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The Standard’s political awards for 2022

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, December 30th, 2022 - 39 comments
Categories: act, Carmel Sepuloni, Christopher Luxon, climate change, david seymour, Deep stuff, jacinda ardern, michael wood, national, science, uk politics - Tags:

It is that time of year again where the events of the year are reviewed and what was notable, noteworthy and notorious.

And what a year it has been.  January 2022 seems like a decade ago.

Who can forget when earlier in the year a group of protestors borrowing the language of various progressive rights movements to claim that what they were campaigning for was right and virtuous while at the same time publicly calling for the execution of various politicians and public servants?

They are the recipient of the inaugural tinfoil hat award given in recognition of their bizarre take on reality and in particular because some of them were actually wearing tinfoil hats.

They also win the cry baby award for thinking they could turn up and occupy Parliament’s grounds, make actual threats of violence against the PM, MPs, Journalists, shop workers and anyone walking past and then complain about the slightest activity by the police in trying to keep order.  I am all for a good protest but really?

The award for the biggest misuse of allegations of conflict of interest goes to Simeon Brown whose continuous attacks on Nanaia Mahuta ended up with a report exonerating her stating that it found there was “no evidence of favouritism, bias, or undue influence”.

But the award for the biggest actual example of conflict of interest goes to National MP Barbara Kuriger who used her position to continuously attack MPI officials for successfully prosecuting her son on animal cruelty charges.  How she still remains in National’s caucus says much about its hypocrisy.

Brown features heavily in this year’s awards.  The award for the spokesperson who understands his or her portfolio the least again goes to him for his potholes campaign.  The problem clearly is a consequence of cutting budgets back during National’s last reign and climate change, neither of which should be blamed on this Government.

The Bermuda Triangle award goes to the National Party.  What happened to the Sam Uffindell report and what happened to National’s promises of openness and transparency?

Obsequious media article of the year was a hotly contested area but this piece from Fran O’Sullivan could not be beaten.  I challenge anyone else to watch the actual video and form the same positive conclusion that O’Sullivan reached.

The misspeak award can only go to one person, National leader Christopher Luxon.  Who else in one year could come up with such clangers as calling poor people bottom feeders and claiming that South Auckland Garages were breeding grounds for gang membership?  He also wins an award for worst apology of the year for saying he was sorry “if anyone was offended”.  All this coming from someone who confused Hawaii with Te Kuiti suggests that accuracy and sensitivity are not Luxon’s strong points.

Luxon also wins the complete lack of self awareness award for his performance in this interview with Jack Tame about climate change where he railed against the Government for working in “bumper stickers and headlines” while National has absolutely no policies or targets of its own to talk about.

The Marvin the Paranoid Android award for being utterly depressing goes to the National Party Caucus.

All year they have been on a real downer.  No matter what the Government has done National has been utterly, utterly negative about it.  Labour could have discovered a universal cure for Cancer and National would have complained about the cost.

Check this out if you need proof.

I get that this is what an opposition does but are they happy about anything?

The Taxpayer Union you really need to check this out award also goes to the National Party for using Parliamentary Services resources to fly to Australia to campaign. Maybe they were hoping we would not notice?  In any event the Auditor General should be checking this out.

The Out of Touch award goes to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who as part of a publicity stunt worked in a soup kitchen giving out food to the poor.

He was caught on film asking Ben if he worked in business.

Ben replied that he did not work and that he was homeless.

There are so many questions arising from this.  Like are there people who work in finance who frequent soup kitchens?  And why did Rishi ask Ben, who clearly looked like he was homeless, if he worked in finance?  Are there people who work in finance who look like they are homeless?

And the most precipitous descent into chaos award, last awarded to National in 2020 goes to the UK Conservative Party.

Who can ever forget the chaos of the Boris years, how he broke every rule in the political book as well as at least one law, or his final week where Ministers were racing each other in who was going to resign first.  He was then replaced by Liz Truss.  She campaigned on a right wing wet dream policy of tax cuts.  Having been elected she then found out that the market has a brain and even it did not think that unfunded tax cuts would achieve everything.

The most use of the word Woke in a political blog award has a clear winner, Martyn Bradbury!  He also won this award last year.  This is a rare feat.

I don’t get how someone nominally of the left buys so readily into a right wing attack phrase.  These debates ought to be happening on our terms, not theirs.

The nu fone who dis award goes to Gaurav Sharma.  Remember him?

Putting aside what happened earlier the level of shitfuckery involved in doing a confidential text dump on social media at the very time your leader is giving a post cabinet press conference is exceedingly high.

Despite what he had done the Caucus decided to give him one last chance.  There are some very gentle souls there.

And the genesis of his original complaint was his trenchant disbelief that the Whips stepped in to stop him from bullying his staff.  He then claimed them stopping him from bullying his staff was of itself a form of bullying.

He decided to let the good people of Hamilton West decide on his ability as an MP.  And they did this giving him less than 10% of the vote.

The runner up for this award is Sharma’s new party named Momentum which unfortunately for him lacked that particular characteristic its name suggested it might have.  It has since disappeared without trace.

The Arrogant Prick award goes hands down to David Seymour.  But he also gets the Right Winger who actually resembles a human being award for his signing with Jacinda Ardern of the Hansard record of the exchange which was then auctioned for charity for Prostate Cancer.  That an Arrogant Prick chose to do something for Prostate Cancer says something about New Zealand politics.

Quiet achiever of the year award goes to Carmel Sepuloni who has been methodically implementing the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.  One statistic that may amaze you given the vitriol sent her way is that up to March 2022 and since 2018 benefits had increased by 40% above the rate of inflation.  Sure recent high inflation rates may have affected this but I cannot think of such a sustained increase ever happening before.

Another statistic that should give you hope is that in 2021 66,500 children were lifted out of poverty.

Of course some still complain these steps are not enough and we still have too much poverty in Aotearoa but can I invite you to think about the alternative.  If there was a change of Government on day one it would be announced that there was a budgetary crisis.  And then after that either through actual cuts or letting increases slip behind the rate of inflation the real level of benefits would decline and poverty would increase.  This is the inevitable order of New Zealand politics.

The award for the politician who burned up the most political capital to achieve something good goes to Jacinda Ardern.  John Key burned up political capital on a grandiose flag referendum.  Jacinda burned up political capital keeping us alive.

And the opposition has been utterly disgraceful on the issue.  Leading the country through a once in a century global pandemic takes a lot of skill and when you look at the body count New Zealand did remarkably well.

Even Japan’s death rate is now higher than us.  Singapore is the only western country whose statistics can be trusted who is doing better than us.

The continuous attacks on New Zealand’s response by opposition MPs trying to score political points is getting really tiring.  This latest article by Act deputy leader Brooke Van Velden is typical.  She talks about the benefit of hindsight but still says that the Government should have loosened things up last Christmas.  At the time when Omicron was surging overseas.

The one thing you can say about these wannabe leaders is thankfully they were not in control during a time when cool heads and real leadership were required.

And the award for the best performance by a politician this year goes to …

drum roll …

Michael Wood for his achievements in getting the Fair Pay legislation passed, for guiding transport through a rough period and for making fundamental changes to the way that Waka Kotahi operates so that sustainable transport is more of a focus, for handling Immigration with care and for generally walking the talk on living by Labour Principles.

39 comments on “The Standard’s political awards for 2022 ”

  1. MickeyBoyle 1

    So in summary, National bad, Labour good.


    • mickysavage 1.1

      Pretty much.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        As some in the family said over Christmas commented "how can a Labour govt enact policy that results in over stimulating asset bubble then as the only solution we have the Reserve bank now implementing policy for a Recession as a solution to the over stimulated economy ?? "

        Supporters and those who see Labour as the solution – You should be totally ashamed of what you have supported – What regime will have caused more damage and a greater widening of the rich/poor divide – Lange or Adern governments ??? And we have not an iota of ownership of what damage has been caused over the last 2-3 years and to throw ONLY accolades towards Labour

        • DB Brown

          Deleted more snarky reply it wont help.

          This government did no such thing ("more damage and a greater widening of the rich/poor divide"). The pandemic, the bloody weather, the uncertain future we're now far more certain of, the inflation, the war, the Trump presidency. The pandemic that is STILL going. We're frayed because we're paying attention mate. Blaming the government is myopic and petty. Sure they aint perfect, but they're actually trying to help.

          The government did not turn up on a fine spring afternoon for a bit of a chat about things, they walked into crisis after crisis, as well as the mess made of health, housing, wages, etc.

        • Nic181

          Our government did its very best for New Zealanders in extraordinary circumstances. Those choosing to review that, with the benefit of hindsight and no empathy, are out of touch with reality. If Nat/ACT is the answer, you are asking the wrong question.

        • Craig H

          It was the advice of the Treasury – keep the country afloat with fiscal policy and deal with the inflation consequences later. As for why inflation is targeted via OCR increases to reduce spending which in turn reduces employment, that's the macroeconomic model we use – monetarism, as introduced as part of Rogernomics. I think Labour would do well to replace monetarism with something else, but that's a tough job to explain that in an election campaign.

        • We hear this said in right wing circles "widening the rich and poor divide", but growth in benefits wages and a revaluation of the housing ponzi, plus people's taxes and spending make a lie of that.

          Rises in basic benefits and earning allowances, Social housing, increased building, the improvements in rentals, the systems in place to support tenants, all have begun to improve things.

          Those who want thousands of migrants to work for them need to supply sound accommodation and transport, instead of expecting the public purse to provide.

          The recovery from the Pandemic is patchy world wide, but NZ has the 2nd lowest deaths per million, and has kept most people in work and underpinned business so that could happen.

          Ashamed!! Get a life. Personally I think this Government has shown resilience courage and care.

          I am proud of them. I am also proud of New Zealanders. Those who wish to believe with "hindsight" they could have done better are fooling themselves, by rationalising after the event(s).

          So far National do not even have any Policy for our future, though they expect us to believe they could do "better." ( I think they mean better for the top 5%)

          To quote our great PM. “there is even more mahi to do”.

      • So are you promoting Michael Wood as the next Labour leader ?

      • Anker 1.1.3
        • Not so sure the voters agree with you Mickey if you look at the polls
    • Powerman 1.2

      MickeyBoyle, you got that right just as Labour have.

      [I fixed tiny error in e-mail address and removed URL from your comment. This is the third and last time – Incognito]

  2. Incognito 2

    Fair Play legislation, I love it laugh

    [Haha oops will correct – MS]

  3. Great summary of a weird year. Further the the UK Conservative Party's "Descent into Chaos" award, here's a funny and well written evisceration of the British media

    'I Will Make You Hurt': 2022 & the Media (bylinesupplement.com)

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    To paraphrase an old saying on humanity…“50% of New Zealanders are awful, and the other 50% are not that much better”…

    In the third decade of the 21st Century, only 5 million in a beautiful, productive, long narrow country, there remains a steaming pile of immediate issues. “We never flung any poop”–well good for you–minus the odd brick or two.

    But “poop” in the form of working class organisation does need to be flung if we are ever to rid NZ of Rogernomics, break the Aussie bank stranglehold and re-nationalise public infrastructure and services.

  5. Another retrospective on 2022 from Australia. A similar review of NZ's biggest companies would be instructive.

  6. Mike the Lefty 6

    On the subject of Martin Bradbury's blog's use of the term "woke".

    After being a regular contributor on that blog for several years I gradually got sick and tired of his obsession with the term. It became a reason for anything that he didn't like. Woke this – woke that – everyone was woke, the whole political left was woke, etc….

    But he never could define what woke was, or what it really meant. I don't know either, it seems to be purely a collective subjective term for any quasi-political views that someone else doesn't like and doesn't understand but it actually can mean anything or nothing at all.

    I'm glad that it only rarely appears on this blog, instead of being in practically every sentence on The Daily Blog.

    Happy new year everyone.

    • DB Brown 6.1

      Woke used to have meaning, basically non-homophobic/non-sexist/non-racist. Those awake to the problems manifest from colonisation, institutionalisation, religion…

      Now it's a lazy pejorative of the right, alongside commie, antifa, tree hugger and various other sad wankery. A rally cry for delusional 'real men'.

      • Mike the Lefty 6.1.1

        That's a pretty good definition, thanks.

      • Shanreagh 6.1.2

        Yes thanks. After being told on here that I am both woke and non -woke by my least favourite poster and being thoroughly confused and hurt, your explanation about how it is now used as a rightist pejorative makes sense to me. It also makes it easier to comprehend the posts as being written by a rightist, they always pulled me up short as I thought the insults were from a leftie to me a leftie.

        • Anne

          Yes Shanreagh, I went through the same process. The fact we are both women is also relevant. Misogyny runs deep among the right-wing bloggerati (my word). However, once the unsuspecting target realises who they are… it becomes water off a duck's back.

          • Shanreagh

            Yes cheers Anne.

            And finding unannounced right-wingers on this blog can pull me up short as well. I respect the ones who have come on here, announced themselves and are issues based. The snipers from both/all sides from the back row not so much.

            The movement of woke from Ok to pejorative, and right wingery explains much.

            All the best for the New Year Anne. smiley

            • Anne

              Same to you Shanreagh.

              Yes, there are some good commenters here who openly admit they are Centre Right. They are intelligent and they're comments usually well thought through. They come at a topic from a different standpoint which is often valid and useful.

              tsmithfield is a good example.

      • Couldn't have put it better.

        From an article in The Independent: The word "woke" originated in African American Vernacular English to refer to being "woken up" to" or alert to issues around racial injustice. ……Boris Johnson, with reference to a newly elected Joe Biden, said " nothing wrong with being woke" and that it was "important to stick up for your history, your traditions and your values, the things you believe in. From an article by Kate Ng – Friday 22 January 2021

        In support of DB Browns earlier post.

      • Paul Campbell 6.1.5

        My take on "woke" is the same as "politically correct" it's a term that people on the left originally used to gently make fun of their compatriots who went a little too far, that was adopted and redefined by the right to mean something that they thought was far worse …..

    • Anne 6.2

      Yes I remember you on TDB Mike the Lefty. You were one of the better quality commenters. I used to comment there up until a few years ago but the constant slagging of the government drove me away.

      I remember the occasion when Bradbury was thrown off the RNZ 'Panel' all those years ago. He was strident, rude and generally obnoxious in the way he presented his pov. He's never been invited back as far as I know and it was his own fault.

  7. Rosemary McDonald 7

    They also win the cry baby award for thinking they could turn up and occupy Parliament’s grounds, make actual threats of violence against the PM, MPs, Journalists, shop workers and anyone walking past and then complain about the slightest activity by the police in trying to keep order. I am all for a good protest but really?

    You're how old MickySavage? Surely you remember this standout protest from Labour and the Lefties from back in 2012?


    The one when the stalwarts dragged the guillotine through the streets of Auckland then with great merriment decapitated Key, English, Collins and Bennett. Resplendent with fake blood. A very well supported event with most of us hating the thought of flogging the family silver for short term gain. But guillotines and life sized photo cut-outs of the enemy being dispatched? Really?

    Oh, and the 'slightest activity' of the police? You might want to watch footage from the protest that wasn't shot by the Government's stenographers. Or not.

    Your Party might not acknowledge this fact Greg, but something broke that day.


    • weka 7.1

      there is a difference between political theatre (guillotines on protests etc), and making threats on MPs. This isn't 2012, it's post-Trump and the storming of the Capitol building where people were intent on killing and insurrection. I have no trouble believing that some on parliament grounds were at least extremely negligent in their rhetoric about executions and likely would have carried that out if they had the power.

      If you have evidence that the protestors in 2012 wanted and intended to execute MPs, then show it. Otherwise the comparison is spurious and lacking in any real political analysis.

      Oh, and the 'slightest activity' of the police? You might want to watch footage from the protest that wasn't shot by the Government's stenographers. Or not.

      You misunderstand. He's not referring to the police eventually taking strong action against the protestors. He's referring to the complaints about any action however mild.

      Your Party might not acknowledge this fact Greg, but something broke that day.

      I agree. The government handled it badly, and the protestors handled it badly. All round bad.

      Got anything to say about Counterspin's involvement? Until the VFF and associated movements are willing to front up and be honest about the issues being raised about the protest, then it's hard to respect them. It's also hard to understand why they don't. Is it denial, or do they not think those issues are a problem?

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.1.1

        If you have evidence that the protestors in 2022 wanted and intended to execute MPs, then show it.

        And let us not forget…many of the people in Wellington had very real concerns about the safety of the Pfizer product that was(and still is is some sectors) being forced upon people who had already had adverse reactions to the shots. Some had family and friends who had died very close to having a shot. These people were protesting for their livelihoods and their lives. Asset sales…all a bit meh in comparison.

        And before you get all hand-wavey moderator about injuries from the Pfizer shot being talked about as perhaps a real thing… https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-anti-vaxxers-dr-kerryn-phelps-says-she-suffered-covid-vaccine-injury-calls-for-more-research-20221220-p5c7ry.html ….its just about mainstream now.

        (What do you think the odds are of a couple BOTH having severe adverse reactions to the Pfizer shot if such reactions are as rare as we have been told???)

        He's not referring to the police eventually taking strong action against the protestors.

        Perhaps 'spray and walk away' Greg could pop back in and let me know if he watched the non MSM footage I provided which clearly shows the police action on the 10th February 2022 was anything but 'slight'. Unfortunately he'd have to watch the entire footage to get the full context.

        And he won't do that.

        [The rest of this sub-thread has been moved to OM (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-01-01-2023/#comment-1928796), as it was off-topic and derailing the Post – Incognito]

        • Incognito

          You haven’t changed a bit and are still flinging poop here.

          Yes, more research is always good.

          Up to and including 30 November 2022, a total of 184 deaths were reported to CARM after the administration of the Comirnaty vaccine.


          So far, only 2 deaths have been “determined by the Coroner to be due to myocarditis following first dose Covid-19 (Pfizer) vaccination”.

          By chance, some people will experience new illnesses or die from a pre-existing condition shortly after vaccination, especially if they are elderly. Therefore, part of our review process includes comparing natural death rates to observed death rates following vaccination, to determine if there are any specific trends or patterns that might indicate a vaccine safety concern. See below for more information about these observed-versus-expected analyses.

          To date, the observed number of deaths reported after vaccination is actually less than the expected number of natural deaths. [my emphasis]

          The couple that you are referring to from your link had indeed adverse reactions. However, there’s nothing in the article about severity or rarity of those events. In other words, you made it up, again.

          As far as MickySavage is concerned, by my count he posted 192 Posts under his name this year and a few more under notices and features. Your twisted narrative is grossly inaccurate, as usual.

  8. Gary 8

    Thank goodness for a post which acknowledges some good from this government. If you read The Herald or listen to Newstalk ZB, you'd think we were Armageddon.

  9. I think that the reserve bank made a mis-judgement when it made cheap money available to all. It should have been targeted towards struggling businesses and first home buyers. Instead avaricious property speculators took huge advantage of this windfall in their favour and hence the obscene rise in domestic property values.

    • Property was used as an investment vehicle instead of shelter by a portion of the Public, and AirB&B has a great deal to answer for!! imo. A shortage always increases the price of a commodity.

  10. Peter 10

    I remember Gaurav Sharma. He was the guy who went on a little rave about the misuse of taxpayers money by MPs, an allegation checked and proven to be wrong.

    To celebrate, he resigned causing a by-election which apparently cost taxpayers up to a million dollars.

  11. Hunter Thompson II 11

    MS, you forgot the "Bury a major constitutional change in a Bill and if we're caught out we'll say it was all a mistake" award.

    Or call it "The Climbdown of the Year" award for short.

    Several contenders for that one.

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