The baubles of office

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, November 22nd, 2023 - 93 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, election 2023, national, winston peters - Tags:

So National Act and NZ First have apparently worked out their policy differences and are now dealing with the important stuff, how to divide up the baubles of office.

Clearly Winston is holding out.  David Seymour’s public campaign that as the leader of the second biggest party he should be the Deputy Prime Minister shows how tense things are.

Christopher Luxon has been forced to call it a “ceremonial position”.  Seymour is essentially begging for the position, and you get the feeling that Winston may have made being the Deputy a bottom line or at least NZ First are seeking an extra ministerial position at the cost of Seymour becoming DP.

After all policies come and go, what is really important is what prestige you are offered.

We should not be surprised.

I am old enough to remember 1996 where Winston toured the country promising a change of Government and then backed up National.  The attraction of the Ministerial limos was too much.

Then there was 2005 when he toured the country promising to eschew the baubles of office.

In one pre election speech he promised NZ First would sit on the cross-benches outside of Government and abstain on confidence and money-supply votes unless stability was threatened.  After the election he succumbed to the temptation of being Minister of Foreign Affairs.  The arrangement worked quite well.  He was out of the country most of the time and did a good job schmoozing with International Politicians.

But the event shows how flexible his principles are.  And how important status is to him.

The time it has taken is clearly an embarrassment for action man Christopher Luxon.  Who can forget their pre election advertising about there being a coalition of chaos.

But let the circus continue.  The longer they take to form a Government the better.

93 comments on “The baubles of office ”

  1. Anne 1

    Asked about the comment from incoming prime minister Christopher Luxon that the deputy job was "largely ceremonial", Seymour said "all ministerial roles were, to some extent, ceremonial.

    Well, if that is the case, who the bloody hell has been running the country for the past umpteen years. 😮

    • alwyn 1.1

      "who the bloody hell has been running the country"

      I can't comment on the whole of the last "umpteen" years but for the last 3 I would have to say that it was Sergeant Schultz of "I know nothing, nothing!" fame.

      • Kat 1.1.1

        And now we are about to get colonel Klink………………

      • Bearded Git 1.1.2

        Alwyn-you mean the government that guided us superbly through a world pandemic (low death rate, economy functioning better than the rest of the world because we could work and socialise normally) and also managed the economy through a Ukraine-war induced inflation/cost-of-living crisis with NZ's credit ratings from S and P, Moody's and Fitch intact?

        I won't even mention the excellent cyclone response…oops I did.

        • alwyn

          " because we could work and socialise normally"???

          Where were you during the lock-downs?

          • lprent

            Don't know about anyone else, but I was in two companies over that period in Auckland (changed jobs during the last lockdown).

            Both companies just kept working because both were completely export orientated and to be in NZ means that are remote to customers anyway. It may surprise you, but almost all of the productive economy that brings profit to our economy also carried on working. That shows in our GNP numbers.

            The only thing that slowed us down was delivery issues because of the drop in aircraft arriving with parts we needed.

            It was mostly the parasitical and largely unproductive parts of the economy that suffered. The ones that make up the bulk of our GDP and tax take, but which are essentially minor support players in our economy. They had a problem. It was a lot harder to fleece customers if you have no skills outside of social coercion.

            Personally I did way more socialising during the lockdowns than I did usually. Almost entirely online. Even in work I did more than I'd usually do because we do standups that most useful done remotely. Really short because of limited access to the worst managerial types (eg dickhead micro-managers and those who can’t read tech themselves), but way more productive.

            • Bearded Git

              Well said lprent.

            • bwaghorn

              Yip took one weeks holiday through all the lock downs to give my kid a rest from coming to work with me .

              Wouldn't have minded some paid time home like many got

            • Belladonna

              It was mostly the parasitical and largely unproductive parts of the economy that suffered.

              Guess the entire education sector is included in that. Not to mention large parts of the health sector (everything other than emergency care).

              Some people did fine during lockdown. I gather that you were one of the lucky ones (no school age kids, no elderly relatives dependent on you, stable well-paying job – that was already work-from home, good health, etc., etc.).

              That was, quite simply, not the reality for many during the Auckland lockdowns.

              • pat

                "It was mostly the parasitical and largely unproductive parts of the economy that suffered."

                "Guess the entire education sector is included in that. Not to mention large parts of the health sector (everything other than emergency care)."

                Sadly that is a common short term view of both sectors….as we are now discovering with poor health outcomes and school attendance/ attainment.

                Those sectors are incredibly important to our ability to function as a society long term and should be considered fundamental to our productive economy….that is not to say that they should be funded to the nth degree rather that in any planning (should that begin to occur) the basis of our future capability fundamentaly relies on both.

                • Belladonna

                  I agree, the health and educational outcomes of the lockdowns are still unfolding. As well as the psychological aspects.

                  Again, I have friends/family in the 'trenches' on both sides (teachers and parents; psychologists and people struggling with post-lockdown mental health issues; doctors/nurses and people with delayed health care)

                  • Louis

                    Are you and Pat implying the government should have let Covid19 run rampant during a global pandemic? How many people are alive today that wouldn't be if the government had not taken the measures it did?

                    • pat

                      Cant speak for Belladona, but thats not what I am saying…and dont believe that anyone could (or should) place that implication upon what I wrote.

                      I mean exactly what I wrote…health and education are not (and should never be considered) unproductive aspects of the economy.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Our responses were tough on/for some, but it could’ve been worse.

                      Maybe next time NZ should try a “balanced response,” à la Plan B ?

                      Cumulative pandemic deaths: a graph more effective than 1,000 words [21 Feb 2023]
                      Just a reminder because it’s so easy to take it for granted or forget.

                      But what is more remarkable than this outstanding result is that of the 23 countries, New Zealand is the only one not to have an excess of death rate at all (under 0 to be precise).

                      How did this happen? Overwhelmingly it is due to the success of Aotearoa’s public health measures which were based on an elimination, rather than mitigation, of community transmission strategy. This included the lockdowns and strong border restrictions.

                      What distinguished us from most of the rest of the world was not just the elimination choice. It was the speed in which the Labour-led government implemented it. New Zealand was also advantaged from its distance from the early coronavirus spread from China to Europe. Geographic location gave us an advantage but that was not enough on its own. Good decision-making and implementation were the most decisive factors

                      The outcome was New Zealand being a world leader in the Covid-19 response for 2020 and much of 2021. This included economic performance because our lockdowns were so effective we had less of them than almost all other countries.

                      I have several criticisms of the leadership of former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern from October 2017 to January 2023. But there is no doubt in my mind that New Zealanders also owe so much to her leadership in both accepting this expert advice and the effectiveness of its implementation.

                      As Dr Horsley says, we need to be reminded that it is easy to take for granted or forget the extraordinary success of the elimination of community transmission strategy.

                    • Louis

                      Good to hear, thank you for clearing that up.

                    • Louis

                      @Drowsy M. Kram

                      New Zealand's restrictions during the pandemic saved the lives of about 20,000 people, according to new research.


              • Louis

                The reality is Covid19 was a new virus, initially, there was no vaccine for it and it kills. The measures such as lockdowns were to limit the spread and to try and protect and save as many lives as possible.

        • Bearded Git

          I drove from Wanaka around the East Cape and to many other places during the pandemic. I skied and went to cricket matches and took a trip to Darwin during the Oz “bubble”. Many other people did similar things. Even during the lockdown down here I was able to go on long solitary walks/bike rides providing they started from the route to New World.

          The lockdowns outside Auckland were fairly short-term, and even the whinging Aucklanders didn't have it so bad.

          • Belladonna

            Guess there are no school children in your immediate family. Nor terminally ill relatives who died with no family allowed to visit (as happened to 3 families of my personal acquaintance). If you don't think that leaves scars, then you are a fool.

            It's already clear that you don't live in Auckland – so relied on Aucklanders doing the lockdown for your benefit. Characterizing them as 'whinging' exposes just how self-entitled you are.

            • Bearded Git

              I tried to make the best of a tough Covid situation Bella. Yes I was lucky that my kids have left home and I didn't have sick oldies to visit. But my Auckland comment was partly tongue in cheek….I have friends and relations living there.

              The real self-entitled people were those few wankers who whinged about not being able to get back into NZ because of quarantine limitations (that kept the rest of us safe) when they had chosen to live and work overseas. Shame on the MSM for the publicity it gave those people.

              • Anne

                "Shame on the MSM for the publicity it gave those people."

                Ditto. Most of them were entitled types who didn't give a thought to the reasons why the quarantine rules were in place at the time. It was all about themselves and nobody else.

                Edit: I see DoS has enlarged on my comment. Good one.

              • Louis

                yes Bearded Git.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              "Nor terminally ill relatives who died with no family allowed to visit (as happened to 3 families of my personal acquaintance). If you don't think that leaves scars, then you are a fool."

              No-where near as bad as multiple friends and family overseas losing relatives forever who would otherwise still be alive. One friend of my daughter's lost three siblings – all under 30.

              No where near as bad as hapu groups losing up to 40% of their family through the Spanish flu pandemic.

              The foolishness is in catastrophising the restrictions and minimising the other real consequences of not doing lockdowns etc until the population was sufficiently vaccinated.

              No-one ever said lockdowns would not cause difficulty for people but a lot more people are alive than would have been the case otherwise. But nah we'll just pretend all those overseas deaths didn't happen and would not have happened here because we are somewhat magically special.

              And having had to divert my holiday from Northland to the Coromandel due to Auckland’s lockdown I can tell you there were plenty of Aucklanders helicoptering into the Coromandel during lockdown. Never been so busy that time of year.

              • Belladonna

                And having had to divert my holiday from Northland to the Coromandel due to Auckland’s lockdown I can tell you there were plenty of Aucklanders helicoptering into the Coromandel during lockdown. Never been so busy that time of year.

                And doesn't that reinforce the belief that the Auckland lockdowns weren't necessary?

                If people could (and, according to you, did) evade the restrictions – without disaster ensuing – then perhaps the restrictions (at least at the level specified) weren't actually needed.

                Saying 'people overseas had it worse' – doesn't actually make up for your father dying in hospital, alone, and feeling abandoned by his family. Nor does it help when people (especially those outside Auckland) smugly say that lockdown restrictions weren't that bad.

                Some people did fine. Some people did anything but fine. And many of those people are still dealing with the consequences (mental, social, financial, psychological and educational) of being the people carrying the lockdown can for the country.

                Describing those people as Auckland 'whingers' (as has been done multiple times on TS – and anything but tongue-in-cheek) is a bridge too far for them.

                • CharlieB

                  Auckland has a population of 1.6million.. if maybe half a dozen of those were assholes that were able to evade the lock downs via helicopter to holiday in the Coromandel then those people need to be vilified justly, while those that remained should be applauded and given the utmost respect. Because if those other 1.6 million had also be allowed to roam freely across the rest of the country while there were large clusters of potentially lethal strains of the covid virus jumping from house to house then the success of the many lock downs within NZ as a whole would have amounted to nothing and we would be counting the dead into the same numbers as countries our size that also ignored lock downs.

                  • Louis

                    Well said CharlieB.

                  • Belladonna

                    Don't see much respect being offered. Just comments about whining Aucklanders, complaining about the impact that Lockdown had on them.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      You were clearly looking in the wrong places.

                      Most of us appreciated everyone who had to lockdown regardless of where. There was massive amounts of appreciation for essential workers. There was loads of appreciation for the well outlined and explained iwi responses, including around tangi.

                      There was disdain at times for the anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-lockdown brigade but to conflate that with an anti-Auckland sentiment is just not credible. I don't know a single person at the time of the Auckland lockdown, who wasn't an anti-vax person who didn't appreciate the sacrifice. FFS we had all been through it previously, we knew what it entailed – do you really think that we had forgotten that and were going on some celebratory hi-jinks? We all knew at the time it could have been any of us and still could be. We had the utmost empathy for Auckland having to go through it again.

                      Your accusations are just so unfounded.

                    • Louis

                      Lockdowns saved lives, Belladonna.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Nah it reinforces the plague behaviour and why all Europeans are descended from Charlamagne. The well-off hide in their castles (in this case Coromandel batches) away from the masses while the working class die.

                  People die all the time without any family around them or with family who can't make it and people cope without it being a major life changing catastrophe. Always has occurred and always will, particularly as many have had their children move from rural areas to urban and/or overseas. What about this happening during COVID restrictions made it more traumatic than normal? Why the strong reaction still so many months later?

                  Presumably nothing more than the notion of having no choice ramped up by social and mainstream media.

                  Some of the people complaining in the media hadn't been back to New Zealand for 10 years yet we were supposed to believe it was suddenly a necessity to see their parents/grandparents. More likely they wanted to flee from the havoc being unleashed where they were.

                  A friend in the US in a low vaccinated MAGA state who is in a wheelchair didn't leave his house for at least two years – that's trauma – and if COVID had run wild many disabled would have done the same. If COVID had run rampant in NZ you would have sacrificed the elderly and the disabled.

                  The small level of hardship for a shorter period was so much better than the alternative.

                  Still Sweden showed what could have been:

                  Ättestupa is the Swedish word given to a number of steep cliffs. The myth of the ättestupa holds that in prehistoric Nordic times, older community members would throw themselves off a precipice for the sake of the greater good during famines or crises.


                  • Belladonna

                    Your compassion for others is overwhelming

                    People die all the time without any family around them

                    Not talking about people returning to NZ – this is about every day kiwis, shut away from Mum or Dad's bedside in their final days. The misery and loneliness of very unwell/dying elderly people feeling abandoned and unloved by their families.

                    But, hey, that wasn't your family – so what does it matter /sarc/

                    Covid *has* been running rampant in NZ – and has been since Omicron appeared, and the Ardern government finally gave up on their zero Covid policy.

                    Amazingly, most of the people you reference are still with us.

                    Did you engage in the "small level of hardship" in Auckland? Do you have school children who effectively missed out on 2-3 years of education? Do you have elderly family members who died without the comfort of family near them? Do you have ongoing social, psychological or financial trauma from lockdown?

                    I doubt that you do – or your compassion levels would be higher.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Nah it was my family – as it was prior to COVID-19. Both before during and after we have oft used technology to be that conduit – whether phone or more modern video conferencing.

                      It isn't a lack of empathy – it's a calm acceptance that things can't always be how you wish. As my grandmother said to us when we were young – often when a family member moved islands or countries they knew they would likely never see them again in their lifetime. That was true of many of our family members.

                      I unsure why your family members would feel unloved or abandoned – certainly mine didn't – especially having grown up in the era of polio and rubella epidemics. They understood the situation and well knew they were not abandoned. This in the same way as those whose children live well away and can't get there in time. I see little difference in the outcomes pre, during and post COVID when this occurs. The reason for not being there is different – travel distance, able to be contacted, overseas on holiday, in a covid-lockdown the outcome is the same.

                      It may be being non-religious we are just more pragmatic about this stuff. I have no problem accepting that other people may see it differently. There is a big difference between being unhappy and upset about it and wishing that it was different and being long term traumatised though.

                      I don't wish that on anyone. Expecting that it was traumatic for the majority is unreasonable though. Most people coped fine and understood well what was going on. The right approach was taken and I have always said that there needs to be more support for those who struggled.

                      That is the crux of the matter – not to retrospectively throw the baby out with the bathwater but to actually support those who found it difficult.

                    • CharlieB

                      The zero covid policy wasn't "given up".. We changed and adapted because we were protected and prepared. Restrictions were lifted in NZ during the omicron part of the pandemic because it was shown that if the majority of the population where immunised with at least two rounds of vaccine, and preferably three, then the severity of the virus across the whole of the population would be diminished enough that the risks could be managed and so lock downs were no longer necessary and NZ inc could get back to business.

                      Prior to omicron the main reason for the prolonged lock downs was the need to minimise the pressure placed on a health service struggling to rebuild after at least 9 years of chronic underfunding and cost cutting.

                      If you remember back to the beginning of the pandemic you might recall that the original plan was to "flatten the curve". When it became clear that covid was going to run out of control and that our infrastructure wasn't going to cope the strategy turned to elimination. about that point we got to see places over seas like NYC lining up freezer trucks and filling them full of bodies, and places like jails digging mass graves. None of that happened in NZ.

                      As the virus mutated through the greek alphabet the health and medical experts learned more about it and developed the technology that produced the most effective of the vaccines. This technology was shared and we were all encouraged to immunise. Most of us did, and so by the time Omicron was here we were able to return to a relatively normal life.

                      Since then the virus has continued to mutate and it is now at a stage where both its severity and its contagion have dropped significantly. It's still the most common infection, and can still cause significant illness, but its virulence is nothing like Omicron or any of the variants that preceded omicron. That's why we currently have the lifestyle now that we had in 2019 before the virus was even thought about.

                  • Belladonna

                    You seem to continue to assume that I'm talking about people overseas or in other cities. I'm not. I'm talking about people who live a suburb away, who were prevented by Auckland lockdowns from engaging in the daily care, emotional and physical support that they gave to their elderly family members in retirement homes, hospices and hospitals.

                    Or did you miss that aspect of lockdown?

                    And, yes, elderly, and dying people are often confused. They don't understand why their family isn't there. And video conferencing is very different to holding someone's hand as they pass away.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      No I didn't miss that point and as I have said had to deal with that with my own family.

                      I've simply made a case that most people were not traumatised by this, it has always happened for various reasons even when family are in the same town, and accepting it wasn't easy for some that there should be more support for those that didn't.

                      I've also argued, and evidence supports this, that the alternative, from Sweden to most elsewhere, was worse. Especially for the elderly and the disabled.

                      You wouldn't be visiting your elderly parents if you too were in hospital dying of/with COVID.

                    • Yes Rest home Staff.

                      Those essential workers, who often did not see their family or friends for weeks, as they lived in, as my cousin did. (staying for a whole lockdown).

                      She missed out on so much. Her first grandchild, her Mother's death.

                      She maintained it was to keep people safe, as she held the hands of the dying elderly, telling them their family was sad but safe from the pandemic.

                      Hugging hurts and losses and blaming others can be a form of self harming. imo.

                • bwaghorn

                  (at least at the level specified) weren't actually needed.

                  You should be in government, you could run the country on hindsight!!!

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Saying 'people overseas had it worse' – doesn't actually make up for your father dying in hospital, alone, and feeling abandoned by his family.

                  Fortunately my father didn't die "in hospital, alone, and feeling abandoned by his family" during the pandemic.

                  Imho, the whole "people overseas had it worse" thing is about the big picture. Unsurprisingly, one can find examples of regrettable pandemic misery from all around the globe, even in Auckland, but quantitatively Kiwi misery did not rise to the levels seen in many other countries.

                  I can only hope that those who seem determined to focus on the inconvenience and misery caused by our pandemic responses could broaden their view to include NZ's rather stunning successes – a good illustration of what can be achieved when we work as a team.

                  After all, we're all in this together, believe and like it or not.


                  • Belladonna

                    Fortunately my father didn't die "in hospital, alone, and feeling abandoned by his family" during the pandemic.

                    I'm not sure if that means that he's still alive, or he died pre-Covid, or he died during Covid, but not in the Auckland lockdowns, so you were able to be with him.

                    In all cases – I'm glad for you.

                    But that was not the experience of many others.

                    Lockdown was a brute force approach – when a much more nuanced one was needed.

              • "The foolishness is in catastrophising the restrictions and minimising the other real consequences of not doing lockdowns etc until the population was sufficiently vaccinated."

                Exactly. Very well said DOS.

      • This bag of baubles will be revealing.

        The fact that the Act Leader is campaigning for DP tells you Winston has a foot in the door. WP would have started with Treasurer in exchange for Willis being Deputy. What tells me that probably happened, Luxon sees DP as ceremonial, (though Treasurer… now that is the meat).

        The next move in the chess game made by Winston … Attorney General NZ, ( looking at the Courts and Fraud Squad. He with a long memory.)

        Luxon is between two rocks and a hard place in this 3 way struggle.

        What is not being considered at all is what is good for ordinary folk.
        It is all about those three and their backers and fawning media.

        • mikesh

          Should the deputyship be considered just a "bauble"? In the event of the PM not being able, for some reason, to complete his term of office, does the deputy have an automatic right to the prime ministership if wants it? When Norm Kirk died Hugh Watt took over, but this was generally considered to be just a temporary arrangement until a new PM could be chosen. Could Hugh have insisted, if he had wanted to, on seeing out the rest of the term as PM?

          • Belladonna

            Not as far as I'm aware. The PM is just the leader of the largest party in the coalition (well, I suppose it could be someone else – but in NZ MMP, it's always been the leader of the largest party).

            We (despite the media evidence otherwise) don't actually elect a Prime Minister in NZ- we elect a party, or a coalition of parties – and get the PM as a bonus [or otherwise, depending on your PoV of the candidate]

            When that person retires/resigns/loses the confidence of the MPs- and no longer has the confidence of the party/coalition – it's up to the largest party to propose a replacement and for that to be ratified by the other members of the coalition.

            Putting it another way, the deputy PM role is to deputize (as required) for the existing PM – if the existing PM changes, they have no one to deputize for.

            It's not like the VP of the US – which is specifically elected and does have automatic succession rights.

            When Ardern announced her retirement, there was no assumption that Robinson (the deputy PM) would just automatically take over. The Labour party had to go into caucus to determine who would be the new PM.

            I think the Bolger/Shipley situation is relevant here. National was in coalition with NZF – but Peters seems to have had no voice in who the PM was. Shipley rolled Bolger with a majority of the National party MPs – possibly without any consultation with Peters at all. No doubt this was a factor in the subsequent instability of the coalition.

      • Tricledrown 1.1.4

        Alwyn How dare you insult Gerryatric Brownlee our well known Shultz impersonator.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.2

      These three clowns about to assume office are an embarrassment to our country–and make no mistake, they will be laying into working class people in five minutes time.

      Oh well, got one free prescription! Pharmacists have pointed out that they have observed a higher uptake of medicines, and with less admin, have been able to offer other medical services.

    • Mike the Lefty 1.3

      To describe the deputy PM job as "largely ceremonial" shows the basic ignorance or indifference of Luxon in constitutional roles.

      It is hardly ceremonial.

      The deputy PM is expected to be acting PM at any time. If the PM were killed or incapacitated and/or there is a national emergency then the deputy PM becomes IT. They must have detailed knowledge of responsibilities, protocols and chains of command and be able to initiate responses. That has not happened since Norm Kirk died in 1974 but who is know when it will happen next?

      Anyone get the feeling that this new government has already shown its true Walt Disney character?

      • alwyn 1.3.1

        When Norm Kirk died the deputy-PM was Hugh Watt. He became the Acting Prime Minister and held that position from August 31 1974 until 6 September 1974. On that date he ceased to be the Acting PM after the election of Rowling as leader of the Labour Party and therefore as the new Prime Minister.

        However Watt, like Peters when he filled in for Jacinda Ardern, was never the Prime Minister.

      • Ghostwhowalks 1.3.2

        For a long time the UK never had a Deputy PM at all. I think you give the role in NZ more clout than it does have .

        The chairing of Cabinet while the PM is absent ?, Im sure the majority party cabinet ministers would elect one of their own the be chair if there was to be a longer wait.

        Modern communications means the PM is still calling the shots from offshore

    • Ghostwhowalks 1.4

      The public Service runs the country

      The Cabinet as a collective body decides the policy

      The MPS as a collective body legislate ….and argue

      Most ministers with a few exceptions like Corrections are legally precluded from *running* things

      Budget setting is where they are most involved

  2. Kat 2

    The silence from the blue and yellow supporters is deafening…..can you imagine the hysteria that would be ensuing if it were Labour and co/-………

  3. Ad 3

    Easily our most impressive 78 year old.

    • alwyn 3.1

      That is certainly correct.

      The Doctors are clearly correct when they say it is never to late to give up smoking.

  4. Thinker 4

    I hate to be the harbinger of glum, but I have an awful feeling we are going to look back on these days over the next 3 years and wish the negotiations had taken longer….

    Kind of like on a roller coaster, where you’re slowly chugging towards a freefall. Nothing’s currently wrong, but the probability is that something scary is about to happen.

    • tc 4.1

      Totally as the script is ready to go just this pesky democratic process stops them from getting underway.

      Key showed that under urgency you can do whatever the F you like if you've the numbers.

  5. William 5

    Seymours campaign to be Deputy PM shows what a hypocrite he is. Back in June he was quoted by the Herald as saying;

    “The one thing Act is very clear on is that we won’t go for the baubles,” says Seymour.

    “Other people have done that and it’s got them nowhere. And it hasn’t got New Zealand anywhere either. I don’t think being a minister in the New Zealand government is a particularly laudable achievement.”

    That story also reports "…Seymour makes it definitively clear that Act should no longer be viewed as a small party – something that’s driven by the fact his goal is for Act to reach 20 per cent of the vote in the next election."

    They actually got 8.64%!

    • Ghostwhowalks 5.1

      Yes. Its a non job except it seems the baubles of limos , overseas trips, longer weekends away from parliament are shinier for a Deputy PM

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        You have to remember that the deputy PM also get about $39,000 more pay each year than a Cabinet Minister. Winston will certainly want to get that.

        I don't think that consideration applies to Seymour. After all he declined to take any ministerial role in the Key/English Government so he could concentrate on getting his End of Life Choice Act through Parliament.

        • Ghostwhowalks

          Seymour did have a executive/ ministerial role as an Parliamentary Undersecretary or deputy Minister for education and Charter Schools , specifically designed role so that he faced no scrutiny in the House from Questions

          "The Governor-General, under section 8 of the Constitution Act 1986, may appoint any member of Parliament to be a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in relation to the ministerial office or offices specified in the warrant of appointment. The Governor-General appoints Parliamentary Under-Secretaries on the advice of the Prime Minister. Although they form part of executive government, Parliamentary Under-Secretaries are not members of the Executive Council,

          Van Velden did all the work on the End of Life choice bill, mansplainers like to think differently but I think even Seymour had said so.

  6. Charlotte Rust 6

    Is Seymour so hungry for the dp bauble he will abandon their bottom line – the Treaty referendum?

    • William 6.1

      Hopefully it means ACT have had to swallow many policy dead rats, now Seymour's just reduced to trying to shaft Winston on the Deputy PM role to maintain some self respect.

    • Belladonna 6.2

      From the way the negotiations have been reported in the media – the two elements are separated. First they've come to agreement (reportedly) on the suite of policies covered by the potential coalition; now they are negotiating over roles and responsibilities.

      So a trade-off: policy sacrifice for office – wasn't really possible.

      ACT's Treaty referendum was dead in the water, once both National and NZF came out firmly against it. Regardless of what baubles of power Seymour and/or Peters have been able to negotiate.

      • Grey Area 6.2.1

        And you believe our media?

        • Belladonna

          So which sources do you accept?

          If you're waiting for a personal communication from Luxon/Peters/Seymour – I suspect you'll be waiting for a long time.

          If you don't want to speculate in advance of firm data – then the entire thread is pointless to you, and you should just scroll on by.

  7. observer 7

    Nicola Willis has now ruled herself out as Deputy PM.

    It's clear that she (and others in caucus no doubt) is going to play the long game. National MPs are not blind to the obvious, they know Luxon is not up to the job, and of course they will not say so publicly. Not now.

    Wait for the inevitable, then announce (with fake sadness) in 2024/5 that a change is needed at the top, to deliver a second term for National.

  8. observer 8

    He just can't help himself …


    Coalition talks: ‘Couple’ of issues still to be resolved | Nov 22 2023 | The Spinoff

    Nov 19:

    Luxon emerges from talks with Peters, says only three outstanding issues remain (

    Nov 16:

    Coalition talks in 'final stages' – National leader Christopher Luxon | RNZ News

    And way back in the forgotten mists of time, when we were young … he was gonna "get cracking"

    "He added he would ideally like to have a government formed before the Pacific Island Forum and APEC meetings in early November"

    New Zealand Prime Minister-elect Luxon to get cracking on building coalition relationships | Reuters

    • tc 8.1

      Being an ex CEO he's used to being listened to, never being at fault, blaming others and real good at endless slogans forming meaningless rhetoric.

      He's probably not good at doing any listening to himself as that's not the corporate culture he's come from.

    • observer 9.1


      Today Luxon (again) said it was because of MMP. Tell that to Bolger, Clark, Key, English, Ardern. It's been 27 years.

    • Anne 9.2

      Got halfway through but couldn't take any more.wink

    • georgecom 9.3

      wow! that's a 'lot of progress' towards a 'strong and stable government'

      of interest, does anyone know what Simeon Brown is actually doing aside from just parroting what Luxon says

  9. Ffloyd 10

    I heard on he radio that Winston and Seymour could be sharing the DPM position. lMAO! If that’s the case then Winston has well and truly lost his mana. So it’s all about baubles and perks and supposed glory. Not at all about policies and doing their best for our country as Slymour would have us believe. What a toad. Can’t believe that Winnie would give in so easy. Must be going to get a gong for kowtowing so easily. Another toad. Can’t wait for the next three years to over. Here’s hoping he Opposition will come out full throttle. Grant Robertson back into the fray with don’t know much Mzz Willis. Looking forward to that by crikey.

    • Thinker 10.1

      …So, you're saying that some public servants have to lose their entire jobs in order to make necessary financial sacrifices for the country, yet two people can have what the PM-elect described as ceremonial roles added to their primary roles.

      Incredible and a whole lot of other words I can't put into text.

  10. Incognito 11

    Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis foresees some problems with DDPM (Double Deputy PM).

    The boys fighting over the baubles while the man watches on approvingly and smiling. Perhaps Luxon is smarter than we think.

  11. Grey Area 12

    Snouts in the trough. Who exactly are the bottom feeders again?

  12. Descendant Of Smith 13

    55 years ago today.

    Little piggies.

  13. John 14

    I’m confident there will be an agreement later this week or early next week.The content of the settlement takes precedence over the speed of agreement.

  14. Mike the Lefty 15

    I would recommend David Seymour for the Minister of Publicity, formerly known as Minister for Propaganda. He would be great at that as just about anything he says is right-wing propaganda.

    But something tells me he wouldn't be happy with that.

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