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The current National party.

Written By: - Date published: 3:06 pm, May 24th, 2020 - 62 comments
Categories: australian politics, Dirty Politics, Economy, education, immigration, International, labour, national, political parties, Politics, Social issues, tertiary education, The Standard, todd muller, tourism - Tags:

I’m kind of shocked at the conuptions in the National party this week. Plus all of the soft focus bumf that the media have been pushing out since Simon Bridges announced that Todd Muller would be challenging.

However the thing that really has me aghast is that it is The Standard that several National Party insiders have been sending information to. This is something that usually doesn’t happen. The nearest I can think was in the days prior to and after Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book. But they were attacking Cameron Slater and his dirty tricks business inside of the National party political structures.

The most interesting current ‘leak’ to date came in an email this morning.

Now I can’t verify any of this. But I also can’t dispute that most of it fits the facts as known. So I’ll leave it for readers to make up their own mind. I corrected a couple of spelling mistakes, split paragraphs and inserted images at the appropriate places. I also removed exif information from the images.

Todd is on record the day before Simon called his bluff saying he supported Simon and did not want to be leader. National MPs have done the numbers many times over and Muller won by a majority of 1 vote. Caucus is very, very divided. Leaks even happened during the vote with media knowing prior to them coming out, Bishop is the key suspect, but they have accused Simons side.This will literally be a white washed with most of the brown faces being pushed down the list for Mullers wealthy white metro supporters.
Todd, Amy Adams, Nikki Kaye, Nicola Willis and Chris Bishop had been planning this for the past year and deliberately leaking information to the media, much untrue to destabilise Simon.. Caucus know this and you will see lots of fluff pieces saying they are united.
With a majority of support of only 1 I would say 50/50 we will have another leadership vote before the election if polling isn’t in the mid 40s.

Reads “#BREAKING: Simon Bridges’ new political advisors announced.”

A quick look through Nationals Meme Working groups website will see sexist and racist material that his team is linked to (Its thought to come from Chris Bishops office) although one MP photographed Amy Adams laptop with Muller, Kaye branding weeks before the coup. You will see 10 days prior posts with almost identical branding to the actually branding once selected, these were done by the same person.

Reads “Coming soon…?” Dated 12 May


Young Nat rapid rebranding yesterday. Looks identical.

These guys carried out a full smear campaign that ran for a month. Polls were just an excuse to roll Simon.
Amy Adams is now planning on staying as a list MP and will be the new Steven Joyce at number 3. She was toxic after losing to Simon, this is all about UTU. Matthew Hooton who is best mates with Muller and writes his speeches is to be chief of staff.
Muller is a white male elitist who believes it is his destiny to rule, he is a dangerous man. Even when he started he refused to share an office with Simon in Tauranga. 
The good news for Labour is he and Hooton are still blamed by MPs from 2002 when they were staffers for many of that elections worst stuff ups. They are even talking about recruiting Boag. I can see National down to 30 MPs in September. 
Use what you want but a quick look at the meme page will give you enough to prove Tricky Todd tells porkies and cannot be trusted by his own team, let alone New Zealanders.
With a caucus majority of 1 he may not last long, certainly not past September 20th

As Bomber said this morning, in an excellent (and for a change rational) political analysis, in “Todd Muller as Leader of the National Party – Winners & Losers” Matthew Hooton does appear to have been deeply in the mix, and we’re really not sure from when.

Matthew Hooton: The four things Hooton has repeatedly said in his columns and media platforms is that the Auckland Port needs to move north, Jacinda Ardern’s Government was on the perpetual verge of collapse, leadership rumours against Simon Bridges and that the Auckland Port needed to move north. Now I just suspected that Hooton had property north of Auckland that would be very profitable if the Port moved, but his constant push against Bridges, him suddenly disconnecting his Twitter account and rumours swirling that he has a job in the new Muller team all suggest a grotesque conflict of interests that Radio NZ and the NZ Herald will have to explain.

Not to mention the soft soap pieces being written through various media feel like his promotional style. I see that Stuff has published a RNZ article today “Prominent pundit Matthew Hooton pulls back over Todd Muller link” where he claims that his actual involvement was recent. However while I’d hesitate to call him a liar over this, I can’t rule that out either. He has form with me for blatantly lying whenever he finds it convenient.

The motivation behind the roll is classic National party. Basically terror at being unemployed in lousy job market. Or as Bomber puts it:-

Selfish Cowardice and naked ambition: This coup was driven by National Backbenchers terrified they would lose their job. This isn’t some great re-ordering of National Policies, this is selfish cowardice by desperate people clinging onto their jobs and sense of power. National MPs have all the ethics of hungry piranha.

Essentially like the roll of Bolger by Shipley in the 1990s as National were pretty obviously crashing towards a defeat in 1999. The mechanics of a MMP election mean that safe seats are all very well and good for those in them, but it is hell for the list MPs without a very high list placing. Having a leadership roll before an election is a good way for shadow ministers or ministers down on the list to move up it.

But this isn’t exactly good timing to try an untested team. Toddy is a consensus kind of guy. As Catherine Delahunty said in a post this morning here, we don’t exactly live in those times right now..

Consensus has its place for sure, but I am bloody glad that a Parliamentary consensus wasn’t required over Covid lockdown. I am glad that Todd and friends were not the Government responding to the highly efficient and necessary iwi checkpoints. There are times to make watery agreements to build trust, and times when powerful white men who agree with each other are just not much use.

Personally I can’t see anything in this National lineup that looks like anything that makes them look any better than Simon and his lineup. Fewer brown people to satisfy the racists, and a few ‘true’ establishment faces further up the list.

As for competence in government, I can’t see much that is better than the freshers who have been receiving their on-the-board education as ministers in the Labour / NZF caucus. There simply isn’t any real expertise that will remain in the National caucus after this election – most of it has already retired or is retiring. Sure, having Amy Adams deciding not to disappear will help. But basically, the ‘experience’ like that of Nick Smith and Gerry Brownlee have been notable disaster areas. Or it is invisibly unproven like Goldsmith.

When you look relative to the actions of this Labour government in the covid-19 crisis, I simply can’t see a National government of these inexperienced dimwits being capable of making the rational decisions required to stave off slow disasters. They’d be like the business-as-usual ditherers like the Conservatives in the UK, the Republicans in the US, if the federal National/Liberal coalition in Australia. Countries with late or ineffective lockdowns. In the Australian case, they seem to have mostly been saved from their own stupidity by the state governments not screwing up as badly as they did.

With conservatives and slow evolving situations, I’d expect to see the frog in the warming pot of water problem. Meaningless statements of general intent designed to allow voters to read their own meanings into it – because that is what governmental ditherers do. Just look at Boris Johnson or Donald Trump. Or look at any of the soft-soap waffle from Muller yesterday or this morning.

What ditherers looking at short term business-as-usual or electoral advantage don’t do is act appropriately as a government at the proper time. Which is why the US and UK will have long outbreaks with people sick and dying for another year or two. They’re so busy trying to do business as usual, running ideological idiocies and to get reelected that they forget that that primary role of government is to make rational and decisive decisions that take into account the whole of their population over the long term.

The kinds of decisions that the current government actually took in the face of a potential disaster, and which I don’t think that Toddy could have taken. Curiously enough I think that Simon Bridges could have actually have made the right decisions. I just suspect that the National caucus would have acted as whimpering drag on his legs as he took them. And I don’t think he could have taken the country along with him because he was shit at expressing what the issues were in broadcast communication.

Which in our case, post the immediate covid-19 issue, is that we don’t want to have the kind of governmental ideological based dithering that happened in and after the Canterbury earthquakes and resulted in that mess still being dealt with a decade later.

Imagine opening up tourism from Australia for only the benefit of the tourism industry, and then having an outbreak of this sneaky covid-19 virus from it. Well, that is what Muller was advocating this morning... Back to business as usual without looking at the requirements to do it safely. He wants a ‘plan’ and a timetable. When that has already been clearly expressed as a set of conditions that need to be met – one of which will be getting the aussies federal and state governments to agree with it first. It is meaningless dithering by someone who doesn’t know what in then hell they’re talking about and who is only interested in electioneering rather than the people of this country or australia.

As someone who has worked in private industry my entire working life as a manager and various types of tech ‘engineer’, and one who knows (and avoids) politics, there is bugger all skill that carries across from business to politics. Business experience simply isn’t useful in running a government. It is rare to be able to point to any business person in history who did a really good job in politics, when you look from 20 years after their service.

John Key demonstrated that pretty well – at the end of his government is it hard to see anything that was done well or made NZ better. We got ramshackle investment into making tourism bigger, overseas student underpinning the viability of our education sector, and a domestic economy dependent on high levels of immigration. All of which just fell over because they depend on air-transport.

It was a short-term gain by ignoring long-term and inevitable risks. Air travel gets easily disrupted by kerosene prices, volcanos, terrorism, recessions, technical climate change changes and plagues at least once a decade. It was a short-term gain that has damaged our long-term economy quite badly. Just like the excessively rapid development of dairy damaged our waterways long-term for short term gains. Or putting in badly thought through irrigation and water usage ideas do long-term damage to water tables and catchments. Something that Muller is also proposing for a small set of minority interests.

So why bother touting business experience? Muller in my opinion is just demonstrating that – this time safely in opposition. Like any business person his immediate priorities are all about short-term gains, while completely ignoring the longer-term issues. Just read his statements in Stuff… Just another gormless well-meaning idiot.

I can’t see Muller and the National caucus post-election being able to make the kinds of long-term decisions required in the modern world. Not with the internecine factional warfare that is lurking below their party surface. Or with their severely inexperienced ministerial and hopeless team. Can any of you?

62 comments on “The current National party. ”

  1. It's just occurred to me that the 'fewer brown people' suggestion in the post may have been quite literally a driver for some in the National caucus. The vote pitched two people of maori heritage against two people who look 100% pakeha.

  2. Johnr 2

    Your correct saying business acumen does not a politician make.

    I understand that he gained business experience as an executive at Fonterror. Surely the the most appallingly managed business in NZ, and if they're competing with some other large businesses for that honour, some of whom no longer exist, that's saying something. He also was involved with Zespri during some dubious decisions.

    I worry for NZ that the media machine will assist with any success he may have.

    • clare 2.1

      I worry about that attitude to treat the country as a business, which is prevalent among those kinda people.

      The country is not a business, it's a society. Like the difference between a business, whose purpose is to make money, and a non-profit organisation whose purpose is to provide a service.

      National has profit as the complete focus. They even made Housing New Zealand pay dividends to the government.

  3. Maurice 3

    We are ALL doomed …. wait till the 2nd and 3rd waves hit …

    Now the right will see that the only way to get any list members is to vote ACT Party Vote.

    We may all soon regret this spill!

  4. ianmac 4

    Another WOW Mr Prentice! I don't understand the full implications of all that you said but understand that National is using its Dirty Politics experience – but against their own people for a change.

    Tricky Stolid Todd did say in his speech that he only decided to act last Wednesday but it is also true that he and his team have been setting it up for weeks if not months. And should Muller trust Bishop in the long term given his apparent ability to apparently act without scruples? (And how long has Key been sporting a beard?)

    • Bruce 4.1

      Bishop is interesting, perhaps its just me but his previous employment as a tobacco lobbyist says it all regarding his personal moral compass. He will hitch his wagon to Judith in the coming weeks as the public discover Muller is actually just mashed potatoes on a very white plate.

  5. KJT 5

    Of course they still have the advantage of the previous Governments, hand picked cronies, in State service organisations.

    We were very fortunate Blomfield wasn’t one of those.

    Not that it likely adds much competence.

    But it will help with their agenda

    • Paaparakauta 5.1

      "previous Governments hand picked cronies in State service organisations."

      which could explain some of the things I have seen.

  6. anker 6

    this is serious stuff. Do you know who this has come from Iprent? I am not asking you to say of course.

    • lprent 6.1

      Not exactly. I never bother to trace back on this kind of material unless people suggest that they want me to. There has been similar material in the recent months from what is clearly a number of sources. Basically it is a judgement call.

      I am perfectly willing to put this kind of material into the public debate if it looks plausible, accords with the facts as are known, and it is clear that it has to be regarded as speculative. Sometimes as guest posts where I know who it is. But this is under my own name rather than anyone else and therefore as my opinion as an explanation for what has been happening. I happen to think that this is highly likely because of how it fits with what just happened (not to mention what the comment mood is like on the National leaning blogs and social media at present).

      The count is probably incorrect because that is just the vote system inside National caucus – and points to the reason why Labour shifted theirs. Jacinda Ardern effectively got a caucus only leadership change and a free pass only because Andrew Little stood down himself so close to the election.

      To tell the truth, we normally get a lot of this from within Labour (but not recently) and moderate amounts from inside NZ First and very little from inside the Greens. Mostly we don’t need it from Labour or the Greens simply because authors have wide channels there anyway, and simply express their opinions. It is usually pretty easy to see what is relevant, fantasy, or dirty political work from the style. This one reeks of honest anger compared to some of the ones I see.

      But I have to say that information flowed to TS freely when Lusk and Slater were doing paid for National party selection jobs.

      • anker 6.1.1

        O.k the leakers leaks are confirmed. Amy Adams is now staying and at no 3

  7. Excellent post LPrent.

    I follow Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity on the Covid-19 pandemic and have done since the middle of February.

    He characterised politicians like Trump and Johnson as managers, not leaders. No vision, just reactions to events.

    Tricky Toddy seems cut from the same pattern.

    Long many the internal eruptions within the Natz continue.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      I resonate with your view, Tony. I have tried to be fair & not prejudge – but the essay above does seem to reveal a deep context essential to integrate & I'm factoring that in now. The guts is that a managerial stance won't suffice.

      Re a Nat schism, could be more perception than reality, but fascinating as a possibility. Watch for a token maori to get waved in the reshuffle? Just to defuse that scenario…

  8. Michael 8

    Even without your spin, the bits inside the quotation marks are dynamite, even if only half of it's true. I see the Nats' defenestration of Bridges as an act of hysterical, panicked desperation a few weeks before an election they're going to lose. A bit like Labour's replacement of Little with Ardern, except for the "minor" differences that Little stood down, more or less voluntarily, while Bridges went kicking and screaming. Also: Muller is not "exactly" like Ardern. Think the Tory plotters and schemers overlooked those things. Agree that Hooton and Bishop are the principal villains of the piece. I keep hearing vague and unsubstantiated rumours that Hooton's "in trouble" but have no idea what that means. I'm fairly sure he's still working for Crusher Collins though.

    • lprent 8.1

      I decided to not put this up as a guest post because it was unsubstantiated. I think it is likely to be true. But if that goes up under my name as my opinion, then I’ll explain some of why the quoted part matches my opinion. Frankly I seldom bother with ‘spin’. It is pretty much a waste of time on this site because everyone just ignores it. I just go with my current opinion and why I think certain things.

      I’m a over-educated and very old computer programmer. I seldom have time for bullshit.

  9. pat 9

    "I can’t see Muller and the National caucus post-election being able to make the kinds of long-term decisions required in the modern world."

    And they don't need to and importantly are not required to….but Muller can and very likely will greatly improve Nationals position, and in doing so will maintain some MPs that may have otherwise have been lost….and 2023 is a fight for another day.

    National is after all the righteous party of government in NZ is it not?

    • McFlock 9.1

      Bridges might have bounced back up into the mid-thirties. Muller needs to do better than that to stave off Luxon post-election. And he needs to hit the ground with a firecracker up his arse.

      Ardern announced the "let's do this" slogan just a few days after becoming leader of the opposition. Unless who-ller comes out with something spectacular tomorrow, his great contribution to the zeitgeist as leader has been explaining away a maga cap as something he doesn't really believe in, even though it's on display.

      • pat 9.1.1

        Luxon isnt even an MP and has no Parliamentary experience nor has he had the opportunity to gather a clique within…you overestimate his importance.

        Muller is a professional, sharp and experienced (Nat) politician with the confidence of at least half the caucus and is the choice of influencers aligned with the National Party unless he is considerably less competent than he appears he will outperform Bridges….that is not to suggest he will win this election for them.

        • McFlock

          Luxon didn't get the candidacy for a safe nat seat out of nowhere. Some section of the nats sees him as a future PM – the next John Key. He has those connections.

          Muller doesn't just need to outperform Bridges, he needs to make a big enough showing to at the very least make him a plausible PM in 2023. And that means he needs to be outstanding against Ardern. The apparent help from Hooten suggests he's merely more of the same.

          So come 2022, unless National is polling very competitively against a Lab or Lab+1 govt, a small caucus will have a corporate golden boy who's kept his nose clean as a pretender. Now the dirty politics crowd will run a whisper campaign against Luxon, but that's if and only iff they aren't in the Luxon camp (no matter how long they've been friends with magaman).

          • pat

            I never mentioned the word friends

            • McFlock

              No, Hooten did lol. While explaining why he had turned from pundit to "helper" without telling the media who hired him as a pundit.

  10. Anne 10

    Wow! Too much to absorb in one sitting.

    I spy a new Nicky Hager book on the horizon – "Dirty Politics II".

    It became obvious last week that the rolling of Simon Bridges had been on the drawing board for at least six months. Muller himself gave it away with his oh so cock-sure demeanour in advance of the showdown. If it is true he only won by one vote then that would have come as a shock.

    Whatever, any dude who thinks Donald Trump is the best thing since sliced bread – and he obviously does even if he denies it – should never be allowed near the Treasury Benches!

    • Anne 10.1

      Oh and to reinforce the 'rich, entitled white man' syndrome so prevalent inside the National Party:

      he has started with an attack on Kelvin Davis on TV1 news. Says there will be more coming about him this coming week.

      So, he sees one of Labour's weak link… the Maori members and starts with the most senior Maori member of the Cabinet.

      Will link as soon as it appears.

      • weka 10.1.1

        Typo in your handle caught you in the filter, you might want to check the Name field for next comment.

        • Anne

          Thanks weka. A comma appeared from nowhere. 🙄

          promised link: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/new-national-leader-todd-muller-doubles-down-over-maga-cap-in-office-display

          Scroll to second tvnz video.

          • aj

            Behind the mask, the mindset hasn't changed. Policies the same as Bridges, arguably just a prettier face and easier to listen to.

            Also – quite flexible with his faith when it suits him. Anti abortion, pro gay marriage (The Nation Interview) In fact that interview I thought revealed a lot more about the man than he might have wanted. As for the MAGA hat – it's widely known that MAGA in New Zealand stands for Make Adern Go Away. He needs to be asked about that.

            • Anne

              He was told to be complimentary about Jacinda's handling of the pandemic – not because he, Hooton or his other advisers actually care a hoot about those directly affected, but rather because it would look bad in the eyes of the voters.

              Now they are earmarking the govt.'s perceived weak links – which aren't weak links of course – and he is going to attack, attack, attack until voters start wondering if there is something to it. Straight out of the John Key playbook.

              Jacinda and co. better start lining up their bovver boys and girls to be ready to respond in kind. She can be left out of the fray but if they let it roll past them without returning in kind, they could go down the tubes despite their current stratospheric ratings.

    • Anne 10.2

      Posted link to latest TVNZ news item but went into moderation?? He attacks most senior Maori minister and says there's more coming next week.


      You might have to scroll down to tonight's interview.

  11. KJT 11


    "So, the main question we should be asking is not why there aren’t any more women leaders, but why do so many incompetent men become leaders? "

  12. David Mac 12

    Will Mr Muller deliver a vision strong enough to make us abandon Jacinda? I think that's what it comes down to.

    While a centre forward is kicking goals you don't kick them off the team.

  13. observer 13

    Newshub had a report on the Muller team, which he'll announce in the next day or two. The names you'd expect (Collins, Bishop, Amy Adams returning).

    Missing – Bridges (obviously), Bennett (toast), but also Todd McClay, Mark Mitchell, Michael Woodhouse etc.

    There are going to be some dark mutterings on the National benches.

    • Michael 13.1

      Woodhouse gone – I hope so. Might almost be worth voting for Muller out of gratitude.

  14. Probably the one thing Matty is right about is that the gNatz are now a "broad church".

    I'm currently having a bit or a purge – sorting out the worthwhile stuff you give to the Sallies or St Vincent de P versus the shit that you take to the tip.

    I've come across a load of shite one's children somehow accumulate – plastic figures of Ken and Barby, G.I Joe's and even plastic (very plastic) figures of people 'dripping' with bling and nouveau riche treats and trinkets (they reminded me of recent media appearances of Ms Boag, and yesterday's appearance of a Shipley on 'The Nation', not to mention the reminder of Sir John visiting Madge amongst all the kitsch). No doubt the former (Boag and Shipley) have "breeding" but they amount to the same shit, if a slightly different stink than a Sir – and we musn't forget Burton.

    I really think it's probably better to bury very deep a bit of plastic even if it takes eons to decompose rather than inflict any if it on someone likely to turn up at a Sallies shop trying to give a bit of joy to their bubbas.

    • I Feel Love 14.1

      Some of those old G I Joes are worth money, esp Snake Eyes (the all black figure), saddo men in their 40s (like me) collect old 80s toys & dream of finding a box at Sallies of them. The Toys That Made Us on Netflix is worth a look on this current craze.

      • RedBaronCV 14.1.1

        Some of the Barbies used to be worth stuff too. And IIRC Macca's used to drop the end of line small lots on the NZ market of their plastic toys and some of them are not so common & used to be collectable. Check all values before the tip trip – put a local teenager on commission – I have to practice not hoarding!

  15. Bryan 15

    Forget MAGA I see that we have a real deal:







  16. observer 16

    The clip isn't up yet but it was really funny to see the careful preparations Muller had made before his soft interview on TV1 news tonight.

    There's a Michelle Obama banner prominently displayed. Definitely not brought in from storage and positioned at just the right point in the room, no sir.

    I love it when they think we're all fools. Like one of those man-with-beer photo ops.

  17. RedBaronCV 17

    If this is what is being leaked to TS then just imagine what has been leaked to Winston He is possibly checking it now to see what votes he can detach from the more centre ish righties. They will see him as a brake on labour even if he does stay on that side of the fence.

    Also Labour should I think put some thought into where to now with the media. The daily press conferences are drifting down and the media are back to their old spin tricks with the added resentments that they didn't get bailouts and loathed the object based feedback that they got on their performance.

    Plus what other words do we want to see in the word cloud around "national" and "economic" Maybe themes like "National are delusional about their economic management ability" .

    • William 17.1

      "National are delusional about their economic management ability"

      Here's a tweet from Charlie Mitchell at Stuff today

      It reports an Ipsos issues monitor which shows Labour & Greens are regarded as the most capable parties to address the top 20 issues.

  18. Jackel 18

    I don't think Jacinda has too much to worry about with this Muller guy. I saw him go after Davis. He came off as too aggressive to me. He will have to tone it down a heck of a lot and even then he probably won't be able to hide his true colours. Kiwis don't like someone going after a nice guy like Davis even if he is a bit befuddled. After all you're not in Kansas now Dorothy.

  19. Observer Tokoroa 19

    Muller Plus..Kay

    It is nice that the Muller man who goes around Waikato looking at gumboots for a living, gets himself off to a wiz bang start on tele.

    He' all keen

    However, the difference between Mr Muller and Mr Kelvin Davis – is that Kelvin Davis is honest.

    A huge difference.

  20. NZJester 20

    National has never been a party of future thinking, as most of the major long term planing for New Zealand has taken place under Labour. Some long term projects started under Labour and curtailed under National have had to be restarted at higher costs to deal with the traffic problems in Auckland that would be a lot less problematic if previous Labour started projects had not been cancelled by previous National governments.

  21. Observer Tokoroa 21

    John Campbell tries to throw dirt at Jacinda Ardern ..

    Starting out by accusing her of not achieving each of her goals – he got hotter and hotter.

    His mana slipping away in monster ass pipe loads.

    For Jacinda has brought her goals along steadily – in the midst of numerous external difficulties – to ongoing incredibly valuable outcomes. Campbell well knows that. !

    John was simply stupid in trying to denounce Her. More stupid than a child in a Campbell tiny tots class room.

  22. Jum 22

    Apparently, Muller is saying Labour is keeping $20billion aside with no thought of how to spend it. They forget their history when it suits them.

    I remember this happening:


    7 June 2011

    'This financial year, the Government has been borrowing $380 million a week – about $100 million more a week than it needs – and is banking the extra money to spend in coming years. '

  23. Paaparakauta 23

    I'm surprised Key has anything to do with this stuff, if he is witting.


  24. Bruce 24

    Amy at number 3 and returning was spot on, I am guessing the other stuff is too.

  25. ScottGN 25

    Is Amy Adams going to re-retire if they (when) they lose the election?

    • Bruce 25.1

      I hope so, she is not a nice person. Entitled born to rule type. What happened to the family she missed so much?

      • Anne 25.1.1

        Yeah… its an amazing change of mind but I'm sure Amy's done it with the best of intentions. I mean, the good of the country and all that stuff. (sarc)

  26. observer 26

    It's going well …

    Bridges: "Just to be clear after the reshuffle today, I am not considering my future. Just having a small amount of time out to take stock after the loss on Friday. I am candidate for Tauranga and intend to stand and help National obtain an historic win!"

    It came after Muller said Bridges was taking time to consider his political future."


  27. Dennis Frank 27

    Herald reshuffle summary: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12334590

    "Perhaps the biggest change within National's front bench is around Judith Collins. She picks up economic development, regional development and Pike River re-entry. The Papakura MP, and former lawyer, has also been made the Shadow Attorney-General – she takes over from Tim Macindoe."

    "Muller supporter Nicola Willis wins big from the reshuffle. The list MP who came into Parliament in 2017 has been given the Housing and Urban Development shadow portfolio. She has gone from unranked to number 14 and in the shadow Cabinet – a significant jump. Muller said Willis was talented and deserved her rise, while Kaye said she was "extraordinarily talented"."

    "Hutt South MP Chris Bishop keeps transport and picks up infrastructure – formally held by Paul Goldsmith. Goldsmith, remains in the front bench and will continue in his role as finance spokesman and has been given Earthquake Commission. He has, however, been moved down the rankings."

    Thus the evidence suggests Sacha was wrong in her interpretation of Richard Harman's comment about Collins doing the numbers on the prior weekend. You don't get such a substantial career boost if you are merely a messenger!! 🙄

    • observer 27.1

      I have never met a voter who comes home from work, turns on the news and says "oh, that MP who I like has gone from no.22 to no.16 in the opposition rankings, great, got my vote now!". And I literally cannot remember any moves in portfolios and rankings when previous leaders of the opposition took over. Who does?

      Muller being a dick to Bridges is 100X more important than the anonymous team shuffle. He's stuffed up big time.

      • Dennis Frank 27.1.1

        Re first paragraph, true. Team rankings matter only to those who whose thinking is governed by hierarchy. National Party members, for instance. Or any conservatives.

        Your thesis in the second paragraph is intriguing, but only on the basis that Simon was operating as part of a bloc or faction. I haven't seen evidence that he was. Muller has offered him a cabinet role. That's generous, imo. He need not – unless he sees Simon as either leader or member of an opposing faction that has almost 50% of his caucus, in which case he must appease them.

  28. Cinny 28

    maureen pugh drops one place on the list falling to #45, simon rated her higher. JS.

  29. Dennis Frank 29

    The most interesting aspect of the National Party now is the emerging frame competition. Is the liberal/conservative framing primary still? Is there a `marginalise maori' framing behind the switch? How about the old `wet/dry' framing from the onset of neoliberalism?

    Bluegreen socialism? They've all been out for a run around the paddock in recent days, these old nags from the heartland. But wait! Trotter runs this dark horse:

    "Muller and his team deserve the hearty congratulations of the New Zealand electorate. The risk was real, and growing, that the National Party was heading down the self-same political trail blazed by the Republican Party in the United States." https://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/105183/chris-trotter-argues-todd-mullers-backers-have-rejected-radical-conservatism

    "The journey begins with the purging of every party member deemed insufficiently committed to the holy mission of national redemption. As the trail descends deeper and more steeply into the darkness, that holy mission is held up as a sanctified end – for the achievement of which any and all means are justified. The trail ends in the monstrous moral vacuum that is Trumpist populism."

    "Muller and all those who voted for him at last Friday’s emergency caucus meeting have done what the Republican Party refused to do. They have rejected the radical conservatism of the evangelical Christian Right and reaffirmed the moderate conservative values out of which their National Party was born."

    Saint Todd on his white horse rode in and slew the evil fundamentalist dragon, rescuing the angel Nikki. Go Chris! Way better frame than the boring old nags…

  30. Jum 30

    I never understood why Amy Adams was able to engineer the Central Plains Water…. while being a beneficiary of it (as well as being a beneficiary in nat govt) and then standing aside for the final vote because of a conflict of interest, knowing they had the numbers to pass this corrupt profit maker for her benefit.

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