The great reset

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, February 9th, 2023 - 109 comments
Categories: broadcasting, chris hipkins, Economy, Environment, human rights, labour, minimum wage, water, workers' rights - Tags:

Apologies for not posting much lately.  The Auckland floods and the draft Mayoral budget have taken their toll on my time as well as many other things not to mention people’s lives.

Chris Hipkins has announced the great policy reset and there are no surprises.

The RNZ TVNZ merger is off.  Hopefully now journalists from those institutions will settle down and stop presenting the Government in such negative terms.

The Social Insurance Scheme has been put on ice.  To ease the disappointment of the Trade Union Movement and workers generally there has been a significant increase to the minimum wage, up by $1.50 or 7%.  Business interests are predictably moaning about this.  In their view the poorest paid amongst us should bear the brunt of the effects of inflation.

The hate speech legislation has been moved over to the Law Commission to take a deeper look at it.  I think this is the appropriate thing to do.  Hopefully the Law Commission’s recommendations will take some of the politics out of the attacks although to be frank I do not expect the attacks or the rhetoric to abate.

The biofuels mandate is scrapped.  My personal view is they need to concentrate on renewables.  Use of biofuels has received a mixed response from environmentalists.

And Three Waters is to be reviewed.  If I had a say in what will happen I would recommend that stormwater management was retained by councils.  This simplifies the reform process significantly.  In Auckland for instance there would be no change and Watercare could be rolled out to the north to look after their water and wastewater systems.

Obviously they will take a deep look at the Governance provisions.  Increasing the proportion of local government representation on the Regional Representative Groups is one option that may be considered.  One option could be for local government to elect their own iwi representatives to the RRGs.

But to those that say that Three Waters is not necessary or important all I can do is point out what has  happened to Auckland over the past week.

In political terms it is a move to the centre.  The intent is that it gives the Government enough head space to accelerate other projects.

109 comments on “The great reset ”

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    So long as it keeps an abomination like an Act/Natz government out of power, I'm in favour!

    I put Act first in the above coupling, because the Act tail will sure as hell wag the Natz dog!

  2. Ad 2

    I can certainly accept Prime Minister Hipkins as 100% Pure Politician in his blood.

    But for a two-term low-achieving government with a once-in-a-lifetime majority, this government has now withdrawn into a small olive green camouflaged shrub hoping people won't trip over it walking to the polling booth.

    This isn't what I voted for.

    Even insofar as they had any manifesto to begin with in 2020, the wreckage of this government throwing policy pieces around in public and arterial transport, local governance, media, water, organised labour, tertiary education, health and more is piling up like a post-flood roadside.

    By comparison President Joe Biden has ridden mostly the same crises, on a razor majority in the Senate, and you can check his legislative achievements in the State of the Union yesterday.

    (27) President Joe Biden delivers 2023 State of the Union address to Congress — 2/7/23 – YouTube

    I expect more than this from any government and especially a Labour government.

    • James Simpson 2.1

      Well said Ad.

      This is such a wasted opportunity.

      In the first term NZ First acted like a hand brake and Labour was prevented from being the transformational government they promised to be.

      The second term they were given an absolute majority. Something which may never exist again in an MMP parliament. They had, and still have, the opportunity to do the things they want and promised. Things which minor coalition partners will never allow them to do.

      There is a chance that National will win the election this year. And then what? 9 years of nothing happening, while we look back at these years and think if only we had done what needed to be done when we had the chance.

      Now is the time Chippy should be putting the foot down, to get as much completed before the election. Not surrendering to National and the centre

    • Ian B 2.2

      yes BULLSEYE!

    • Adrian Thornton 2.3

      "This isn't what I voted for."….."I expect more than this from any government and especially a Labour government"

      No this is exactly what you voted for…Adren said quite clearly that she (and by extension Labour NZ) are “pragmatic idealist(s)”….if that wasn't a flashing in your face clue as to pathetic depth of their fighting spirit when faced with even the slightest head wind then that's is on you pal.

      Not even going to start on that war pig gangster Biden.

    • JeremyB 2.4

      Not sure if that is an appropriate comparison
      https://www.factcheck.org/2023/02/factchecking-the-state-of-the-union-4/

      The TL,DR is: lots of spin

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Sometimes a circuit breaker is needed in politics. New PM Mr “Chipkins” has certainly cleared the desk and sat some of the usual suspects well and truly on their arses.

    Employers large and small just hate that minimum wage floor! So the increase scheduled in April to $22.70 was a positive move for working class NZers. Many other things can obviously be done–they still have an MMP majority till October, but Chris has started well.

    • RosieLee 3.1

      You mean like state housing and controls on rents? Oh – and how about a CGT?

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1

        Certainly, but I would not count on it!

        NZ Labour are hardly likely to abandon the cross party Parliamentary neo liberal/monetarist consensus–but lets praise them please when they “stick it to the man” with minimum wage increases.

  4. Reality 4

    Covid stepped in three years ago don't forget! That very much dominated everything in one way or another, with staff away sick, staff shortages, planning put on hold, financial planning and allocation realigned. The world is not a perfect place, and nor is New Zealand. Utopia really doesn't exist.

    • James Simpson 4.1

      So Covid is the reason for a reset?

    • Obtrectator 4.2

      Even allowing for Covid, Ms Ardern was for me something of a disappointment. No question, we couldn't have had anyone better at the helm for dealing with that particular crisis, plus the several others that came along.

      But her clear reluctance to be associated with any action that might be unpopular or even controversial proved to be a severe weakness. Take the cannabis reform referendum – comparatively trivial in itself, but a perfect illustration of what I mean. A firm endorsement from her of decriminalisation, and we'd have got that over the line. Instead she havered, and ducked for cover, and the thing was lost for possibly another decade.

      • gsays 4.2.1

        Couldn't agree more.

        I'll add Little to the disappointments but file under 'bitter'. When Parker's conceit led to Little's appointment, hopes went up.

        Another priceless opportunity to implement meaningful reform, squandered because of the cost. (Didn't cover himself in glory leading into the electric puha referendum either.)

      • Louis 4.2.2

        "her clear reluctance to be associated with any action that might be unpopular or even controversial" The policies if the Ardern govt that PM Hipkins removed, put on hold etc clearly shows your statement is not true.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    If they keep up this sort of pace of backwards marching, fairly soon they will be National in drag.

    The key thing for me is that Chippie was part of the team that signed off on all this stuff to start with. So, it looks to me that it is just posturing to avoid scaring the horses before the election.

    So, it seems likely it will all be regurgitated after the election if they get back in.

    So, for people who don't want this stuff to see the light of day again, the best option is to vote National or Act.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      If they keep up this sort of pace of backwards marching, fairly soon they will be National in drag.

      Indeed, borrowing from the Nat playbook.

      Christopher Luxon rethinks top tax cut as situation changes ‘big time’, Grant Robertson, David Seymour take jabs [23 November 2022]

      Might a ‘top tax cut’ be “regurgitated” under a Luxon-Luxoff-'led' govt? smiley

      PM defensive after video reveals GST flip-flop

      With so many U-turns, flip-flops and reversals, it's hard to know who to Truss. Still, I was pleased about the increase to the minimum wage – help where it's needed, imho, and certainly not from the Nat playbook.

      • James Simpson 5.1.1

        Not that I would encourage anyone reading them, but the right wing blogs are celebrating the rest.

        That says a lot really.

        National voters applauding Chippy while we feel deflated.

        • Incognito 5.1.1.1

          Of course, the RW is celebrating! Stalling is their only main opposition tactic and deferred change preserves the status quo and BAU, for as long as possible.

          Besides, they were getting scared of how much repealing they had to do when in Government – the bonfire of shambolic regulations would have been burning for months and the phoenix arising from the ashes would have been a roasted turkey wandering like a headless chicken in a haze of hot air and smoke & mirrors.

      • gsays 5.1.2

        That's the thing Drowsy, it's an unelectable rabble you are comparing this MMP majority government to.

        What's next at least Grant Robertson didn't double dip?

        • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.2.1

          "An unelectable rabble" you say? 'Rabble' (mob/gang) – yes.

          'Unelectable' – I (still) fear not, but I'm less despondent than I was 3 weeks ago.

  6. Anne 6

    I note none of the commenters thus far have mentioned the big elephant in the room – the Covid pandemic. You know, the one that shut down NZ for two plus… of the last five years. The one that required the full blown attention of the government for most of their time in power. The one that was responsible for projects and promises to be put on the back-burner because they were physically impossible to implement under pandemic conditions.

    You know, the one that saved the lives of thousands of NZers.

    Some people appear to be saying those lives were not worth saving and we should have carried on business as usual – studiously ignoring they may have ended up being among the dead.

    But that's the art of politics among the great unwashed which is most of us. Ignore what has gone on before, and be destined to repeat the same mistakes. And that is always what you get from National governments.

  7. Reality 7

    Covid changed the landscape in many many ways. What was planned five years ago may now simply not be a priority. Households are no different to a country. Our household had to change all sorts of plans and adapt to how life had to be lived now.

  8. Reality 8

    Likewise the recent Auckland floods have changed priorities from what was possible or planned six months ago. Life is all about adapting to circumstances.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    I actually agree with a lot of comments above.

    It looks to me like Labour is trying to make itself as similar as possible to National, rather than try and differentiate itself from it.

    From my perspective, it wouldn't take much more to change in Labour's policy mix for me not to care whether Labour or National are in power next time (assuming that the shelved stuff doesn't come back after the election).

    But, is that really a good thing? And is that what politics is all about? Remaining in power at all costs even if it means selling your soul?

    • Barfly 9.1

      A Natioal /Act government would be simply Asset sales, Austerity, Cut-backs and Crackdowns. The rich would get more the poor would get hammered – same as it ever was.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1.1

        Pretty much – nacting in defence of the 'poor' put-upon wealthy (oh the pain of it all!)

      • tsmithfield 9.1.2

        “A Natioal /Act government would be simply Asset sales, Austerity, Cut-backs and Crackdowns. The rich would get more the poor would get hammered – same as it ever was.”

        Looks like you been imbibing a bit to much left wing fear porn there.

        I can't remember any National government in recent times that has been like that.”

        • Obtrectator 9.1.2.1

          None of those Nat administrations had to deal with an ACT caucus that was anything like the size of the present one

          • tsmithfield 9.1.2.1.1

            Managing the extreme positions is one of the difficulties of MMP. Just like Labour will likely have to deal with the Greens and the MP.

            Unless you suggest a grand coalition would be a good idea? That would put an end to any such fear from either side.

            • adam 9.1.2.1.1.1

              What's a MP, or who is the MP? You know the house is full of MP's?

              • Mac1

                MP is Māori Party in this context. Yeah, use of contractions, abbreviations etc can be confusing when used outside of a conversation of people versed in the specialised language of the topic.

                • adam

                  sigh not wanting to sound angry, but my point was MP is a fucking stupid abbreviation, on so many levels.

                  Apart from the obvious if you want to abbreviate it, TPM is the more appropriate one. But that would probably leave dog whistle racists in total confusion.

                  Also the MP is a term we use to describe pollies and muddying the waters seem bloody stupid as well.

                  Then there is the fact it just reads like the usual, me white, me right b.s. that’s been so much a part of NZ politics.

                  I knew what he meant, just thought I let the plonker who wrote it, work out he was being a newb.

                  • Mac1

                    I wasn'r trying to be helpful to you so much as I knew you knew what MP meant in tsmithfield's context.

                    I wanted to make a point generally about the reliance we put on others knowing what our contractions mean. I had to look up CGT used above at 3.1. In 106 comments in this post and comments there are 24 different contractions used. What are these 7?

                    GSF, IUCN,PAC,TL,DR, HSL,MW, CE?

        • bwaghorn 9.1.2.2

          Where you under a rock in the key years??

        • That is a naive statement tsmithfield, considering all the tax refunds for the top tax people got(thousands).

          The pitiful 50c an hour rise plus $10 a week tax break for workersangry plus a lowering of all benefits to the "job seeker" with a thousand cuts of humiliation for any beneficiary.crying

          Each year under the Nats we had to take a letter from WINZ, which we had to line up for, to our Bank which confirmed we were "pensioners".

          We also had an argument with a poorly trained misogynist beasty at WINZ about my GSF pension. He was sure I was "cheating the system" and said so. It is a tax paid pension and does not count for that reason… especially as we paid 30% at least in tax!!! So I enjoyed telling him to "Do some study, and to apologise for calling me a "Cheat". He did so grudgingly.

          Further to this the sale of AirNZ Contact Energy, .. look up NZ government Asset sales as at 2014. NZ Steel Petrocorp NZ Health Computing Service. etc

          I rest my casefrown

        • angrySee full comment!!

        • JeremyB 9.1.2.5

          "I can't remember any National government in recent times that has been like that"

          Selective memory?
          Income from State Asset Sales as at May 2014 (treasury.govt.nz)

          “”We are going to campaign on being very fiscally responsible and that means spending less money and borrowing less money.”
          https://www.stuff.co.nz/editors-picks/4588506/Key-Marching-in-streets-won-t-change-policy

    • Drowsy M. Kram 9.2

      After the 14 October general election, I'd prefer that a Labour-Green-Te Pāti Māori government forms, rather than a National-ACT govt.

      I see from the comments here that some seem quite happy to have the government drop policies on the basis of "whatever it takes to win".

      There are elements of "whatever it takes to win" at all points on the political compass, more in some camps than others. Would be interesting to tease out the rationale for critiquing a supposed "whatever it takes to win" strategy, and also to apply that critique without fear or favour to all points of the compass.

      I was pleased when the Nats and Luxon-Luxoff did a U-turn on tax cuts for the rich, against the wishes of their backers:

      'So many U-turns': Luxon signals review of tax policy, including axing top tax rate [23 November 2022]

      but doubt it's a "firm position", unlike their innovative "boot camps" (sorry, 'military academies'), or our government's recent minimum wage increase in line with inflation.

      Surprise! National can measure child poverty after all. Now comes the hard part. [5 September 2017]

      Can't wait for our opposition parties to release their progressive campaign policies.

      Social media gaffe means missed opportunity for National's Christopher Luxon

      I wish Luxon had more political experience, but "whatever it takes to win" – Right?

      David Seymour questions Christopher Luxon's loyalty to conservatism ahead of election year

  10. Anker 10

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/jan-heijs-stormwaters-inclusion-in-three-waters-reforms-will-worsen-flood-risks

    Here's an interesting piece from a water engineer. He seems to disagree with you Mickey about Three Waters and flooding.

    And this very worrying comment about people in the industry feeling they can’t speak up against Three Waters

    It is interesting to see how many in the water industry appear to fall in line with the suggested Three Waters reform. I know of many people in the industry who bite their tongue. The consequences of not falling into line can be career limiting.

    “The Three Waters reform is likely to make all of this worse. Stormwater is predominantly a land-use challenge and in that way dealing with stormwater is tied up with planning and development of our towns and cities. “

    • Shanreagh 10.1

      I was not a fan of this comment from this engineer when Pat linked to it a couple of days ago. I could not put my finger on why, just intuitively something seemed to be off about it. I have read it again and now feel that the one and only sentence that appeals to me is this one

      Stormwater is predominantly a land-use challenge and in that way dealing with stormwater is tied up with planning and development of our towns and cities.

      Yes of course stormwater, with its links to disposing of the water that comes from houses and which is exacerbated by large expanses of concretes, additional roads is a function of land use. The more impermeable surfaces we have the less likely it is that stormwater will trickle, seep etc away in situ.

      Even with minimal housing with one road to get to it you need to cater for the interruption of rain being able to soak away. We saw roads acting as de facto rivers and of ancient streams re-emerging. Land use planning has a pre-eminent role in this. But so we have minimised concrete and excess roading but stormwater still comes about. So what do we do with that?

      At the moment we pipe it away, some times for miles underground, then we deal with at the coast by lagooning with tidal etc mechanical gates. In Wellington there have been instances where the force of the water in these huge drains has been enough to blow the tops/covers off the drains. Especially in areas where we have built over old streams or culverted old streams.

      So yes changing land use has a role. Sprawl and intensification all have bad parts to play in controlling, minimising stormwater over flows. The immediate answer to sprawl seems to be going up.

      Several new residential blocks (about 6-7 storeys) have gone up in inner Wellington. These cover the whole section with either building or concrete covering the whole section with some 'trendy' little plants being put in the concrete bunkers almost as an after thought.

      So no thought of what to do with water, other than piping it away somewhere, no roof gardens, no attention paid to this wonderful policy from the IUCN

      https://iucnurbanalliance.org/promoting-health-and-wellbeing-through-urban-forests-introducing-the-3-30-300-rule/

      As I said I am attracted to this one sentence in this report from this engineer. I still can't put my finger on why I am feeling a bit skeptical about the many other sentences.

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        His criticism was mainly of a very wide range of non-engineering issues and thus just his opinion on those matters. When he balked about Three Waters reforms it was just his reckons and he showed his negative bias. Some of his assertions were misleading and this begs the question why he misrepresented the intent of the reforms. The comments on his opinion piece didn’t all agree with him either, but did not challenge him straight on enough, IMO.

      • Thinker 10.1.2

        Problem is the 3 waters entities would be engineer driven, if watercare is the model.

        And, to those who only have a hammer, the solution to every problem looks like a nail.

        If the new entities were set up with think tanks to come up with localised, environmental solutions, green technology might have a chance. But, I fear even if they are not profit driven they will be cost minimisers, throwing detention tanks along the pipeline as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

    • SPC 10.2

      You misrepresented what Mickey wrote by around 180 degrees.

      If I had a say in what will happen I would recommend that stormwater management was retained by councils. This simplifies the reform process significantly. In Auckland for instance there would be no change and Watercare could be rolled out to the north to look after their water and wastewater systems.

      For mine there has been a failure by the Super City, they have since allowed building in areas that were known to be flood prone and have neglected to act in a timely way to local flooding events (as to doing works that were known as necessary locally before the next event).

  11. observer 11

    Sad to see comments here reflecting the conventional pundit take, looking back instead of looking forward. Do I need to spell it out?

    The only prospect of a Labour-led government after the election is Labour plus Greens. That government (hopefully full coalition, with Greens in Cabinet for a historic first) is very much worth fighting for. It would be the most progressive MMP government yet.

    If you've invented a time machine then you can go back to 2020 and change things. If you haven't, then all you're doing is complaining about what you wish had happened, pointlessly. "I wouldn't have started from here" is a waste of words. Breaking news: Time is linear.

    Hipkins knows what he is doing. Maximise Labour vote, lose some votes to Greens and/or TPM. If the result is 38% + 10% + 2%, job done.

    It's not about the current government any more. It's about the next one.

    But if people prefer, we can moan some more and look forward to our warm glow of righteousness when ACT are in Cabinet telling Luxon how to destroy the country, reward their mates and piss on the bottom of the pile. No thanks.

    Get over your disappointment or welcome in disaster. Easy choice, really.

  12. Mike the Lefty 12

    What would really throw the cat amongst the National Party pigeons would be if Labour comes up with policies that involve fixing New Zealand's terrible roads. National and ACT are both on the road building populist vote gathering trail at the moment, with ACT additionally implying that they will raise national road speed limits. So as well as the gun nuts and share market speculators, ACT is fishing for the petrol head vote. Winston Peters has really missed the boat here.

    • gsays 12.1

      Get the big trucks and truck and trailer units off the road. Tax 'em till their eyes bleed.

      We will just have to wait an extra day or so for that shit from Amazon, the Trade Me buy to arrive…. Use the train set and coastal shipping instead.

      But that means negating the efforts of the Trucking Lobby. Good luck with that

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    Throwing the hate speech to the Law Society seems wise – it's a difficult technical issue, to distinguish between robust expression, and inciting the kind of hatred that causes violence.

    Letting the media off the hook was unwise. Their lack of professionalism already puts them among NZ's least trusted professions. They need public interest reform, and we the public need a conscientious professional media – not third-rate saluads that are basically Whaleoil in drag.

    A refocusing on workplace economics is long overdue however, and if Chris Hipkins can progress a rebalancing of the unfortunate and unsustainable status quo, that will be very welcome.

    • SPC 13.2

      The conflation of a merger with increased funding was wrong.

      RNZ needed more money for public journalism/broadcasting years ago. TVNZ needs a sufficient funding stream allocation for its public media/broadcasting role (while it remains in the advertising market and paying a dividend) – and that includes access to current affairs on demand (journalism of record) as well as use of designated digital broadcasting time.

      Some of the opposition came from those who wanted a greater share on Air funding for themselves (impact of social media on revenue streams from advertising in mass media markets) and some from those who want comms as subject to private capital management as possible (all to increase the power of the well-funded PAC, domestic or foreign)

      • Stuart Munro 13.2.1

        By all means give RNZ proper funding.

        But TVNZ is in an advanced state of decay – better to build a new state TV from scratch, with a social charter and as yet uncorrupted new talent – there is nothing worth saving in the current mess.

      • tWiggle 13.2.2

        And during the last Nats' government, RNZ retained a healthy criticism of their government, where TVNZ took a softer role. Having them under the same board of directors and CE hss potential to lead to the kind of political pressure the BBC has suffered in recent years.

  14. The shit Luxon says is unbelievable– just naked self-interest for the landlord class. On the news tonight he wants to get rid of the bright line test, bring back negative gearing, and the Nats old 90-day fire-at-will law, that encourages abusive employers to exploit vulnerable workers for a few months. Same old National.

    • Thinker 14.1

      Don't see it as Naked Self Interest.

      I think it might be "Desperate times call for desperate measures".

      Winning this election may not be the milk run they thought it would be.

      That's a good sign for the left.

      Esp. as the point I've made before, which is that Natz policies still appeal to the dropping number of boomers.

      When the boomers were the bulk of voters National could do these sorts of policies and win. Now, they should be appealing to genx up to millenials and they aren't.

  15. Louis 15

    @MICKYSAVAGE. Just a point, its Income Insurance scheme, not social.

  16. SPC 16

    While there was criticism by the Green spokesperson about also referring the religion component of HSL to the Law Commission (as was birth sex, sexuality and gender etc) Moslem spokespersons themselves said they wanted a whole of process approach.

    This reminds me of the common cause (between minorities) approach that applied with the civil unions legislation earlier this century.

    My take on this is that, there needs to be a clear in law distinction between criticism/comment and hate speech, incitement to hate. The existing law includes race (but has very rarely been prosecuted – indicating a high prosecution threshold. But not one actually specified in the legislation).

  17. SPC 17

    The income insurance involves a charge on people struggling to pay rent and mortgage. An obvious reason for a delay.

    A higher MW, better support to lower income families, use of a wealth tax to reduce income tax on the many and the Fair Pay (industry award) legislation should help (as would a rent freeze).

    Another problem is that adopting income insurance going into a recession is not a sound business approach (as to its financial well-being).

    It is however one way to cater to people being supported through sickness (given ACC excludes this). An alternative is a scheme to cover just sickness but then there would be a need to also focus on improvement in workplace redundancy arrangements. Push that idea and watch industry accept income insurance.

    • Craig H 17.1

      That was why Business NZ agreed to be involved in the first place – cheaper than compulsory redundancy. Scrapping income insurance and going to forced redundancy payments plus expanding ACC to illness would be another option.

      • tWiggle 17.1.1

        And Hipkins mentioned the lack in ACC coverage for chronic illness in his reply to press questions on Tuesday. He suggested then that maybe the scope of ACC could be broadened.

  18. Gosman 18

    Having the Law commission look at hate speech laws will not remove the politics from the topic if they recommend any law changes that will criminalise hate speech.

  19. Maurice 19

    More likely A Bonfire of the Vanities

    OR Witch Burning?

  20. tsmithfield 20

    I see from the comments here that some seem quite happy to have the government drop policies on the basis of "whatever it takes to win".

    The question I have, is whether Labour should be honest with the voting population prior to the election about what policies they intend to bring back in should they win, and which they intend to cancel permanently.

    Because, Hipkins said he wanted to focus on bread and butter issues. To me, that suggests that once there has been enough focus on the bread and butter issues, then those shelved policies could be brought back to life.

    I am sure this will be an argument that National and Act will use prior to the election. So, I think it would be to Labour’s advantage to state a firm position on these issues.

    • weka 20.1

      I see from the comments here that some seem quite happy to have the government drop policies on the basis of "whatever it takes to win".

      That's one way of framing it. Another is that Labour recognise that some of the policies they've been pushing are not well liked by many NZ citizens. My take on that is that Labour were pursuing a Daddy knows best, classic centre left authoritarian position, and because of the stressors of recent years it's just not working. I'm relieved because of that.

      We're in the long crisis now and it's imperative that major policy brings people along. One of the biggest things NZ has going for it is that we still have a reasonably level of social cohesion. Not as much as we used to, but let's not erode it further.

      Besides, the obvious solution for lefties pissed off at Labour is to vote Green. It's MMP dudes.

      • Craig H 20.1.1

        I also got the impression that a lot of the big ticket items were agreed years ago, but becasue they took a long time to design, consult, redesign, reconsult, legislate etc, and deal with Covid, changes that would normally have been done in a year or two were only now coming to potential fruition, by which time some of them had run into "events, dear boy" so to speak.

        • weka 20.1.1.1

          that would make sense. Seems to me like lots of people don't realise just how big a deal the pandemic has been (and still is) in terms of impacts on government and policy.

      • tWiggle 20.1.2

        I read from Hipkins' press conference on Tuesday from his answers to media questions that he was well aware of perceived lack of transparency issues, as well as the bitsy-ness and over-extension of Labour's legislative committments this term.

    • Incognito 20.2

      When you wear binary binoculars, everything you see is B & W.

      You obviously don’t understand the nuance and context of the Government’s policy refocus and pay no attention to what the new PM has said.

      https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-takes-new-direction-policy-refocus

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/483510/chris-hipkins-says-it-s-inane-to-rule-anything-in-or-out

      Even if you get your absurd wish of categorically ruling in or out policies, a change of the guard (e.g. party leader) or major events can easily change things around, as is the case. There is no place in politics for absolutist fixations that you euphemistically label a ‘firm position’.

      • Louis 20.2.1

        yes Incognito

      • tsmithfield 20.2.2

        Thanks Weka, Incognito,

        But neither of you answered this question, and neither do the links.

        The question I have, is whether Labour should be honest with the voting population prior to the election about what policies they intend to bring back in should they win, and which they intend to cancel permanently.

        I will change the wording of that question so it is a little less perjorative:

        The question I have is whether Labour should, prior to the election, advise the voting public if either the cancelled or shelved policies could be reintroduced in the next term, should they win the next election.

        I think this question is a fair one, because if they don't have a clear position on this, or are seen to be fudging when asked by interviewers etc, then it will not look as good for them compared to if they have clear positions they can articulate.

        Because a clear point of attack for National/ACT will be that the policies people hate are really just being postponed, and that they will just have to deal with them again after the election.

        By being clear and open about this, Labour would be able to preemptively spike this attack.

        • observer 20.2.2.1

          Of course Labour should inform the voters before the election. So should every other party.

          We still have far more knowledge about Labour's intentions than National's. If you have any info about what National would do, please let us know.

          Whoever is in government, the country will still need a health system, water infrastructure, housing and much more. These things are not a "nice to have". They are the foundations of any society. We only know what National have promised to scrap. We know nothing at all about what they intend to put in its place.

          Nothing.

          • tsmithfield 20.2.2.1.1

            Thanks for that. I agree. They should. It will be interesting to see if they do.

            I will be interested what other policies are to be dropped or modified.

            Because, if they drop and modify too much, they risk being seen as National in drag. And then, even I would consider voting for them, LOL, as it wouldn't make much difference. But I think that would actually be quite sad. Personally, I think parties should actually stand up for what they believe in.

        • weka 20.2.2.2

          Hasn't Hipkins already talked about this? eg the hate speech law has been referred to the Law Commission (ie it's not been scrapped). Three Waters is being reworked.

          • tsmithfield 20.2.2.2.1

            Some things, yes. But, others, not so clear on.

            And, there is more water to go under this bridge yet.

            • weka 20.2.2.2.1.1

              maybe list the ones you are concerned about. Labour have a lot of policies.

              • tsmithfield

                Probably the Social Insurance scheme would be one. I know it has been shelved due to current economic conditions. But, would be interesting to know if they plan to bring that back in next term if the economic conditions allow it.

                And there are still more things they are looking at I understand.

                If they were to shelve/cancel fair pay agreement legislation, then they truly will have jumped firmly to the centre, and will not be very much different to National IMO.

                • Craig H

                  FPA legislation is not being repealed under a Labour government – it's as signature a piece of legislation as anything a Labour party could dream of doing.

            • Craig H 20.2.2.2.1.2

              Hipkins was clear in the press conferences that the manifesto would have the commitments Labour would be implementing in a third term if elected, and that would include any policies scrapped, paused or sent back for more work.

        • Incognito 20.2.2.3

          Nah, you’re still not getting it and simply repeating yourself. You don’t seem to know much about what has been happening since Hipkins became PM and how (and why) realpolitik works.

  21. Ad 21

    No one knows what Chris Hipkins stands for. Go through his speeches over years and see little more than a functional manager.

    No one knows what will be in the 2023 manifesto.

    No one has any idea of Hipkins values because he doesn't have any.

    His political track record is mixed at best.

    He doesn't yet demonstrate the difference between running the House and leading a country.

    His update shows only that he can kill policies and ministers, without courage or rationality.

    His aww shucks suburban boy schtick is useless other than to contrast with Ardern.

    He's near identical to Key in his first months and killing initiatives is easily comparable to National 2009.

    Hipkins simply isn't a Labour leader.

    • Maurice 21.1

      So Hipkins is not Labour Leader

      Luxon is not a leader …

      The Green Leadership is in flux

      That leaves Seymour as the Leader?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 21.2

      Chris Hipkins formally elected new New Zealand Labour leader, replacing outgoing prime minister Jacinda Ardern [22 January 2023]
      Mr Hipkins was the sole nominee from Labour's caucus to succeed Ms Ardern as leader after her bombshell announcement on Thursday that she was standing down due to exhaustion.

      Hipkins simply isn't a Labour leader.

      Maybe, but PM Hipkins is and has been the leader of the NZ Labour party since he was 'elected' unopposed by Labour's caucus, less than three weeks ago.

      What might follow logically from those facts and your "Hipkins simply isn't a Labour leader" assertion – Labour isn't Labour?

      Who was the last NZ Labour leader? Couldn’t be Ardern. She's a hard road finding the Labour leader who will please Ad. Still…

      Ahh, you really had me going there – well done!

  22. pretty fair assessment. last year was starting to amass a few mountains too high to climb too many and the government was seen to be over committed. this team is the right team.

  23. tsmithfield 23

    I will know Labour has truly lost their soul if they put tax indexation into their budget. Then it will be clear that they are trying to convince the electorate that they are so close to National, there isn’t any point in changing.

    Then, I truly won't care who wins the next election, because both parties will be so similar.

    • Incognito 23.1

      It has not been mooted by Labour before, in fact quite the opposite (cf. comments by David Parker), so where is this or rather where are you coming from?

      Do you want it in B & W, a watertight absolute assurance & guarantee? Anything else you can think of?

      If pigs fly, then I will believe in unicorns.

  24. newsense 24

    I feel almost like Hipkins should say about 3 Waters- screw it, canceled ,your council will have to do everything- so either poo on the street and flooding or enormous rate rises. I’m sure you all trust Wayne Brown and Phil Mauger. I’m sure they got you. No infrastructure, but stadiums.

    And take a new policy to the election. That’s not too dissimilar to the old one. But called something different.

    • Maurice 24.1

      At the moment smaller District Councils are building water services debt and putting some of that money into roading as fast as possible.
      https://figure.nz/chart/WltFQOK08buwxX0v-0io8Mu16eipQrAI2
      All that will be handed over to the Water Services will be strangled by debt and in hock to the lenders. The most damaging thing Government cold do would be to scrap the entire 3/5 waters legislation and leave the mess with Councils to try and sort out. As for the larger Auckland and Wellington Councils water services are already well below par and Christchurch is still recovering from under-insurance of water infrastructure after the Earthquakes. Some of the smaller District Councils appear to be in far better positions but many still have problem areas and there are numerous "boil water" notices in effect.

      https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/01/17/concern-as-nz-towns-boil-water-notice-in-place-for-28-years/

      The agency's head of regulatory Ray McMillan says they're still getting to the bottom of the term boil water notices.

      "The fact that we've got boil water notices that have been in effect for 30 years is really concerning."

      Under the Official Information Act 1News has learnt there's 82 current boil water advisories in place, of which 50 are more than six months old.

      Twenty-seven boil water notices, or around a third, are more than one year old. And there's 12 that have been in place longer than three years.

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