web analytics

RNZ: The 9th floor – Bolger

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, April 21st, 2017 - 12 comments
Categories: class war, history, journalism - Tags: , , , , , ,

Guyon Espiner’s excellent RNZ series The 9th Floor, consists of interviews with five ex NZ PMs: Geoffrey Palmer, Mike Moore, Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, Helen Clark.

Here’s Jim Bolger:

The Negotiator – Jim Bolger: Prime Minister 1990-97

In part three of The 9th Floor, Guyon Espiner talks to Jim Bolger, who steered New Zealand through a turbulent seven years that saw more economic upheaval, a resetting of race relations and the arrival of MMP.

I think Jim Bolger might be about to spark a debate. Two debates, actually. One on our economic settings and the other on race relations.

He says neo-liberalism has failed and suggests unions should have a stronger voice. He says Treaty of Waitangi settlements may not be full and final and that Māori language tuition should be compulsory in primary schools.

It was striking, sitting in Jim Bolger’s Waikanae home for the third episode of The 9th Floor, just how many of the issues he grappled with in the 1990s are still alive and being debated rigorously today.

Bolger says neoliberal economic policies have absolutely failed. It’s not uncommon to hear that now; even the IMF says so. But to hear it from a former National Prime Minister who pursued privatisation, labour market deregulation, welfare cuts and tax reductions – well, that’s pretty interesting.

“They have failed to produce economic growth and what growth there has been has gone to the few at the top,” Bolger says, not of his own policies specifically but of neoliberalism the world over. He laments the levels of inequality and concludes “that model needs to change.”

Indeed Bolger is at his most passionate speaking about Māori issues. He has a visceral hatred of racism and explains the personal context for that.

We asked him whether future generations will open up Treaty settlements again – given Māori got a fraction of what was lost – or whether they are genuinely full and final. He says it is a “legitimate” question and “entirely up to us”.

If Māori are still at the bottom of the heap “then you can expect someone to ask the question again because it means that society has failed”. He is also scathing of former National leader Don Brash’s Orewa speech on ‘Māori privilege’. “It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Trump but it was in that frame.” …

Plenty more in the text, but for the full hour-long interview you’ll need to listen…

See also:
Neoliberalism has ‘failed’ and the ‘model needs to change’ – Jim Bolger, PM who oversaw mother of all budgets
The 9th floor: Jim Bolger says neoliberalism has failed NZ and it’s time to give unions the power back

https://twitter.com/toby_etc/status/855152844260786176

12 comments on “RNZ: The 9th floor – Bolger ”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    A very interesting and not unimportant moment in post ’84 NZ politics.
    Breaking ranks in your own class ( both politically and socially) like this highly unusual, and he is to be commended for his courage.

    This is just the sort of leak in the dam that eventually could unleash the flood.

    Now all we need is for ex Labour leaders to confront their past, and own their part in this neo liberal failure with the same level of clear headed assessment….unlike Moore and Palmer, who both displayed a level of disconnection from cause and effect in their political actions that was quite jaw dropping.

    • keepcalmcarryon 1.1

      Absolutely agree.
      It appears genuine conscience doesnt favour a particular political party. Mr Moore just gets a slow shake of the head.
      Its a shame that Mr Bolger didnt come to his senses earlier though when everyone could see what he was doing was going to change employment conditions in NZ for ever.

  2. DS 2

    Bolger was a traditional (i.e. non-neoliberal) Tory at heart*, who got lumbered with some much nastier people around him. The thing to remember about rank-and-file Nats during the Rogernomics era is that they opposed privatisation as much as rank-and-file Labour – the difference between the two was on labour issues and unions (Nats have a tribal hatred of unions – it wasn’t the Richardson wing who devised the ECA, but Bolger’s best mate, Bill Birch).

    *With some eccentricities. Republicanism, treaty settlements, and keeping his promise on MMP.

  3. red-blooded 3

    To be fair, it wasn’t Moore or Palmer who deliberately smashed the union movement with the Employment Contracts Act or attacked the welfare system with The Mother of All Budgets (and plenty of other decisions along the same extreme lines). I’m not saying they weren’t complicit in the origins of the neoliberal experiment in NZ – they were – but Bolger has plenty to regret and apologise for. And from the look of things, he’s not actually apologising for any of his government’s actions, he’s just making some generalised observations. Anyway, I’m definitely going to listen avidly to this interview and I hope it helps to shape the agenda for this election. I doubt it, though: it’ll create some ripples amongst the political chattering class (like us), but most people won’t give a bugger what he says, or that’s my prediction, anyway.

  4. Looking forward to forthcoming interview number 6 with key. Quickly followed by English in the 7th interview later this year. Booked my seat,-24th sept ,

    • Siobhan 4.1

      Prepare for disappointment…those two still have ‘skin in the game’ and have yet to have time to look into the dark abyss….give it 30 years, then there may be something.

      • Hanswurst 4.1.1

        It might be expected that Espiner will put Bolger’s remarks to them for comment, however.

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    I remember Jim Bolger talking about devolving decision making down to the local level not long before he was forced out of being PM. He almost sounded like an anarchist (in the proper political sense).

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    At least he has finally admitted that Zombie Economics (Neoliberal Economics) was a fizzer and hasn’t done anybody any good apart from the oligarchs?

  7. Anne 7

    I liked the way he hissed up at the mention of Trump. Not a fan it would seem which counts for something.

  8. red-blooded 8

    He’s an interesting mix: quite progressive in his attitudes to race and republicanism, starting to think about inequality, but absolutely unrepentant about any of his own decisions or their consequences (ECA, MOAB…). Plus there’s still a lot of inconsistencies: says he considered an upper house with equal Māori and tauiwi representation, but wanted to axe the Māori seats; says Treaty settlements may need revisiting but wanted to lock them into a “fiscal envelope”; says he thinks unions should be stronger, but doesn’t regret smashing them…

  9. timeforacupoftea 9

    I heard Bolger this sunday morning and boy was I disappointed in him.
    All the back tracking now and what a great chap I am, I never ever did any wrong it was someone other than me.
    He is just bloody spew material after a hard night on KFC for me.
    Why on earth do people like him, Shipley another, get gift jobs from governments when retirement homes would be best for those type.

    TWAT !

    Hmmmmm I don’t usually use expressive words like that but hey ! he deserves many more.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Strengthening NZ-UK people, science and trade connections
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London overnight, and together took a number of steps to strengthen the already close ties between our two countries, and promote our common interests in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. “The UK is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s oldest and closest friends and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson
    Building a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future together: Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson 1. New Zealand and the United Kingdom are old friends and close partners. Our relationship rests on a bedrock of history, shared values, and deep people-to-people links, extending across almost all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM’s Chatham House
    Director Sir Robin Niblett, distinguished guests. What an honour it is to be back in London, and to be here at Chatham house. This visit represents much for me. The reopening of borders and resumption of travel after a difficult few years. The chance to bring life to the UK ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Otago Foreign Policy School, opening address
    Manawa maiea te pūtanga o Matariki Manawa maiea te ariki o te rangi Manawa maiea te mātahi o te tau! Introduction I’m pleased to join you for my second address at the 56th Annual Otago Foreign Policy School.  The topic for this year is Space. Given that we are in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government launches new Ministry of Disabled People
    New Ministry will officially be called Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People Public Service Commission have appointed Geraldine Woods as Interim Chief Executive Office for Disability Issues to be folded into the new Ministry In what is a milestone day, the Government has launched Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Whaikaha ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further Investment to support rangatahi to overcome barriers to employment
    Nine new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes have been approved funding.  These programmes will provide work-readiness, training and employment initiatives for over 820 rangatahi NEETS (not in education, employment or training), across Aotearoa New Zealand.  "He Poutama Rangatahi has proven to be a very successful initiative which supports rangatahi to overcome ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Crown appointments to Ihumātao Steering Committee
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today announced the appointment of Crown representatives, Dr Charlotte Severne and Mr Bernie O’Donnell, to the Steering Committee that will determine the future of the Ihumātao land.   “I’m pleased to have made the Crown appointments. Both Dr Severne and Mr O’Donnell have extensive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little's address to first joint meeting of the boards of Te Whatu Ora &#...
    I begin by thanking each of you for accepting appointment to these boards. You’ve each been on the Ministerial committee that established Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - the Māori Health Authority and I express my appreciation for the enormous task you collectively ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hong Kong National Security Law
    Aotearoa New Zealand has reiterated its concerns over the continued erosion of rights, freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong. On the second anniversary of the introduction of the Hong Kong National Security Law, the Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says developments in Hong Kong remain a cause for worry. “Two years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Europol Agreement will assist New Zealand law enforcement in tackling serious crime
    The Europol Agreement signed is a significant milestone for New Zealand and the European Union’s relationship, and reflects our shared principles of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. The Prime Minister attended a signature ceremony in Brussels, as part of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New era for better health in Aotearoa New Zealand
    ·       New nationwide public health system ·       20 district health boards disestablished and deficits wiped ·       82,000 health employees directly employed by Health New Zealand ·       $24 billion health budget this year – up 43% since Labour took office in 2017 – in addition to separate funding for the new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New chairs appointed to the Teaching Council and Te Kura
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced appointments to the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Board of Trustees of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura). “Robyn Baker ONZM has been appointed as the chair of the Teaching Council. She has considerable governance experience and is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint media release on the occasion of the meeting between European Commission President von der Ley...
    European Commission President von der Leyen and Prime Minister of New Zealand Ardern met in Brussels on 30 June 2022. The encounter provided an opportunity to reaffirm that the European Union and Aotearoa New Zealand are longstanding partners with shared democratic values and interests, aligned positions on key international and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand secures major free trade deal with European Union
    Export revenue to the EU to grow by up to $1.8 billion annually on full implementation. Duty-free access on 97% of New Zealand’s current exports to the EU; with over 91% being removed the day the FTA comes into force. NZ exporters set to save approx. $110 million per annum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Biggest Year for Clean Cars on Record
    57,000 EVs and Hybrid registered in first year of clean car scheme, 56% increase on previous year EVs and Non Plug-in Hybrids made up 20% of new passenger car sales in March/April 2022 The Government’s Clean Car Discount Scheme has been a success, with more than 57,000 light-electric and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Wing 355 includes the highest ever proportion of Wāhine Māori
    Police Minister Chris Hipkins congratulates the newest Police wing – wing 355 – which graduated today in Porirua. “These 70 new constables heading for the frontline bring the total number of new officers since Labour took office to 3,303 and is the latest mark of our commitment to the Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New RBNZ board takes up role from 1 July
    Members with a range of governance, financial and technical skills have been appointed to the Reserve Bank Board as part of the shift to strengthen the Bank’s decision-making and accountability arrangements. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 comes into force on 1 July 2022, with the establishment of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New measures to help manage COVID-19 as country stays at Orange
    New Zealand to remain at Orange as case numbers start to creep up 50 child-size masks made available to every year 4-7 student in New Zealand 20,000-30,000 masks provided a week to all other students and school staff Extra funding to schools and early childhood services to supports better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ to join International Court of Justice case against Russia
    Aotearoa New Zealand will join Ukraine’s case against Russia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which challenges Russia’s spurious attempt to justify its invasion under international law. Ukraine filed a case at the ICJ in February arguing Russia has falsely claimed genocide had occurred in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New advisory group provides enduring Māori expertise for Te Aorerekura delivery
    The Government has taken another step forward in its work to eliminate family violence and sexual violence with the announcement today of a new Tangata Whenua Ministerial Advisory Group. A team of 11 experts in whānau Māori wellbeing will provide the Government independent advice on shaping family violence and sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making work better for Kiwi women
    Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine: Women’s Employment Action Plan was launched today by Minister for Women Jan Tinetti – with the goal of ensuring New Zealand is a great place for women to work. “This Government is committed to improving women’s working lives. The current reality is that women have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Good Employer Awards celebrate food and fibre sector
    The food and fibre sector acknowledged its people and leadership at last night’s 2022 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, a time to celebrate their passion towards supporting employees by putting their health, welfare and wellbeing first,” Acting Minister of Agriculture Meka Whairiti said. “Award winners were selected from an extraordinary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PM's comments to NATO session
    Kia ora koutou katoa.  It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation.   New Zealand is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Veterans Minister announces new focus on mental health for veterans and their whānau
    Te Arataki mō te Hauora Ngākau mō ngā Mōrehu a Tū me ō rātou Whānau, The Veteran, Family and Whānau Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy Framework “We ask a lot of those who serve in the military – and we ask a lot of the families and whānau who support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister to advocate for Small Island States
    Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio has been appointed by the United Nations and Commonwealth as Aotearoa New Zealand’s advocacy champion for Small Island States.  “Aotearoa New Zealand as a Pacific country is particularly focused on the interests of Pacific Small Island Developing States in our region.  “This is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Increased support for households to pay local council rates
    An estimated 100,000 low income households will be eligible for increased support to pay their council rates, with changes to the rates rebate scheme taking effect from 1 July. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced increases to both the maximum value of the rates rebate, and the income threshold ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • He Oranga Poutama expanded into four new regions
    A long-standing physical activity programme that focuses on outcomes for Maori has been expanded to four new regions with Government investment almost doubled to increase its reach. He Oranga Poutama is managed by a combination of hapū, iwi, hauora and regional providers.   An increase in funding from $1.8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wellington’s rapid transit option progresses to next stage
    The Government is progressing a preferred option for LGWM which will see Wellington’s transport links strengthened with light rail from Wellington Station to Island Bay, a new tunnel through Mt Victoria for public transport, and walking and cycling, and upgrades to improve traffic flow at the Basin Reserve. “Where previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keynote remarks: Tech 4 Democracy Summit, Madrid
    To Provost Muniz, to the Organisers at the Instituto de Empresa  buenas tardes and as we would say in New Zealand, kia ora kotou katoa.  To colleagues from the State Department, from Academia, and Civil Society Groups, to all our distinguished guests - kia ora tatou katoa. It’s a pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • On June 28, 2022, a meeting took place in Madrid between the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, who was visiting Spain to participate in the Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More young Kiwis able to travel and work in Spain
    A six-fold increase in the Aotearoa New Zealand-Spain working holiday scheme gives a huge boost to the number of young people who can live and work in each other’s countries, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Jacinda Ardern and Spanish President Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón made the Working Holiday/Youth Mobility Scheme announcement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting local government candidates
    A significant barrier has been removed for people who want to stand in local government elections, with a change to the requirement to publish personal details in election advertising. The Associate Local Government Minister Kieran McAnulty has taken the Local Electoral (Advertising) Amendment Bill through its final stages in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt passes law to protect consumers in banking and insurance sector
    New financial conduct scheme will ensure customers are treated fairly Banks, insurers and non-bank deposit takers to be licensed by the FMA in relation to their general conduct Sales incentives based on volume or value targets like bonuses for selling a certain number of financial products banned The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New law paves way for greater supermarket competition
    Legislation that bans major supermarkets from blocking their competitors’ access to land to set up new stores paves the way for greater competition in the sector, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The new law is the first in a suite of measures the Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Vaccine mandate for border and corrections workers to end
    The Government has announced an end to the requirement for border workers and corrections staff to be fully vaccinated. This will come into place from 2 July 2022. 100 per cent of corrections staff in prisons, and as of 23 June 2022 97 per cent of active border workers were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand's Commonwealth relationships strengthened at CHOGM
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has concluded a visit to Rwanda reaffirming Aotearoa New Zealand’s engagement in the Commonwealth and meeting with key counterparts. “I would like to thank President Kagame and the people of Rwanda for their manaakitanga and expert hosting of this important meeting,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “CHOGM ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Emergency monitoring centre opened to keep New Zealand safer
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty officially launched the new Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting (MAR) Centre at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) today. The Government has stood up the centre in response to recommendations from the 2018 Ministerial Review following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and 2017 Port Hills fire, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway speed limit to change to 110km/h
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the announcement that a 110km/hr speed limit has been set for the SH1 Waikato Expressway, between Hampton Downs and Tamahere. “The Waikato Expressway is a key transport route for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of the central North ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government listening to sector on NCEA
    Following feedback from the sector, Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti, today confirmed that new literacy and numeracy | te reo matatini me te pāngarau standards will be aligned with wider NCEA changes. “The education sector has asked for more time to put the literacy and numeracy | te reo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine
    $4.5 million to provide Ukraine with additional non-lethal equipment and supplies such as medical kit for the Ukrainian Army Deployments extended for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) intelligence, logistics and liaison officers in the UK, Germany, and Belgium Secondment of a senior New Zealand military officer to support International ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago