running as the Green Party candidate in the Wairarapa electorate." https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/121626389/former-wellington-mayor-celia-wadebrown-running-for-green-party-in-wairarapa

    "Speaking to Stuff, Wade-Brown said she was running to maximise the party vote." "Issues of equality, climate change, and rivers matter to people. We've got an opportunity to do a green reset to Covid-19," she said. Wade-Brown is not among the 24 candidates on the Green Party list, and is not expected to make a serious play to win the seat."

    "She had been a supporter of John Hart, who ran for the Green Party in the last two elections and only offered to stand when she learnt he was not planning to run again." National haven't selected their candidate yet, and Ron Mark "pulled 19 per cent of the electorate vote in 2017, with more coming from National party voters than Labour voters."

    "Wairarapa-based List MP Kieran McAnulty will be running for Labour for a third straight election." Third time lucky, I reckon! "Wade-Brown said she would consider formally endorsing McAnulty for the electorate vote. "We're going to have those conversations over the next couple of weeks. I think he's very widely respected within the local community," she said."

  29. Sacha 31

    Remembering bold long-term finance minister Grant Robertson. https://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/story/obituary-of-grant-robertson-by-david-slack/

    He picked out the best of what people had been through in their lockdown experience and he made it last.

    He put a carbon tax on emissions to pay for a Universal Basic Income (UBI). He electrified trains, buses, anything that would take a current. He put Manapouri hydropower into the grid for free energy. He broke the cycle of people trying to get rich out of houses and making them ever more unaffordable. To achieve the unachievable he simply flooded the market with affordable houses and apartments built by a 21st century Ministry of Works.

    By the end of his four-decade run, the nation could not believe its good fortune, even in a time of plague.

  30. Fireblade 32

    National MPs already leaking as new leadership team of Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye suffers disastrous first sitting day.


  31. ickey 33

    I see the labour party is paying the recent unemployed twice what the already unemployed are getting.Reminds me of the last labour government who didn't pay working for families to beneficiaries.Elected by the poor govern for the rich

  32. David Mac 34

    It appears that those nations with governed states and provinces have struggled a bit more with this pandemic.

    Squabble with our brother while Grandma dies.

    I'm a Cuomo fan, I like anyone that sounds like Tony Soprano and isn't indicted. I love it when they call a bird a boid. In spite of his declaration to keep politics out of it Andrew couldn't resist a stab at Kentucky Governor Mitch McConnell. Mitch had suggested that New York declare bankruptcy. Andrew offered a contrary view, this guy picked up the ball and ran with Andy's view…

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  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
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  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
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    20 hours ago
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    21 hours ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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    5 days ago
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    7 days ago
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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    1 week ago
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