Open mike 30/06/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 30th, 2023 - 111 comments
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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 …

111 comments on “Open mike 30/06/2023 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Hipkins: "I've come to tell you that we've re-opened for business!"

    Xi: "Really? I hadn't been informed that you had closed."

    Hipkins: "Ah. Junior staffers – they're so unreliable."

    Xi: "Here they tend to disappear."

    Hipkins: "My cabinet ministers tend to do that."

    Xi: "Ha ha ha! Very droll."

    Hipkins: "So how's your bid for global domination going?"

    Xi: "Well, actually, I've just dictated a new law to facilitate it."

    The new law stresses its right “to take corresponding countermeasures and restrictive measures” against acts that violate international law and norms and that “endanger China’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” according to a copy of the text published by state media.

    It “provides a legal basis for the diplomatic struggle against sanctions, anti-intervention and long-arm jurisdiction”.

    The new law, however, doesn’t appear to add any additional anti-sanctions tools, according to Suisheng Zhao, director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

    “This is the first comprehensive foreign relations law … but it (reads) more like Xi Jinping’s foreign policy declaration,” Zhao said, adding that its release comes at a moment when Xi is focused on countering what it sees as US efforts to contain China.

    International law is something states make up as they go along, so Xi isn't doing anything unusual. If other countries tested his law in an international court, the outcome would be a legal charade whichever way it went…

    • mikesh 1.1

      When it comes to defence of one's country international "law" goes out the window. Biden says that his evil empire and China will be at war with each other within five years.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    The Kiri Allan beat-up illustrates to me a worrying trend in NZ. Senior bureaucrats now appear to feel entitled to leak against and white ant elected officials who they don't think conform to their technocratic models of governance. They do this with the connivance of journalist like Andrea Vance – her contempuous cynicism for government drip through everything she write so she would have been the ideal journo to leak to.

    • observer 2.1

      As a comparison, let's review the language used – and the political teflon – when applied not to Ms Kiri Allan, but to the classic Alpha Male, such as Murray McCully …

      McCully has a reputation among staff as well as officials as a hard taskmaster and Bennett says that was always the case.

      "He was a hard man back then, which won't surprise anyone who knew him."

      "He wasn't shy in his feedback, that's for sure. But it's because he had high standards and he knew what he wanted and he demanded it of you when you worked for him."

      He is infamously intolerant with officials and staff.

      That Minister did not resign, and Key didn't ask him to, not even when he squandered millions on the scandal of the Saudi sheep farm, a greater crime than anything Allan has touched.

      But how do we describe his behaviour? Not bullying, only … "not shy" … "high standards" … "hard taskmaster" … etc.

      Because blokes in suits have cojones. He’s a “Black Prince”. Cool!

      • Sanctuary 2.1.1

        Political journalists love stories like this. it makes them feel important. They are central characters to the plot – they are the gatekeepers of and conduits for the dirt. They imagine they are portrayed to the "rest" as savvy insiders, privy to courtier gossip and mini-scandals. They don't even have to leave their office, the drip-drip-drip is fed directly to them. They don't have to think. They just launder. And they can revel in the cynicism as sophistication court politics of the horse race narrative, endlessly interviewing each other and their keyboards for new angles and questions.

        • Incognito

          One way or another, too many useful idiots read and listen to those stories and give them more oxygen & fuel aka legs. And I’m not talking about Bryce Edwards here; Andrea Vance, Edwards, and all the other ‘pundits’ know which side their bread is buttered and DP orchestrators & players know how to make good use of this.

    • Dennis Frank 2.2

      former Stuff political editor, Tracy Watkins joins Newsable to discuss the implications… allegations of toxic bullying and negative behaviour

      Prime Minister Chris Hipkins told Chinese Communist Party Secretary Chen Jining, a top official in Shanghai, he wished he could stay in China longer, instead of returning to New Zealand tonight.

      Understandable he'd rather stay there than hose down another cabinet fire…

      • Louis 2.2.1

        Media are shitstirring. The PM was being polite and courteous, his comment had nothing to do with the Minister.

        • Dennis Frank

          You reckon you can read his mind? You ought to hire that skill out. Nat pr gurus would pay you plenty for it. wink

          • Louis

            Media acknowledged that the PM was just being polite, yet weaponized it. Dirty politics.

    • Dennis Frank 2.3

      Beat-up may not be effective framing:

      A public servant with years of experience has told Stuff Allan "yelled and screamed" at her during a phone call and was so loud staff in the office could hear her.

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.1

        I thought Andrew handled the situation well & his three-way with Ryan & Erica was nicely collegial. He made this interesting point:

        Little added the situation was unusual, given the usual process was for such allegations to be reported to the Public Service Commission and the Prime Minister's office.

        "It appears, from what everybody is saying – including the Prime Minister – that that simply hasn't happened. That's surprising in this situation," Little told AM on Friday.

        • Louis

          One would have thought that a public servant with years of experience knows the system well enough to have laid a complaint a year ago if the claims had been true.

          "Cabinet minister Kiri Allan is rejecting the description of events provided by the head of the Department of Conservation (DOC) over claims of a breakdown in the relationship with staff."

          "She said she had never shouted at staff."

          • Dennis Frank

            It ain't as simple as you're painting it, Louis. Departmental heads seem to the sources – not the actual victims. I've already pointed to why such victims get coerced by the system into silence unless a critical threshold gets crossed: they want to continue their careers.

            However I do agree that the year's delay is suspicious. Looks like the thing got engineered by the Nats – exposure pre-campaign to maintain the corrosive effect on Labour poll support (that Labour ministers have caused). Viability of this theory hinges on public service collusion…

            • Louis

              Victims? Isn't the person at the receiving end of unsubstantiated gossip and dirty politics a victim? Good to see you do acknowledge that dirty politics is at play here.

              • Dennis Frank

                Most people believe those who get yelled & screamed at are victims of the abuse. Apparently the officials reported as being concerned share that common view. You lack the empathy to do so??

                • Louis

                  There is no proof that anybody got 'yelled & screamed at.'

                  "NEMA’s chief executive Dave Gawn, in a statement, said he “was aware of concerns regarding relationships in the minister's office, and that he understood action was taken to address these concerns.”


                  "relationships in the minister's office" could mean anything.

                  I am beginning to suspect that a public servant had their work criticized and took umbrage to that. The PM mentioned that accountability is a two way street, "will involve ministers giving feedback to the public service that they haven't met the expectations set of them." See from 22.30


                  • Dennis Frank

                    I agree that obfuscation is a recourse popular with many as they flounder around trying to figure out what's going on in contentious situations. Copying them is unwise though.

                    • Louis

                      As mentioned, what's going on is called dirty politics.

                    • Anne

                      Many of the people who comment here have had skin in the game and can correctly sense the game-playing that is occurring.

                      I have also been a witness to such behaviour in my past. In fact I was a target once, so give me and Louis – and others – the courtesy of… knowing what we are talking about eh?

                      As for the public servant who is claiming Kiri "yelled and screamed down the phone" at them… there is something just a little too well timed and pat about the claim. I suspect it is an over-hyped version of an incident that did occur. We have not heard from the staff members who are supposed to have witnessed this altercation. Not yet anyway.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      I've been reflecting on the situation & feel I ought to make it clear that I share the suspicion around the timing of these reports – given that they seem designed to generate ample smoke without fire.

                      Four senior officials wafting the smoke around can't be dismissed as a coincidence so I expect folks to wonder why they are doing that. Nor really a good look, eh?

                      A pragmatist would point out that our system of democracy enables this shit to happen and believers in democracy continue to fail to apply pressure to correct the design flaw so the phenomenon will repeat and likely even escalate. So while it may indeed be dirty politics, so what? Impressions shift voters. The system empowers the diffusing of them. Contagion works, Nats exploit opportunities…

                    • Louis

                      Yet other officials have a different view from the ones in Vance's article, as mentioned in a previous post.

                      "dirty politics, so what?"

                      So it is ok for media and others to mislead the public to create a false perception in the hope it would give political advantage to the right wing?

      • newsense 2.3.2

        First complaint to the media.
        Example of the NaCT justice policy working well. Public crucifixtion of the suspect, then follow probe to confirm after the fact.

        NACT Housing policy = private prison policy.

      • Bearded Git 2.3.3

        From your Newshub article Frank

        Hipkins:"I am not going to comment on rumours… I understand that my office was alerted to the Official Information Act request that was released to the National Party a couple of weeks ago," he said. "I wasn't aware of the specifics of that request until it was raised a couple of days ago."

        The Allan media beat-up stems from National Party muck raking. They didn't actually find anything, but why let that get in the way of a good slur story when you can make things up and quote anonymous sources?

        • Dennis Frank

          And another one:

          Another former senior official with a long history of public service, has also spoken to Stuff to confirm they had concerns about Allan’s dealing with staff. “Basically low trust and respect of public servants was [the] issue,” they said.

          Amusing, all this denialism. If a Nat had done it, you'd get the usual pile-on here. Non-aligned kiwis just roll their eyes at left-wing hypocrisy. angel

          • Louis

            From your link. “The minister strongly refutes these allegations. No complaints have ever been taken up with MBIE or myself and certainly nothing that resembles these allegations.”

            MBIE has said no formal complaints have been made by staff about Allan's conduct and no staff were removed from the office because of concerns"

            • Dennis Frank

              So you reckon a conspiracy theory applies here, huh? All these public servants are conspiring against Labour? surprise

              • Incognito

                All these public servants […]

                How many?

                • Louis

                  Good question.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Andrea Vance only counted four:

                  That makes four senior public service staff who have spoken publicly about workplace relationships relating to Allan, who is minister for justice and regional development.


                  A good conspiracy ought to feature more players than that, eh? However, since conspire means breathe together and these four may have operated independently we ought not jump to premature conclusions…

                  • Incognito

                    Who’s jumping to conclusions and dreaming up all sorts of narratives here, with associated commentary??

                  • Without the names of these people and formal complaints from them all of this is meaningless drivel. Andrea Vance should know better.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      She's just doing her job. Dismissing the four officials can't be done that easily, although I agree that formal collaboration on a united media statement from the four would validate their concerns more effectively. Ball's in their court, huh?

                      Presuming she did yell & scream at one or more staffers, that can't be proven unless someone recorded it or the testimony of one recipient is confirmed by others who heard it. Dismissing it as having been swept under the carpet successfully a year ago doesn't work: it establishes an unhealthy precedent.

                      If she didn't, and the public servants are snowflakes over-dramatising whatever tone & language she did use, then I'm with you…

                    • Louis

                      Didn't Andrea Vance cut her reporter's teeth on that defunct rag News of the World? She is into gutter reporting.

              • newsense

                Against Kiri.

                Stuff today with a beauty- Why it is so hard to complain (outside of the media when the PM is getting good press overseas) about ministers.

                Smear and walk away. Smear and walk away. No due process required.

    • tsmithfield 2.4

      I am also inclined to see the situation as a beat-up.

      If there is an issue, it is hard to know how much is due to Allan's behaviour, and how much is due to the recipient being a tender snow-flake. But, whatever it is, I don't see it as an issue that requires Allan to resign over.

      But, the bigger question for me is how much support and training new ministers get in terms of staff management etc. A lot of incoming MPs may have little experience in this area. So, it seems to me that training and support should be mandatory.

      • Belladonna 2.4.1

        Training of new MPs (and re-training of ones with ongoing issues) in staff management has been in place since at least 2018, following Mallard's reforms.

        Each new set of MPs now get training on staff management and conduct expectations along with the numerous other skills they require.

        “For example, we’ve had a number of [MPs] who have been required to do some training, exhibit behavioural change before they’re allowed to employ further staff.”

        • tsmithfield

          That is good to know.

          So, it seems to me the worst that should happen so far as Allan is concerned is that she gets some more training and mentorship support etc.

          • Dennis Frank

            So, if you were the public servant who got "yelled and screamed" at by her you would respond that she ought to get more training & mentorship, right?

            What's the chances of her coming back with "don't you condescend to me, you xyz@***!" surprise

            • tsmithfield

              I am trying to be fair and objective here, given that I am from the right wing side of the fence. Assuming there is behaviour to be concerned about:

              I think the key thing is, in the first instance, that the desired outcome is that the behaviour stops, and if necessary, some apologies and reconciliation if necessary.

              We have to bear in mind that no formal complaints have been made. My approach is that I investigate and action formal complaints. Otherwise, there is nothing concrete to focus on.

              However, if this alleged behaviour continued, and especially if formal complaints were made, then it would be approaching the point where it would be necessary to consider suitability for the role.

              So, I do see this as quite different to say, the Wood resignation, or the Nash firing where the behaviours undermined the trust of colleagues.

              In this situation, it seems more to do with performance management rather than fundamental trust issues.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah, fair enough. Something dodgy in their process, perhaps, and Andrew Little pointed to that as puzzling on AM this morning.

                • Louis

                  It is puzzling that the staffer with years of experience went to the media with accusations that apparently had occurred over a year ago with no formal complaint to back up that claim, whilst the PM was overseas. Dirty politics.

                  Allan challenges opposition over 'fishing exercise'

                  "Speaking to reporters afterwards, Tremain said she was not aware of any concerns raised by MBIE staff seconded to Allan's office.

                  "We have a very functioning, highly functional relationship with Minister Allan's office," she said.

                  "At times we fall short of her expectations and that's communicated, that's absolutely fine – we expect that from any minister's office."

                  Head of Kānoa Robert Pigou said he had no concerns about Allan's managerial style.

                  "No. In fact we have a, you know, really good, open, relationship and I have had far more challenging ministers to deal with in the past – in fact I cut my teeth on them."

                  Justice Secretary Andrew Kibblewhite said he had not heard of any such concerns or complaints from his staff.

                  "No, I've got a very stable team in the office, it's been there since before Minister Allan arrived and we haven't had any turnover there."


      • Terry 2.4.2

        My brother is one of the civil servants who from time to time has to work in a Minister’s Office. He is certainly not a snowflake, nor are any of his colleagues that work at his level. I believe that the civil servants all handle themselves professionally when meeting with Cabinet ministers and MP’s. So I’m absolutely sure they can handle a robust conversation.

        However in this day & age shouting and screaming or yelling abuse at anyone in the workplace is not acceptable. If we expect good behaviour from Joe Blogs on the shop floor, then certainly it is to be expected from a highly paid Cabinet Minister. If she’s not up to the job, she needs to be exited from her position.

        This has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with getting rid of the bullies.

          • Terry

            It’s been quoted in the news that a civil servant was shouted and/or yelled at over the phone and that other staff heard the Cabinet minister. Considering the wording of the story and who wrote it. This has either happened, or it’s a complete fabrication.

            considering it’s a senior civil servant who is the source of the story, & told to a reporter, I’m guessing that it’s probably true.

            As a Labour supporter, I’m not happy to have Labour MP or Cabinet Ministers in parliament, who are also bullies.

            As for their being no formal complaint, we can see how that goes… You complain about the bad behaviour of a much senior manager, you might just as well just start looking for a new job.

            Bullies don’t like being challenged and will undoubtedly ruin your career.

            • Louis

              That's an assumption. There is no proof of that. A senior public servant knows the process that enables complaints to be laid, but instead, gossiped to the media a year later when the PM was overseas.

        • Shanreagh

          I think staff management comes naturally to some and not to others. The key is self knowledge and not putting yourself into situations where you have a weakness. I wonder if her training as a lawyer may have had some effect.

          Young lawyers often get the most uncollegial intro to legal office life and certainly some of the tales of belittling and shouting I have heard from colleagues are anything to go by. When the lawyers come out the other side they often view it as a rite of passage not stopping to think that the tradition is bad. I see she interned for Hon Helen Clark. Now HC had Heather Simpson and so with a buffer between her and staff the situations got better.

          In PS if you did some of this the system would be down on you like a tonne of bricks. (40 years service here incl 4.5 years as a seconded secretary in two Ministers offices Nat/lLab)

          As I said earlier a key person in a Minister's office is the Senior Private Secretary or Office Manager and if she has an experienced one they will be able to say "hey Boss……' if need be. If she has an inexperienced one or a party political person in this key position then this could be a reason why her office did not run smoothly.

          • Hunter Thompson II

            Interesting comments about Helen Clark's office.

            A 2IC with a firm hand is very useful, like the first mate on a sailing vessel who must command the respect of the crew. Apparently in Stalin's Russia, to get prompt action on something you just had to say "Beria wants this done … "

        • SPC

          One claimed instance of such, without any formal complaint to record the event, is no basis for a case.

          The real story is the amount of resources National is applying to "opposition research" and how media go along with it because its such a an easy story/narrative. It's just lazy.

    • bwaghorn 2.5

      It has been taken to a ridiculous level against Allen but no smoke with out fire comes to mind,

      She should front up and say she's sorry for getting bolshie and is working on her communication skills.

    • Hunter Thompson II 2.6

      Media report, 30 June 2023: In a statement, Allan said: “The minister strongly refutes these allegations. No complaints have ever been taken up with MBIE or myself and certainly nothing that resembles these allegations.”

      She means she denies the allegations. To refute something is to prove it wrong, and she has not done that.

      Like a lot of others, I'm bewildered about what is going on here.

    • Hunter Thompson II 2.7

      It's too much to expect a minister of the Crown to have good relationships with every civil service staff member. Some ministers would be great to work with, others a good deal less so. The reasons for friction vary, from arrogance to a misplaced sense of entitlement.

      This story is becoming a sideshow now. It hasn't altered my opinion of Labour one bit.

      The important issue is NZ's future after the next election.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Another snowballing problem hits Russell Brown:

    The tech-savvy commentator and former Computerworld journalist told his Twitter followers late on Thursday: “Just had the worst two hours of my life. Got convincingly scammed, locked out of our bank accounts, and more, crucially, Mum’s. “They’d started on ours – consolidating all the money into one account – by the time I twigged and changed the passwords. But I couldn’t change Mum’s. “Because the attached phone number was hers, and she’s seriously ill in hospital. Nurses wouldn’t let us access Mum’s phone, Police couldn’t help – and Westpac’s fraud line is slammed and took an hour to call back.

    Cert NZ’s most recent quarterly report, for the three months to December, found direct financial losses from cyberscams had spiked 66 per cent to $5.8 million as 264 people lost between $100 and $1000 and 16 lost more than $100,000.

    • dv 3.1

      He replied to an 0800 no from a txt msg


      • weka 3.1.1

        while he was trying to deal with his presumably elderly mother being very ill in hospital.

    • Sanctuary 3.2

      Russell Brown has written and done tons of work in the mental health and drug reform space. The only time that shit rag the Herald deigns to mention him is in a concern troll about his being scammed. A shitty newspaper happy to snactimoniously pursue petty vendettas through its pages.

  4. SPC 4

    The US Supreme Court continues its work to undo the civil rights work of the past century.

    The latest work of the GOP southern strategy of the 1970's (to re-base in the south as a white race Christian identity Moral Majority party).

    “The court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society,” she said in her written dissent.

    The decision all but ensured that the student population at the campuses of elite institutions will become whiter and more Asian and less Black and Latino.

    A certain irony as to Justice Clarence Thomas – his entry to Harvard law School was because of affirmative action, but upon graduation he chose to be the GOP champion against it. And thus was favoured with placements on Capitol Hill before being fast tracked as a jurist onto SCOTUS. This is the culmination of his career. Now other black students will be denied places in colleges.

    It's a bit like receiving a Training Incentive Allowance to get tertiary study here and then end this programme while Minister.

    • SPC 4.1

      The decision casts the USA (at least the GOP) as a white race regime in both domestic and international politics – ultimately it is part of a further retreat from the wider world, except as an imperial military force (which is why a GOP led war over Taiwan is possible but little on GW – and the no regret over the abandoning of the women of Afghanistan).

      It does however explain why some in the GOP are reluctant to confront Russia on Ukraine (a member of the UN with right to help when attacked), but are warriors on Taiwan (when even the USA recognises it is part of China).

    • ianmac 4.2

      Here in NZ some people believe that Maori get preferential entry to Medical School, and thus cause poorer quality of medical care. No. The process is that a few very promising applicants who have been disadvantaged by the limited educational opportunities, may get entry ahead of one who has had the advantages of superior schooling.

      The few still have the first year to prove that they are equal to the task or they are dropped off.

      • SPC 4.2.1

        Sure, Thomas did OK – middle of the class, when given the opportunity.

        The universities did not have a problem with it. There have been campaigns for "meritocracy" in the past – but this principle is premised on a society where there is equal opportunity, rather than any disadvantage.

      • I guess you mean private education when you say advantages of superior education

        • SPC

          There is also the class interest of the Epsom school zone, unrelated to private schooling,

    • SPC 4.3

      While Clarence Thomas seems to have been sponsored by the GOP onto SCOTUS as their guy against affirmative action, another – now Chjef Justice, John G Roberts is was the one against the Voting Rights Act.

      Under Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court had a nearly unbroken record of weakening the protections of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

      And the justices had already taken two big swings at the Voting Rights Act. In one, they ruled that state and localities that discriminated against minority voters in the past no longer must have election laws cleared by federal officials. And in the other, the court said the threat of election fraud can justify voting restrictions that could fall heavier on minority voters. Such decisions have favored conservative states with Republican majorities, while civil rights organizations have been the losers. Roberts said federal courts have no constitutional role in policing partisan gerrymandering.

      At his confirmation hearings in 2005, senators questioned memos that Roberts wrote as a young lawyer in the Reagan administration objecting to racial considerations and arguing that it should not become “too easy to prove” certain violations of the Voting Rights Act.

  5. I believe such things were said of Nick Smith as well as Murray McCully.

    Some people are quick and brusque. Nasty bullying or toxic is different,sad and would be recorded.

    All the way through it appears some Ministry people have quibbled delayed or down right obstructed, using their "longer tenure". Some seem to link with media as "informed sources".

    12 months ago Gisborne had a large long earthquake??? Just wondering??? Kiritapu Allan had also finished 3 months of treatment for Cervical cancer.??? But there is no real evidence offered, just the usual swirling rumours and back room chat to journos. So believe who you will, as some here have.

    This has all the hall marks of find something on each Minister, fact or rumour, and give it to the press to prove the current meme "The Government is in Chaos"

    Two Ministers self destructing, one leaving, and now pressure on Minister Allan, while her personal life is causing her huge grief and her PM is overseas on a successful Trade and Diplomatic visit to China.

    Some here seem to prefer "trial by Media". Let us see if the Nact backroom have over reached and the Public are less tolerant of the mud slinging. imo Dirty Politics appears to have reared its ugly head again, and will smear true or not. Journalists hide behind protected sources.

    • Anne 5.1

      This has all the hall marks of find something on each Minister, fact or rumour, and give it to the press to prove the current meme "The Government is in Chaos"

      That is precisely what it is. And Kiri Allan was always going to be a prime candidate. As a gay Maori woman, it plays handsomely to the red-neck corner of the population who are their prime market.

      The anticipation and fever with which the media have welcomed these unsubstantiated stories says a lot about their populist psyche, and a large section of the public who lap them up with such gusto.

      Kick a person when they are down could almost be a Kiwi catch-cry.

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Last night on TV1 News the political reporter was asked to comment on the Kiri "problem." He said dismissively that she did not know what the complaint was but she could find out in 10 seconds if she wanted to. Therefore she must be hiding something and must be guilty.

        As for the vicious nastiness from that weasel Woodhouse on Morning Report regarding Ginetti….

        • Bearded Git

          Yes ianmac I was shouting at the radio when listening to Woodhouse this morning. So devious.

          Surely the NZ public are smart enough to see through this?

          • Charlotte Rust

            Why is anybody listening to Woodhouse after the toilet seat debacle? He showed his misogynist colours and therefore cancelled himself from any higher ground I would’ve thought.

        • Anne

          That was the point last night I switched over to TV3 which was no better. Benedict [whatever his surname is] is a cynical little s**t who loves socking it to the government at every opportunity. Occasionally he has a go at National (to give the appearance he is even handed) but usually over something innocuous.

      • SPC 5.1.2

        A cynic might call it a pre China, during the China visit and then a post the China visit play (Mahuta, Allan and …. ).

        To highlight Mahuta not being in China, Allan taking a break and …

        An extreme cynic might wonder which Labour Maori MP/Minister is the next on the list.

        • Anne

          We could of course have a site sweepstake on who is next.

          I'll go with Carmel Sepuloni.

          When she was a high school student she kicked some snotty nosed brat in the you- know-where after he tried to run her down on his bicycle.

          No, No. It didn't happen. I made it up. 😮

  6. newsense 6

    Well if I had a relationship break up and someone was using the media as first port of call for the story they were hawking I’d probably tell them to f- off too.

    This is just nasty.

    Though you have to wonder. Most of the names that were potentially floated to replace Jacinda or spoken of as future PMs seem to have come cropper of late. Those with a bit of media profile or an independent power base as we were told Nash had built up with his popularity in his electorate and with some in business.

    Am I being too cynical? The only name that was in the papers at that point who hasn’t was Megan Woods and she’s campaign manager and seems to be very much in the core team. Of whom Grant and Andrew Little are assumed to have done their leadership dash and McAnulty is too green, and perhaps not core, core.

    Or would that be assigning too much competency to Labour?

    To be honest polls wise things are going about as well as can be expected. It’s frustrating to look at the climate change policy bonfire.

    It’s also frustrating to look at this about Te Atatu and think that it needs rapid ferries going in several directions and a light rail line. Urgently. Yesterday.

    Density can be done, but we shunt it to places without the infrastructure or where the infrastructure is slow to catch up. Or gets nimbied by muppets. And then people get flooded out to boot.

    Still looks like light rail is going to be a hunted species with Mrs Brown’s boys leading the charge too…

    • Belladonna 6.1

      Still looks like light rail is going to be a hunted species with Mrs Brown’s boys leading the charge too…

      Aucklanders are still scarred from the (apparently unending) disruption and huge cost over-runs of the CRL. Combined with the closure of much of the existing train network for line reconstruction over the next 18 months.

      Most are highly dubious over any benefits from light rail; and highly wary of the ability of the government/Council to roll it out with minimal disruption and within budget.

      • newsense 6.1.1

        Light rail is popular in polls. Hence why it hasn’t been canned.

        The City rail link is despite over runs still very popular.

        You look at the complaints from Chris Schultz on the Spin-off about Te Atatu. Enormous congestion every time the system comes under stress and no end in sight. With the two projects mentioned above they will both achieve a positive effect on congestion.

        All construction projects go through cost overruns that are forgotten when they open. No one remembers that about the Shinkansen which went over budget. Once the service is available all the delays are forgotten.

        A large number of the people they’re unpopular with are people who likely won’t be around to see their completion. And that’s a commentary in itself- on a selfish generation that’s clawed all the wealth to itself and done little in the way of long term investing, particularly in housing and climate change preparation and other policy.

        • newsense

          It’s a mischief to link the bizarre maintenance failure which requires an enforced shuttering of the network with construction projects that provide for necessary future capacity.

          Imagine if a highway system had to be shut for a similar time. Heads would roll. It’s not business as usual. It’s a failure which is somehow being blamed on the mode of transport instead of the people running it.

        • Belladonna

          Yes, I've read the article. What he actually asks for is for the existing busway to be put into use- rather than sit idle, as it does at the moment.

          Can you provide a recent link to support your assertion that CRL is still popular?

          • newsense

            You didn’t provide any to the contrary?

            I mean unpopular with people who are going to use it. Not unpopular because there has been a large number of negatively focused news stories quoting Simeon Brown and Wayne Brown.

            For example there has been a lot of dissatisfaction from Albert road businesses about the CRL, some from people who bought in well after the construction plans were in place, but the Auckland business community overall has been behind it for well, decades. You’re fairly emotive on this issue. What would your plan be? No public transport? Or just not any of these options , for now. That’s the right wing climate change position for 50 years.

            Yes a busway for now would be a minimum.

            But looking at the ferry map and given the issues Chris has mentioned, work on getting ferries linking the North Shore and the city seem like a no brainer. All cars off the road right?

            • Belladonna

              Ah, no. If you make a claim, it's up to you to provide evidence, if called upon to do so.

              I'm calling on you to provide evidence that "The City rail link is despite over runs still very popular."

  7. joe90 7

    A serious amount of money there Brycie boy.


    So, um, yeah. Some inquisitive soul has put in an OIA to Te Herenga Waka concerning two large chunks of funding—$800k—that Bryce Edwards has received (one by himself, one with another academic) to research lobbying and political integrity in New Zealand.


    Under the progress report for the $433,000 he received to "The political influence of vested interests via lobbying and political donations", the response cites a long list of glorified blog posts.

    Sorry, make that $487,000. Also, given his regular appearances on the Wright family right-wing megaphone The Platform, I guess he has decided to map this particular problem from within.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Interesting. Best wait & see if he produces anything worthwhile. It's not as if taxpayers are dead keen to fund academic research.

    • newsense 7.2

      Reminds me about the jokes about Weapons of Mass Destruction- how do we know he’s got them? Well we checked the receipt, but just as soon as that cheque clears, we’re going in!

      Makes interviewing a type writer for a living another reality…

    • This is interesting indeed. Was he awarded the money because they liked his consistently anti-Left commentary one wonders?

      Edwards should start by investigating his own political integrity.

    • Incognito 7.4

      Surely, they were peer-reviewed blog posts. Just like Bryce ‘peer-reviewed’ his competition …

  8. newsense 8

    Hopefully though Chippy might reflect on the support he’s had on his China trip from the media, the complaints raised by NEW ZEALAND farmers to the EU trade deal and decide that he doesn’t need either group and the best way to get them onside is not to do everything they say we should be doing but sting them with a small amount of the bill for their climate inaction and threaten to come back for the rest if they keep their BS up.

    Imagine if a blue rosette was attached to this EU deal. My gosh.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 8.1

      Well maybe NZ farmers (not all of course!) are the "very negative, whiny " characters Chris Luxon was disparaging.

      Kinda apt.

      And even…if NAct get back …they will still whine. Its in their DNA.

      IMO : )

      • newsense 8.1.1

        Bloody brilliant re: Te Atatu- they’re taking over the haggling geese and allowing more density along the light rail route to Mangere.

        Yes it is a bombing run. Your council runs policy for a few old folks left behind on an island in the 1950s. Christine Fletcher blamed the flooding on intensification fairly quickly. That doesn’t seem like someone who you should consult when asking how to fix a housing and lifestyle crisis.

        Labour with its over 50% of the vote should have had the courage to do a few more of these. But better late than never. Should have got the physical work well and truly started. Should have two lots of light rail almost done and electricfied heavy rail to Tauranga.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always

          Should have two lots of light rail almost done and electricfied heavy rail to Tauranga.

          Matey…absolutely. Ive said before : If not now, when? I hope NAct dont get control. As it will be …Never. : (

          Anyway. Keep up the fight. Have to.

  9. adam 9

    So it's now beyond question the fossil fuel industry is on track to kill us. In a day and age when we need transition, they have let their avarice run amuck.

  10. Ffloyd 10

    Maybe I missed it. Have the public services people who have accused Kiri of ‘shouting and screaming’ at them been named. And have they made a public statement with proven factual evidence. Or are they citing privacy? She has been judged and found guilty by media and therefore by gullible public, without a skerric of solid and verified evidence. witnesses anyone ? Our media is so predictable they are embarrassing. ………..I stand for Kiri.

    • Anne 10.2

      People who make claims anonymously, as we are told happened in this case, should never be taken seriously. From personal experience, the motivation is nearly always jealousy and malice. Someone with a genuine axe to grind will always complain in person.

      The media know this of course so I have to presume they are allowing themselves to be party to the story for personal gain – either for themselves or their employers. And they call themselves professionals.

  11. Reality 11

    Agree Floyd. On reading the screaming front page headlines in today's Post my first thought why are these accusers' names not published. Somewhat cowardly. If they are wanting to have their issues aired they should be courageous enough to give their names.

    Whatever the facts, Kiri Allan has not had an easy few years with her serious cancer diagnosis, personal issues and the weather ravaged East Coast where she has been confronted with such widespread devastation.

    Very strange these issues are being brought up a few months before an election. Perhaps the public should be reminded of some of National's problems of fairly recent times which were not subjected to this media glee. Let's not forget Uffindell, Collins, distasteful National candidates' attitudes towards women. Uffindell particularly has been treated with kid gloves by National. In my book very hypocritical.

  12. Corey 12

    While I think the Kiri story is a storm in a tea cup, Labour supporters in 2023, are increasingly sounding like National supporters in 2020.

    The constant attacks, accusations of bias and insults on the media and journalists, is a surefire sign of an imminent defeat.

    Its concerning, gross, Trumpian and extremely hypocritical from the left who since 2020 have been attacking the right for attacking journalists and spreading disinformation.

    It seems when the media is reporting on ones opponent the media can do no wrong, but when the media is reporting on our side they are nasty right wing bastards.

    Enough of this.

    After two terms, all governments are creaky and ministers often become arrogant, lazy and play fast and loose the longer a govt is in power.

    This govt is no exception, the difference I feel, is that there's been remarkably low turnover in the 6th labour govts cabinet.

    Key and Clark refreshed their cabinet every six months and sacked ministers every other month. It was a blood sport and instilled fear, Ardern kept the same core cabinet for two terms and appears to have given ministers a very, very long leash and a LOT of leeway and that appears to have made some ministers arrogant, entitled and lazy.

    Now we have a new pm, more like Clark/Key in management style, and he's having to deal with the fallout of his predecessors management style, a bunch of errant, arrogant ministers.

    I like Kiri and if the allegations are true,.I would be surprised if she feels overwhelmed, she spent the first year or so of this term fighting terminal cancer, she's a second term mp, a first term electorate mp in a region which has suffered multiple natural disasters in 4 years and she's a young mum, add to that multiple gigantic ministerial portfolios and I'd be totally overwhelmed.

    Nash was a lazy, entitled, arrogant idiot and to put it politely, was extreme fast and loose. Wood was an idiot and extremely lazy in terms of registering conflicts of interest. Meka is an arrogant careerist.

    Kiri seems like someone who is just overwhelmed and I can't think of a person who wouldn't be …

    One of Hipkins biggest mistakes has been to overload portfolios onto ministers who perform well, drowning them in work and overwhelming them.

    He should have just brought new blood in to replace the underperforming ministers, party politics and factions be damned.

    A new pm should have created a mostly new cabinet rather than inheriting the cabinet and problems of his predecessor.

    It is big news when these ministerial scandals happen, stop attacking the media for reporting the news.

    What's more concerning? The media reporting on events of national significance….OR…


    Labour keeps telling us how close this election is going to be, Hipkins spent his entire political honeymoon dumping ideas and not coming up with a single new idea.

    Labour is giving noone any reason to vote for them and the longer they wait, the worse labour looks.

    If they wait til parliament dissolves to release their first policies it'll be too late.

    Labour needs to announce polices now to change the narrative from cabinet dysfunction to the election battle.

    Every week labour doesn't announce a single policy, I become more convinced Labour doesn't want to win this election and as devoted free marketeers, secretly prefer a National/Act govt to a Labour/Green/Maori party govt.

    It actually makes sense that a free market party like labour would prefer a free market nat/act govt than be forced by greens, tmp, or even top to seriously reform the neoliberal state.

    • Sabine 12.1

      It actually makes sense that a free market party like labour would prefer a free market nat/act govt than be forced by greens, tmp, or even top to seriously reform the neoliberal state.

      Yes, i would agree with this in particular and the rest in general.

    • Ad 12.2

      You protest too much.

      The 'overloaded' ministers are the ones performing well still.

      Policy isn't going to win 2023 much'n'all as that would be so sweetly 1972.

      It's down to forces outside of Labour control namely:

      inflation, house prices, Luxon's performance, and the Maori Party getting 5 seats.

      Labour's die is otherwise cast.

    • Shanreagh 12.3

      Good points Corey.


      Surely we start some where soon with some policies?

      One of Hipkins biggest mistakes has been to overload portfolios onto ministers who perform well, drowning them in work and overwhelming them.

      The more we get embroiled and reactive to 'he said, she said' or 'she said, she said' etc stuff the more our eyes divert from the ball. The ball in this case is the lack of policies and the feeling that I have, that we have missed our time to roll back some of remaining neo-lib junk as you say.

      It actually makes sense that a free market party like labour would prefer a free market nat/act govt than be forced by greens, tmp, or even top to seriously reform the neoliberal state.

      One of the biggest helpful parts of the neo-lib reform was that key state agencies such as Treasury and SSC were loaded with supporters. It is a while ago now but I wonder if there is a rump of 'neo neo-libs' still in some agencies. perhaps spouting their 'wisdom' to Ministers who know no other way and so who may be trapped with no alternatives.

    • Incognito 12.4

      What’s most concerning is that you cannot count; it is 106 days until Election Day.

      Please stop with the SHOUTING, thanks.

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    Let’s say it’s 1984,and there's a dreary little nation at the bottom of the Pacific whose name rhymes with New Zealand,and they've just had an election.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will you look at the state of these books we’ve opened,cries the incoming government, will you look at all this mountain ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Stopping oil
    National is promising to bring back offshore oil and gas drilling. Naturally, the Greens have organised a petition campaign to try and stop them. You should sign it - every little bit helps, and as the struggle over mining conservation land showed, even National can be deterred if enough people ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Don’t accept Human Rights Commission reading of data on Treaty partnership – read the survey fin...
    Wellington is braced for a “massive impact’ from the new government’s cutting public service jobs, The Post somewhat grimly reported today. Expectations of an economic and social jolt are based on the National-Act coalition agreement to cut public service numbers in each government agency in a cost-trimming exercise  “informed by” head ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • The stupidest of stupid reasons
    One of the threats in the National - ACT - NZ First coalition agreements was to extend the term of Parliament to four years, reducing our opportunities to throw a bad government out. The justification? Apparently, the government thinks "elections are expensive". This is the stupidest of stupid reasons for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A website bereft of buzz
    Buzz from the Beehive The new government was being  sworn in, at time of writing , and when Point of Order checked the Beehive website for the latest ministerial statements and re-visit some of the old ones we drew a blank. We found ….  Nowt. Nothing. Zilch. Not a ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • MICHAEL BASSETT: A new Ministry – at last
    Michael Bassett writes – Like most people, I was getting heartily sick of all the time being wasted over the coalition negotiations. During the first three weeks Winston grinned like a Cheshire cat, certain he’d be needed; Chris Luxon wasted time in lifting the phone to Winston ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon's Breakfast.
    The Prime Minister elect had his silver fern badge on. He wore it to remind viewers he was supporting New Zealand, that was his team. Despite the fact it made him look like a concierge, or a welcomer in a Koru lounge. Anna Burns-Francis, the Breakfast presenter, asked if he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL:  Oranga Tamariki faces major upheaval under coalition agreement
     Lindsay Mitchell writes – A hugely significant gain for ACT is somewhat camouflaged by legislative jargon. Under the heading ‘Oranga Tamariki’ ACT’s coalition agreement contains the following item:   Remove Section 7AA from the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 According to Oranga Tamariki:     “Section ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Peters as Minister
    A previous column looked at Winston Peters biographically. This one takes a closer look at his record as a minister, especially his policy record. Brian Easton writes – 1990-1991: Minister of Māori Affairs. Few remember Ka Awatea as a major document on the future of Māori policy; there is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Cathrine Dyer's guide to watching COP 28 from the bottom of a warming planet
    Is COP28 largely smoke and mirrors and a plan so cunning, you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel? Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: COP28 kicks off on November 30 and up for negotiation are issues like the role of fossil fuels in the energy transition, contributions to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 news links at 10 am for Monday, Nov 27
    PM Elect Christopher Luxon was challenged this morning on whether he would sack Adrian Orr and Andrew Coster.TL;DR: Here’s my pick of top 10 news links elsewhere at 10 am on Monday November 27, including:Signs councils are putting planning and capital spending on hold, given a lack of clear guidance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the new government’s policies of yesteryear
    This column expands on a Werewolf column published by Scoop on Friday Routinely, Winston Peters is described as the kingmaker who gets to decide when the centre right or the centre-left has a turn at running this country. He also plays a less heralded but equally important role as the ...
    6 days ago
  • The New Government’s Agreements
    Last Friday, almost six weeks after election day, National finally came to an agreement with ACT and NZ First to form a government. They also released the agreements between each party and looking through them, here are the things I thought were the most interesting (and often concerning) from the. ...
    6 days ago
  • How many smokers will die to fund the tax cuts?
    Maori and Pasifika smoking rates are already over twice the ‘all adult’ rate. Now the revenue that generates will be used to fund National’s tax cuts. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The devil is always in the detail and it emerged over the weekend from the guts of the policy agreements National ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How the culture will change in the Beehive
    Perhaps the biggest change that will come to the Beehive as the new government settles in will be a fundamental culture change. The era of endless consultation will be over. This looks like a government that knows what it wants to do, and that means it knows what outcomes ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • No More Winnie Blues.
    So what do you think of the coalition’s decision to cancel Smokefree measures intended to stop young people, including an over representation of Māori, from taking up smoking? Enabling them to use the tax revenue to give other people a tax cut?David Cormack summed it up well:It seems not only ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 19, 2023 thru Sat, Nov 25, 2023.  Story of the Week World stands on frontline of disaster at Cop28, says UN climate chief  Exclusive: Simon Stiell says leaders must ‘stop ...
    1 week ago
  • Some of it is mad, some of it is bad and some of it is clearly the work of people who are dangerous ...
    On announcement morning my mate texted:Typical of this cut-price, fake-deal government to announce itself on Black Friday.What a deal. We lose Kim Hill, we gain an empty, jargonising prime minister, a belligerent conspiracist, and a heartless Ayn Rand fanboy. One door closes, another gets slammed repeatedly in your face.It seems pretty ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • “Revolution” is the threat as the Māori Party smarts at coalition government’s Treaty directi...
    Buzz from the Beehive Having found no fresh announcements on the government’s official website, Point of Order turned today to Scoop’s Latest Parliament Headlines  for its buzz. This provided us with evidence that the Māori Party has been soured by the the coalition agreement announced yesterday by the new PM. “Soured” ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • The Good, the Bad, and the even Worse.
    Yesterday the trio that will lead our country unveiled their vision for New Zealand.Seymour looking surprisingly statesmanlike, refusing to rise to barbs about his previous comments on Winston Peters. Almost as if they had just been slapstick for the crowd.Winston was mostly focussed on settling scores with the media, making ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • When it Comes to Palestine – Free Speech is Under Threat
    Hi,Thanks for getting amongst Mister Organ on digital — thanks to you, we hit the #1 doc spot on iTunes this week. This response goes a long way to helping us break even.I feel good about that. Other things — not so much.New Zealand finally has a new government, and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Thank you Captain Luxon. Was that a landing, or were we shot down?
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Also in More Than A FeildingFriday The unboxing And so this is Friday and what have we gone and done to ourselves?In the same way that a Christmas present can look lovely under the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Cans of Worms.
    “And there’ll be no shortage of ‘events’ to test Luxon’s political skills. David Seymour wants a referendum on the Treaty. Winston wants a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Labour’s handling of the Covid crisis. Talk about cans of worms!”LAURIE AND LES were very fond of their local. It was nothing ...
    1 week ago
  • Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Misinformation is debated everywhere and has justifiably sparked concerns. It can polarise the public, reduce health-protective behaviours such as mask wearing and vaccination, and erode trust in science. Much of misinformation is spread not ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    1 week ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    2 weeks ago

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