Open mike 29/11/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 29th, 2023 - 67 comments
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67 comments on “Open mike 29/11/2023 ”

  1. Ad 1

    So we keep the Carbon Zero Act, the single health agency, ACC, Pharmac, and pretty much all other delivery agencies that we have, we keep all the benefits Labour put in for 2017, 2018, and 2019, all the Gold Card entitlements and keep the retirement age at 65.

    And at some point we get some tax cuts.

    Will be a while before we notice much difference on the ground from the last lot.

  2. So Winston was just using a "turn of phrase" when he accused the Labour government of bribery. So that is all right then. Willis is out of her depth.

    Incidentally Hipkins just reminded NZ, on RadioNZ's Morning Report, that Winston voted in support of creating the media fund as part of the Lab/NZF/Green government.

    • bwaghorn 2.1

      Imagine being luxon, knowing that if you had an ounce of decency you'd kick the dishonest, deranged peters to the curb , but the cost is loss of power,

      If I was luxon I'd be quietly chatting to jones, national have bought him once before they should buy him again and arrange a coup in nzf.

      • observer 2.1.1

        But it never would have been the cost. Luxon only needed to show some leadership ("Winston, you can have policy concessions A and B, a few million in your slush fund, and some other bauble like Foreign Minister outside Cabinet for all I care, but forget about Deputy PM, I'm running things and if you don't like it go and talk to Hipkins").

        Chances of WP walking away: zero.

        (and that's not hindsight, it was obvious to just about everyone, except Luxon)

        • bwaghorn

          If luxon had of ruled winston out pre election we'd have a n/act government, sitting on the fence has lead to one hell of a nasty splinter in luxons arse!!

        • mikesh

          Chances of WP walking away: zero.

          I think if he talked to Winston as you just said, Winston would do just that. However, that's just my opinion.

          • observer

            He wouldn't use that language, obviously I'm paraphrasing. But the message should have been clear, however honeyed the words.

            So when you say "walk away", what would that mean? If it's not "keep Hipkins as PM" then it's still support for National on conf & supp, or at worst abstain (very unlikely). Forcing an early election would have been the end of NZF, a suicide note.

            All these options would have been wins for Luxon, and far better for him than the mess he's created. He did not have to do it.

      • Adrian 2.1.2

        These u-turns of Peters are interesting, they appear to be vaguely memory related, forgetting he was involved in the policy formations he is currently railing about. Senility? or is it something else. He was not even supposed to be there, tracking below the 5% until Chris Bishop opened his mouth and gave him credibility a few weeks out from the election. Why?, Was Bishop still wearing ( would not surprise in the slightest ) his Corporate Affairs cap from the tobacco industry when he offered Peters the hand-up but with a few provisos, namely, support and take responsibility for the repeal of smoking legislation and the seat at the big table is all yours sunshine.

        Boy, his formulating conspiracies game is fun. Of course anything involving Bishop is entirely possible, particuly with all that tobacco money to play with.

      • Chris 2.1.3

        It'd be interesting to know if there were any disgruntled nats who'd have the balls to cross the floor when the Opposition puts the vote of no confidence. It feels naive to think this could happen, but the agenda is so damaging and hateful there may be the necessary small handful who'd be willing to say that the consequences for the country are too grave to be outweighed by party loyalty.

    • Obtrectator 2.2

      In my view Andrew Shaw had every right to push back on the claims of bribery. That was a direct attack on his and the board's integrity. His only real offence was getting too personal about Winston.

  3. Ad 3

    The internal Wellington contest about who will lead the new Infrastructure Agency is not limited to Simeon Brown taking out Shane Jones for the governance oversight lead role.

    Note its an Agency so the emphasis is on delivery and its powers and capacity to deliver. It's a whole lot of centralised power.

    At the moment there are 5 institutional options to lead, and potentially merge all the others into one:

    – Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP)

    – National Infrastructure Unit in Treasury

    – The delivery arm of Waka Kotahi NZTA – shades of MOW

    – Rau Paenga (ex Otakarau from the Christchurch rebuild), and

    – Te Waihanga The NZ Infrastructure Commission

    Likely to be one boat for a lot of swimmers out of this.

  4. ianmac 4

    Can anyone recall a time when a newly elected Government has within 2 days created such concern not only in NZ but around the World?

    But never fear. PM Luxon is here. Ha.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    A thoughtful review of the govt that exited stage left recently:

    Ardernism – the ideology that grounded the decisions of Ardern, Chris Hipkins, and the Sixth Labour Government – never really got defined.

    Perceptive observers would point out that there wasn't any. The idea of ideology featuring within any Labour govt has been antique for yonks. Governance is more adaptive than driven. Ardern: “Government isn’t just what you do, it’s how you make people feel."

    Ancient Greeks called that ethos. Experientially, steering the public mood via role-model influence. She's right, even if one must add that instinctive responses don't necessarily cohere due to factors such as resonance, partiality, framing & memetics etc.

    the truth is somewhere in between. Labour ran into trouble when it tied itself in knots unsure exactly what it was delivering.

    Not to mention randomising effects of captains calling every now & then. Fortunately the new govt is proceeding on a similar trajectory due to the various incompatibilities between the two contracts. The new captain will have to call a vote to get a cabinet decision on each policy dispute. Will they discover consensus on each such furore? Depends how much time goes into discussion, how adaptive the players, who will play the referee etc. Mass death from boredom seems unlikely…

    • Corey 5.1

      Labour does have an ideology it's called managerialism.

      Managing the neoliberal economic consensus, throwing a few economic scraps to the peasentary so they don't revolt, while passing revolutionary social policy and legislating against behaviors they perceive to be wrong.

      Jacinda had the smarts to campaign like a reformist not a managerialist promising all sorts or transformation to get the peasents out to vote only to rule out any meaningful changes her rank and file membership or working groups suggested.

      Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe, Little, Hipkins never pretended to be anything but managerialists and the public responded appropriately.

      The last ten Labour leaders and three Labour govts are virtually indistinguishable from national govts apart from on social policy (and John Key even took that from them so they had to more radical socially).

      Mmp is like foodstuffs and Woolworths, it looks like there's all these different chains but they are all owned by the same two companies who root out competition and fairness.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        Labour does have an ideology it's called managerialism.

        I've never thought of it as such but you could be right. Governing is more than just managing, so it could be a tad reductive to leave the analysis at that.

        Re the left/right copycat effect, my bitch re Labour is based on the place-holder default. There ought to be more to Labour than just the servant motivation. The original idea of public service has been equated in their minds with serving the establishment – copying Nat policies sufficiently to serve as a place-holder till the next Nat election win. Too wimpish.

      • Craig H 5.1.2

        One of the biggest differences between Labour and National is their view of employment law.

        The Employment Relations Act was a major departure from the Employment Contracts Act. Fair Pay Agreements could have had that impact if Labour had remained in office.

        90 day trials is another policy with obvious negative impacts that Labour and National differ on.

    • roblogic 5.2

      Completely superficial analysis that ignores the record number of houses, huge infrastructure investments, important gains for the working class, health reform, and of course brilliant crisis management.

      Labour could have done a lot more if not for a global calamity outside its control, called Covid. As it was, Jacinda's brave and responsible leadership saved thousands.

      Kiwis have no idea how bad the pandemic was in other countries led by fuckwits like Bojo. I suppose we will get that experience with Luxo

      • Dennis Frank 5.2.1

        Yeah I see the positive side too , but Joe's view is driven by the election outcome and seems like a reasonable attempt to explain the massive voter switch. Leftist interpreters haven't really made much of an effort to get their heads around it so far, and comprehension of political trends is usually a good idea – so credit to him for giving it a go.

        • roblogic

          "Leftist interpreters haven't really made much of an effort to get their heads around it"

          Maybe you haven't but there's been plenty of soul searching around here and elsewhere.

        • Louis

          Peter Davis responded to Joe's view which, imo has a right wing lens to it. From your link.

          "One of the most striking features is how big money came to the party, much of it in the area of property development where the government did absolutely the right thing, and for a time had an almost unprecedented bipartisan agreement. Serious money, and serious ideological reckoning with the likes of the New Zealand Initiative providing the intellectual underpinnings for a wholesome swing to the right (if not the far right). There are local factors here, but also international ones with a resurgence of populist and right-wing movements and ideologies, in many instances backed by big money, old wealth and new, with the acquiescence if not support of much of the corporate sector."

          "Finally, if these progressives were trying not to upset anybody (the kindness ethos), how is it that their vote halved in a couple of years, and that Ardern suffered probably the most vitriolic personal attacks of any political figure ever recorded in New Zealand? We live with that polarisation, and the current government may well be the beneficiary with its “back to the future” mixture of conservative tendencies garnished with a hard neoliberal edge and a touch of racial unease."

          • Dennis Frank

            Buying voters is a theory that lacks empirical validation in this country, seems to me – regardless that it's plausible in the USA via media saturation.

            The voter measure of Ardern haters clocked in at around a few per cent though, so that strikes me as a red herring.

            • Louis

              That's your opinion. Here is another.

              ‘It’s outrageous to say Luxon’s own efforts got him across the line. He was bankrolled by the richest people in New Zealand…the social media game behind him… bankrolled by foreign money”


              • Binders full of Women

                ACT spent the most on Social Media in the election campaign followed by Labour in 2nd place. (Not sure if Labour's money was foreign or local- hard to track).

              • Dennis Frank

                I agree with that one. Particularly the first two points. I discount the third due to being unaware of any evidence that social media as a game is driven by money rather than player motives! This here blog is social media. Contributors don't get paid to contribute.

                Obviously money produced the tech systems social media operate on but that's not what the quote suggests, right? However this is all a digression for the swathe of folks who switched away from Labour & the psychology of that switch. Does anyone take seriously the view that marketing pizzazz won it for the Nats? Crass shit rarely impresses enough to get that much leverage (Trump blends it with other stuff). Yeah, probably most of the Nat voters rated it as useful but what percentage so desperate the poor buggers actually need it to survive?? 20%? Doubt it'd reach double figures..

                • Louis

                  Of course social media is driven by money, big money and it decides what and who is going to be promoted or not and there are people who are paid to influence social media.

      • Louis 5.2.2

        yes Rob on your posts.

  6. Aside from random attacks on workers & renters & public health, there's potentially an even more concerning impact that National's tax cuts will have on the future of Aotearoa.

    From Morgan Godfery, "The only way we can pay for tax cuts is a decade of austerity | The Post"

    Luxon is planning tax cuts for middle and high income earners, and landlords at the same time as the cost of servicing debt increases, the cost of entitlements increases, and the cost of building upon and protecting our infrastructure and communities increases.

    This is, to phrase it as politely as possible, madness.

    This is a doom loop: New Zealand’s $210b infrastructure deficit is a drag on productivity, and the low tax base means we’re never in a position to close that gap and grow our way out of a newly expensive debt environment.

    This is exactly the time when tax cuts threaten the government and economy, and a wealth and capital gains tax could help protect it.

    If National and Labour were serious parties they’d propose new taxes, not even lower taxes. But they’re not ‒ and we’ll pay for it in the next 15 years.

    • AB 6.1

      You can delay and disguise the doom loop for a while by sky-high immigration. More people to buy stuff makes it look like a growing economy. Though it deepens the infrastructure deficit.

      • roblogic 6.1.1

        I think Luxon is going for the Trump model – tax cuts to excite the 1%, prop up the economy with deficit spending and immigration, to hell with the working class or future generations.

      • Visubversa 6.1.2

        Yes, there are always people wanting to buy their way in from places like China and those with the big bucks in other Asian countries.

        This creates an artificial housing boom where lots of big, showoff housing is constructed in new developments, but as they are geared to a specific market they don't have much appeal to others.

        Unless you want to run a rooming house or a brothel, something with 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms is unlikely to appeal.

      • Michael P 6.1.3

        "More people to buy stuff makes it look like a growing economy."

        More goods and services being sold is literally how the economy grows. As many more are starting to realise, our economic system is based entirely upon consumption and our monetary system entirely upon debt.(All money, every single digital dollar in existence is created as debt being 'borrowed' into existence.) Kinda weird when you think about it.

    • satty 6.2

      Apart from our infrastructure shortfall (and required renewal), this country has to transform major industries to avoid climate breakdown, like:

      • Transport
      • Tourism
      • Farming
      • Energy (luckily we have already a high use of renewable energy)

      How is this possible without billions, trillion dollars of investment (government and private)?

  7. adam 7

    So act are against the personal freedom to join a union.

    • satty 7.1

      One person's freedom (in your case a worker joining a union) will ultimately impact someone else's freedom (in this case employer's freedom to sack the worker, underpay the worker, make the worker work on the weekends…).

    • AB 7.2

      They are for the freedom of employers to pay the lowest wages possible consistent with obtaining sufficient workers in an unregulated market. Charlatans like ACT always invent 'freedoms' that serve their interests and deny the existence of those that don't.

  8. Ed 8

    Dr. Gabor Mate is such an amazing human being.

    I don't think I have heard anyone speak with such empathy, knowledge, humanity and clarity about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

    In it, he outlines the historical conflict. That in itself is worth a listen.

    Gabor Mate is a holocaust survivor, who once was a Zionist, but who now supports the Palestinian people's right for their own land.

    There are lessons for Aotearoa New Zealand here as well, especially with the direction of the new government. Gabor Mate lives in Canada and we should listen to his thoughts there. Many people here, like many Israelis, have little knowledge, understanding or lived experience of the oppressed and colonised people.

    He references the Hungarian experience of 1956 and the break up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

    This video is worth of a post in its own right.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Public policy lags behind leading edge science due to the inertial effect of thought, but it's now getting close to a decade since personal bacterial clouds were detected. Funny how they never showed up in media coverage of the pandemic despite obvious causal relevance. Folks may be averse to thinking of themselves as ecosystems.

    Bacterial clouds from the occupants were statistically distinct, allowing the identification of some individual occupants. Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud.

    High flying bacteria colonised atmospheric currents so long ago that they became part of how Gaia operates. Each media pro has a personal responsibility to publicise such glimpses into the deep Green view of life. The slackers still fail to get up to speed though, routinely. Laziness is contagious.

    If the Green Party were to suddenly get real, it would incorporate transformative media policy as a priority. No need for clueless dork syndrome to retain hegemony.

    • Michael P 9.1

      "High flying bacteria colonised atmospheric currents…"

      Hmm, maybe we could figure out a way to train them / genetically alter them / program them to reflect warming radiation back into space, to the precise amounts we choose,,,

  10. Ad 10

    Since we are likely to get a cyclone this season and the tropical systems are already forming,
    I have a certain degree of dread about how this kind of government would handle a decent crisis.

    National deserves to be compared to Ardern and co's smooth and empathic handling of multiple crises.

    • adam 10.1

      This is major reason I'm worried about this government. I thought Grant's handling of the economy in these crises was very good.

      • tc 10.1.1

        If Nicola applied her Fonterra experience it'll be asset sales to fund disasters as we've no offshore companies of any value to flog like they do.

        We've seen Wayne brown inaction in action so not much for luxon to beat there. I'm sure he's up for it as he used to run an airline you know.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Greens announced new portfolios this morning:

    Fa'anānā Efeso Collins — Local Government, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, ACC, Pacific Peoples, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Seniors, Veterans, Sport and Recreation

    Big vote of confidence here! You'd think treaty issues too hot for a newcomer but perhaps they're relying on his undeniable skill as a communicator to the public.

    • Anne 11.1

      Went to a local body meeting last year where Collins was the speaker. Came away very impressed. Not only was he across the problems in Auckland, he held a broad and inclusive view on how to tackle them.

      What a different outcome we would be seeing if he had been elected Mayor. But…. racism in all its manifestations.

  12. Joe90 12

    Or, members of the new government who own multiple properies grant themselves a retrospective tax cut.

    Residential landlords will be able to claim back tax that they paid under the previous Government, the National-Act coalition deal indicates.

    Such a retrospective law changes would be “highly unusual and unorthodox,” says one tax expert. Retrospective law-making is generally frowned upon.

  13. Ad 13

    Presumably they're going to have to do most of this under Parliamentary urgency given there's so few sitting days until the end of the year, and I haven't seen a Parliamentary calendar for 2024 Jan and Feb yet.


  14. JeremyB 14

    Seems to be that Nicotine Willis' role is to make excuses or back down from others public utterances.
    She will be busy.

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