Third termitis

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 15th, 2015 - 69 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, john key, national, national/act government, rodney hide, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags: ,

John Key morphing to muldoon

Well that happened quickly.

I have dreamt since day one back in November 2008 that this National Government would revert to form and that people would see it for what its historical mission always destined it to be, a party for big business by the wealthy and supported by the belligerent.  Then we could count down the days to its final denouement.

I have been a keen follower of political history.  I was politically active back in 1975 and witnessed Rob Muldoon take the country by storm and then over the next nine years wreck it.  He was an odious man, the extent of his skills as a chartered accountant meant that he was barely fit to run a small dairy let alone a country but through his aggressiveness and his insistence that he remained fully in control he almost destroyed the country.  But it took nine long years to get rid of him.  And losing the 1981 election because of the Springbok tour when the forces of justice were marginalised by the forces of the state and the insane decision to let the Springboks tour despite international obligations to the contrary taught me a great deal about politics.  Muldoon and National had this keen ability to peer into the darkest areas of a Kiwi’s soul and appeal to their baser instincts.

It looks like we should again start counting down to the end of this National Government.  Two totally unrelated issues will mean, I am sure, that this Government is toast.  And in this term.

The first issue is that of SkyCity.  You can tell how serious the issue was because of the timing of the release of news of the increased cost, December 20 is the graveyard day of graveyard days for the release of any sensitive information.

And when you review the history and the wide boy tactics that SkyCity used to stitch up a deal you really get a sense that a deal was concluded but then knowing they were in a superior position they relitigated it and relitigated it until the concessions flowed.  These guys have perfected the art in various countries of sucking in imbecile politicians with the idea that a Convention Centre or enhanced gambling will deliver to them economic nirvana.  As has been said Convention Centre advocates are like Monorail advocates but with better PR.

SkyCity is that devoid of humanity that it attempted to negotiate a reduction in the minimum gambling age.  Get that?  We can help the corporate bottom line by allowing younger and younger people to become gambling addicts.  Is nothing sacred to them?  If ever you wanted an example of corporate scum this is it.

Every political instinct in National’s collective consciousness should be screaming that providing further support to SkyCity is utterly insane.  If you want to read an utterly rational and compelling argument why the deal should be cancelled then you can do no better than Matthew Hooton’s NBR column where no doubt for legal reasons he toned down the appropriate description of the SkyCity deal as being “close to corruption”.

And as reported by Fran O’Sullivan some money is going to be paid.  From her recent Herald article:

The problem is that Joyce has been letting it be known within the commercial sector that the Government will eventually meet SkyCity somewhere on the cost overruns. This undercuts the Government’s negotiating hand.

Key may prove us wrong.  But it appears that he and Joyce are hopelessly compromised and cannot afford to risk backing out of the deal or paying more money, no matter what the political damage is.

And if any further money is paid then it can be rightfully claimed that this government is selling state houses so that it can pour more money into a convention centre controlled by a casino.  John Armstrong’s previous suggestion that the deal was verging on banana republic stuff could then be redefined with “verging on” being replaced with “is”.

The second issue is the ongoing question on when Key and National knew about Mike Sabin’s issues.  Sabin is gone.  He obviously has personal issues that are best dealt with outside of Parliament but with even hardened National supporters like Cameron Slater saying that the story was almost too horrible for words you know things are not good.

The issue is when did Key learned of Sabin’s problems.  If it was before the last election the question will be why did he not do anything about it.  If it was after the election then the question will be why did he appoint Sabin as chair of the Law and Order committee or allow him to remain there?

Readers will be aware that I have been very cautious to edit comments suggesting a link between Sabin’s personal issues and the prosecution of a prominent New Zealander in an unknown court for unknown offences.  The Speaker’s comments this week threw this into a bit of turmoil however.  Andrew Little’s speech suggesting that Sabin was under police investigation, which had been commented on by the media, was met with a response by the speaker that details had been suppressed by a court.  The disclosure creates unusual legal issues but as pointed out by Andrew Geddis caution should still be exercised.

We then had the fascinating experience of Police Minister Michael Woodhouse claim it was not in the public interest for him to disclose the date he was told of Sabin’s difficulties by the Police.  To complete the sense of absurdity he did not turn up in Parliament to answer questions last Thursday on when his office told Key’s office and Gerry Brownlee fronted the issue instead.  Brownlee claimed that it was not even in the public interest for us to be told when the Police Minister told the PM’s office of Sabin’s difficulties.

The claim of public interest is absurd, particularly when it comes to when the Police Minister told Key’s office what was happening.  As Rodney Hide said today in the Herald (yes you read that correctly),

[t]he questions that Government ministers won’t answer are precisely the ones that should be. And how can it be in the public interest not to be told the date of a briefing? Nothing other than political embarrassment can hang on that.

I fear ministers are confusing public interest with their own interest. It’s easy to see why.

To tell us who was briefed, and on what date, would be to tell us who was responsible for such an appalling and unacceptable undermining of Parliament.

But that’s how accountability works. Sure, it’s in ministers’ interest to duck and weave. But that is not the public interest.

And, yes, Sabin is gone. But a problem lingers: on what date were relevant ministers briefed about the police investigation – and why did they take no action?

It’s very uncomfortable. That’s all the more reason why we need answers.

Meanwhile the Herald confirmed from two sources that former minister Tolley and another minister, presumably the Justice Minister who by then would have been Amy Adams, were told in September that an MP was being investigated.  Who knew what when has the potential of being politically explosive.  And no John Armstrong, the issue is not a fizzer.

We live in strange days when Matthew Hooton and the NBR and Rodney Hide are offered up as the voices of sanity on a proudly left wing blog.

Either the SkyCity issue or the Sabin issue have the potential of causing immense damage to National.  The combination of the two should make this Government all but terminal.

69 comments on “Third termitis ”

  1. Murray Rawshark 1

    The whole Sabin business is incredibly Kafkaesque. The convention centre is cargo cult banana republic stuff, as corrupt as the day is long. We have a government regime which is terminally dysfunctional. In the national interest, I can only hope that the suppression order is lifted on Thursday. I am sick and tired of things being done in the NActional interest.

    • sean kearney 1.1

      This country was never much of a democracy. It was set up as the UK’s farm just as Australia was a mega prison. Don’t think anything has changed or will change anytime soon. Its going to take something truly awful like the TPPA before the public wakes up and even then given how demonstrably stupid at least 47% have proven to be I still have my reservations.

      • Naturesong 1.1.1

        We had an upper house from 1852.
        It was not democratic, it’s members being picked at the request of whoever was the PM (think of an upper house with partisan selection like the US Supreme court, but without the public debate).

        Rather than fix it by having the upper house elected, parliament (Labour in govt IIRC) allowed it to lapse in 1950.
        Since then, there have been a number of bills put forward for an upper house, or senate – most suggesting about 30 odd members.

        Personally, I’m in favour of an upper house with veto power only. It’s members elected solely from tribal signatories to the treaty.
        It’d solve the sovereignty argument as well. Job Done.

        Weirdly, whenever I mention it in public, the blood drains from most peoples faces. As if I’d suggested eating a baby.

  2. dv 2

    >> I can only hope that the suppression order is lifted on Thursday

    If the rumours are true about the charges I suspect the order won’t be lifted.

  3. sean kearney 3

    If anything is going to get rid of this toxic government it will be the TPPA. Unlike Japan and France which have balked at the deal in its various forms, I suspect Keys will simply sign us up to corporate governance and all that entails. The corrupt MSM will lie as per usual but once the effects start to be felt by people this party will be history and will stay so for a very long time.

    • Colonial Rawshark 3.1

      You might say that National will sign us up to it, but will Labour vote for it. I’m guessing: YES.

    • Wayne 3.2

      I don’t think TPP will happen without Japan. The US Congress will see that as bottom line.

      It seems to me that all the critical negotiating is now between the US and Japan. With PM Abe back in power, he will deliver something credible. Sure there will be opposition in Japan, but Abe with his new mandate will push through that.

      The US election is now 21 months away. President Obama will see TPP and the equivalent EU deal as a major part of his legacy. I would expect to see deals ready to be ratified by various parliaments by the end of this year.

      And rather than harming National, it will strengthen National. I think it is one of those things that John Key has the ability to sell to middle New Zealand as a big success. Sure the Greens and the left of Labour will oppose it, but the Nats never get any support from those quarters anyway.

      Question; What will Andrew Little and parliamentary Labour do when presented with the deal. It will be fundamentally an up or down vote. Amendments will not be possible. My guess is a “yes” vote, but saying that would have negotiated harder.

      • vto 3.2.1

        Wayne, why does your government let drug-selling businesses into the health-component negotiations of the TPP but refuses to let medical people in?

        Wayne, your lot has it totally arse-upended. Fancy letting mercenary bloody big pharmaceutical companies in on the deal and not our own healthcare workers and doctors?

        What frikkin’ planet are you on Wayne?

      • dv 3.2.2

        Wayne.
        Do you think Key will tell the truth about TPP?

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.2.3

        Repetition of misleading information, Wayne.

        Here is an excerpt of a Prof Jane Kelsey’s press release:

        “Key must stop misleading NZers that Parliament has power over the TPPA
        Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 8:59 am
        Press Release: Jane Kelsey

        1 October 2013

        Key must stop misleading NZers that Parliament has power over the TPPA

        ‘The government seems intent on misleading New Zealanders that Parliament will have the final say about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement’, said Professor Jane Kelsey.

        The Prime Minister claimed again on TV3s Firstline this morning that Parliament gets to debate and ratify the treaty once it is agreed.

        ‘This mistruth has been repeated so many times by Ministers and National MPs that it has to a deliberate attempt to defuse growing concerns about the secrecy of these negotiations and anti-democratic nature of the agreement’.

        The Cabinet Manual says, in unequivocal terms: ‘7.112: In New Zealand, the power to take treaty action rests with the Executive.’

        In practice, that means the Cabinet. Cabinet decides whether to enter into negotiations, the negotiating mandate and any revisions to it, and what trade-offs are made to conclude a deal.

        Cabinet then approves the signing of the text agreed to by the Minister.

        The Cabinet Manual confirms that by signing an agreement the executive is indicating an intention for New Zealand to be bound to that text.

        This constitutes a good-faith obligation under international law. Parliament does not get to see the text until after it is signed.

        The text is then tabled in Parliament and referred to a select committee. But the committee cannot change the text. Nor can Parliament.

        Even if a parliamentary majority voted against the TPPA, Cabinet still has the power to ratify it – and would be expected to under international law.”

        • vto 3.2.3.1

          You may know TMM… if the TPPA required that elections be discarded from our system, can the executive really bind the nation to that?

          What if it didn’t cancel our votes completely but significantly diminished its power in other ways?

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.2.3.1.1

            …like having corporations threatening to sue if we decide to make a law to protect the environment (like the Lone Pine threat because Quebec want a moratorium on fracking)?

            • vto 3.2.3.1.1.1

              Exactly. It reduces what laws we can make. Our vote is diminished significantly. Consitutional.

              How on earth can Key and cronies have such an enormous power? They don’t.

              • Tautoko Mangō Mata

                ..because we have a snake oil salesman peddling (see Wayne’s comment about TPPA: “I think it is one of those things that John Key has the ability to sell to middle New Zealand as a big success.”
                Unfortunately this government have either intimidated or belittled any academics with views that oppose the NAct agenda and it has been hard for them to get their information out to the public who are largely unaware and distracted by the everyday struggle to make ends meet.

        • Wayne 3.2.3.2

          If you read my comment again, you will see that is what I was saying. I essence I agree with Jane.

          However the implementation of TPP will require changes to domestic law (copyright periods, etc), so ratifying by the government (Cabinet) will not be enough. But as Jane notes it is an up or down vote.

          • millsy 3.2.3.2.1

            So you do admit that the TPPA will see changes in our law, that will leave most New Zealander’s worse off, in terms in access to creative content, access to education and health care, having to pay more for utilities, even having their pay and conditions slashed.

            We will have a US style health system by lunchtime I suppose? You nats have always had a beef with NZer enjoying access to affordable healthcare..

            I hope Labour grows a backbone and votes against the TPPA.

      • Olwyn 3.2.4

        Your comment raises more questions than it answers Wayne. Sure there will be opposition in Japan, but Abe with his new mandate will push through that. you say, and …I think it is one of those things that John Key has the ability to sell to middle New Zealand as a big success. Sure the Greens and the left of Labour will oppose it, but…

        So, both in Japan and here, the successful completion of the TPP rests on politicians’ ability to dupe and dominate, and not on any inherent or certain good that will be brought about by this agreement. So, who and what exactly is this agreement good for then, and why are bulldozing and subterfuge so necessary to its completion?

        It looks so me positively terrifying from a have-nots point of view, since corporate privilege would seem to finally lock out any chance they may have for improvement. It is no doubt good for those who close the deal, since they will then be regarded as trustworthy international players, with the attendant invitations and appointments. But the main good sought seems to be confirmed club membership, conditional on the abandonment of meaningful sovereignty. This is where the biggest questions lie. At what point do the club’s dues become more costly to our society than exclusion from it, and how much bargaining power at that level do we really have? It looks as if the only bottom line NZ currently has is, keep enough of the middle class happy to avoid insurrection.

      • tricledrown 3.2.5

        Wayne their will be no benefit to New Zealand as Agricultural trade will be overlooked completely because rural electorates hold the balance of power in Japan and the US.
        This will allow the TPP to go ahead.

        • rawshark-yeshe 3.2.5.1

          Our GM free days will be gone and Monsanto will be able to sue us for disallowing their GM and Roundup saturated and poisoned fruit and veg into our soils and food chain in Aotearoa.

          We will be powerless and be destroyed if we allow this to trickle in.

          Where is the Marilyn Waring of 2015 please ?? We need a brave and honest heroine or hero to call this madness for what it is is.

  4. freedom 4

    Some days, I imagine the information shared on The Standard is a shiny orb of reality floating across the nation, being seen by every Tom, Beck, and Mary with a newspaper. I picture their solidarity stirring, as their gaze tracks up from the coffee clouds to read “SkyCity is that devoid of humanity that it attempted to negotiate a reduction in the minimum gambling age.”

    I know they would likely have the same questions, if instead of comments on the PM’s hair, they read “Andrew Little’s speech suggesting that Sabin was under police investigation…was met with a response by the speaker that details had been suppressed by a court. ”

    Then that bubble bursts and the sting in the eyes reminds me how the MSM are staffed by people who sold out the fourth estate a long long time ago.

    So I grab the link and share it wherever I can 🙂

  5. Jay 5

    This is wishful thinking, I doubt the government will be damaged by either issue. Will be interesting to see the next poll though. They’ve come through far worse without a scratch.

    In my opinion the reason many on the left hate Key is the same reason kiwis used to hate Shane Warne – he’s just too good.

    Didn’t Dotcom say that Key could shoot kittens and people would still love him? Something like that anyway.

    Unless something major happens (like Key dying for example), I can’t see National losing the next election either. Once he leaves politics though it’ll be game on again.

    I wonder is there another John Key waiting in the wings in any of the parties? Maybe Nash? We’re all only human, and the cult of personality will always reign supreme.

    I know this will make most who read this blog gnash their teeth, but the fact is it’s basically impossible to compete with Key – love him or hate him, he’s just too bloody good.

  6. wyndham 6

    The NACT sycophant Peter Dunne is also showing unease these days and is obviously seeing which way the wind blows. I wonder who he will find it “reasonable” to support over the next couple of years!

  7. tc 7

    Yes mickey interesting times but Rortney is all about rortney and positioning himself for a comeback imo after the shafting he got from key and co when he delivered for them by slamming through supershity.

    State housing sell offs is a bigger stinker than yet another dodgy nat mp, theres been so many now. A clear broken election promise and further abdication of state responsibility to the vulnerable and wealth transfer from state to private.

    I look forward to a royal commission on SCF when they go if possible as the stench will enrage many who lost money with bryers, hotchin, graham, etc to tatoo on who got taken in a lest we forget manner.

    Skycity and sabin are serious issues, but in true DP style its all about those higher standards they set and slither under cheered on by the msm puppets so the sheeple expect corruption and they dont dissapoint.

    • Murray Rawshark 7.1

      So much that they do stinks to high heaven, it’s hard to know which is worst. The selloff of state housing is a blatantly dishonest asset sale, once more lining their mates’ pockets.

      Sky City is cargo cult banana republic corruption.

      The TPPA is a weak signing away of any sovereignty we have left, but FJK and co think it’ll get them let into the secret big boys’ room and they really want to see what happens in there.

      Spying on us 24 hours a day on behalf of the US and A is vile and disgusting.

      Protecting an extremely sus ex-poaka thug and keeping him in a poaka oversight role is almost unbelievable. The problem isn’t just another dodgy NAct MP, it’s how they circled the wagons.

      Sending our troops to give a smidgen of credibility to another imperial adventure is obscene.

      The attack on free speech and intellectual freedom when Eleanor Catton spoke out was worthy of Idi Amin.

      This is by far the worst government I can remember, and they get away with it because Key puts something to sleep in the Kiwi psyche.

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1

        Yeah and Labour puts something to sleep in the Kiwi psyche as well.

        • Murray Rawshark 7.1.1.1

          At the very last, they don’t wake up whatever it is that Key has put to sleep. The rules of parliament are designed to prevent it happening, yet they insist on playing by those rules.

          I would love to live in a country where, if someone committing vile and disgusting acts were uncovered in government ranks, the opposition stood one by one and spoke about it in detail, each new member carrying on from the one the Speaker had removed. They could then stand with concerned people outside Parliament, rather than helping spread the rot inside it. (The vile and disgusting acts could be, for example, getting Whalespew to attack public servants. It need not even be so bad as what we are all thinking.)

          • rawshark-yeshe 7.1.1.1.1

            this would be a grand thing, but innocent until proven guilty. but once that someone or someones had pleaded guilty already ? A grand activism indeed.

            • Murray Rawshark 7.1.1.1.1.1

              With the example I gave, Whalespew was never charged. Nor were any of the NAct MPs.
              With a possible other example, my understanding is that when someone is remanded for a disputed facts hearing, they have already pleaded guilty.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                Yes MurrayR, I agree with you.

                Just as an example, a disputed facts hearing would in open court, even if suppression orders remain in place ?

                Perhaps we could meet for a coffee later this week ?

                • Murray Rawshark

                  I don’t know what reasons a judge can use to close their court, but I’m assuming that saving a NAct government from embarrassment would rate highly as motivation.

                  As far as coffee goes, that would depend very much on what part of the world you’re in. I’ll be in Te Tai Tokerau.

                  • rawshark-yeshe

                    Ah, I was thinking more south around Waitemata and Waitakere ? Maybe I can just imagine having a coffee with you and look forward to reading what you might be able to say.

                    And yes, that would be high motivation, wouldn’t it ? Let’s see if that could ever happen in lil’ ol’ NZ.

  8. The premise of this article is that the people have power and once they see through the lies and deceptions of the state they can exercise it.
    The problem is that because the NACTs run NZ in the NACTional interest, they have taken control of the media, the bureaucracy and the judiciary.
    Which means they have also taken control of the elections.
    This leaves those who firmly believe that capitalism can be reformed by people exercising their power to elect social democratic governments stalemated.
    This is no surprise to Marxists who understand that the state is that of the ruling class and must do what is necessary to defend that class rule.
    Dirty Politics was the crunch point.
    It was THE election issue which was turned against the left ideologically committed to parliamentary politics that preferred to fight itself than fight ‘dirty’ and do deals to win seats.
    That proved more than anything that social democracy was more scared of the socialist left than of the pro-imperialist right.
    That marked the death of social democracy.
    Parliamentary democracy is now powerless in a growing economic and military confrontation between the declining US and the rising China where both regimes are run governed by the plutocratic 1%.
    This power struggle sucks all nations into its orbit eliminating any remaining national sovereignty for social democracy to contest.
    Its sheer economic power backed by the media and the internet eliminates any attempt to resist it unless on its own terms – class war – where the left continues to shoot itself in the foot.
    It forces the left to rethink how to fight, how to use parliament as a forum to mobilise opposition, rather than as a vehicle for ‘humanising’ capitalism.
    The left in NZ needs to look to what is happening in Europe as the EU begins to fracture over the bankrupt PIGS.
    The attempt by Syriza to negotiate a deal that can avoid intensifying austerity for Greek workers is doomed, and Greek workers will draw this lesson sooner or later.
    They will see the need to repudiate the debt and leave the EU.
    The fate of Syriza will prove that small states like NZ must break out of the imperialist death struggle as independent socialist republics, or submit to neverending terror, mindless wage slavery and ecological disaster.

  9. swordfish 9

    You may well be right, Mickey.

    The detailed breakdowns of leadership polls over the last few years suggest to me that Key’s/National’s popularity revolves not so much around public perceptions of honesty as around perceptions of basic competence.

    Despite the assumptions of some on the Left that Key’s image had remained entirely untarnished up until the Dirty Politics scandal erupted, his honesty ratings had, in fact, been slowly but steadily eroding for quite some time – down more than 20 percentage points since 2009.

    And yet the Nats remained high in the polls. Why ? I think because a section of Nat voters were holding their noses and pragmatically*** placing perceived economic / leadership competence above concerns about dishonesty.

    *** (to use a somewhat generous construction)

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      I think you are on to something here. And not just “competence” mate, but relative competence.

      Also worth asking – competence at what exactly – is the electorate perceiving.

      • tricledrown 9.1.1

        Their back pockets wallets bank accounts house values buying power.
        They are satisfied with National and National are able through honest John your average likeable (rogue trader) imagery!
        Keep that 2 to 3% of voters who turn out on election day in Nationals back pocket.
        To make any lasting change the left have to unify agree where they disagree, Then work together to get say only 10% of the non voters to turn out.
        Having 2 to 3 opposition parties that can’t work together is a huge advantage to National.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Agreed Swordfish. The main reason the tories are doing so badly in Australia is that Abbott has none of the attributes of Key despite them both having the same world view. Key’s public persona is much more cleverly designed.

      Dirty politics had some of us incensed, but we were anti National in any event. Their supporters appeared to be prepared to put up with the behaviour as long as Key kept delivering. For his party backers this was the usual mix of smaller state, privatisation and tax cuts. For ordinary people it was as basic as a job and confidence that the country was heading in the right direction.

      For different reasons these two issues have the potential to upset these groups in a way that dirty politics was never able to.

      Interesting times …

  10. newsense 10

    Also the way that a party is exempt from the official infomation act, due to ‘a loophole’.

  11. adam 11

    It is funny how all the Tories end up looking like Rob.

    I think unlike what some have said, this is the left’s obsession with Key. Nope. This is the lefts obsession with good governance.

    This is a government, of two or three ministers and a PM. The rest of the Tory scum seem to be going to parliament, to eat their lunch. And we are seeing the wheels come off those ministers who do any work in this government.

    Gerry Brownlee is looking more and more, like the guy you wheel out, when there is not another guy you can wheel out. Even he looks like he’s not buying his own propaganda. After the security breach, his creditability is almost zero. Can he lie straight, mmmm?

    Joyce is another one who is looking more and more incompetent as we progress slowly into a third term. Novapay – still a mess…

    Any replacements for the Tories? Nope – they all look pretty wish-washy or ideological crackpots.

  12. Mooloo magic 12

    People who have voted National for the last 3 or 4 elections seem to give unconditional loyalty and trust to the Key government. They have become like the three monkeys, see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil.
    Dirty Politic did not impact on their blind loyalty to this corrupt regime and I fear despite the Sky City fiasco and the sheer stupidity of the National party to allow a candidate and sitting MP’s name to go on the voting papers knowing full well he was under investigation for a heinous crime. The fact that the PM appointed him as chairman of the law and Order Select committee demonstrates where Key and his party’s moral code is; which should concern all Kiwi’s.
    Dirty politics, Judith Collins controversy, Sabin scandal and the Sky city fiscal should have even the most loyal of National supporters questioning their loyalty. Unfortunately National supporters seemed to have taken their led from the PM and his lack of a moral compass plus their inability to think for themselves as they all seem to be influenced by talking heads like Hosking, Henry, Williams, Gower etc

    • tc 12.1

      Loyal Nat supporters would vote in any donkey with a blue ribbon, it’s the non voters and swingers who change govt loyal Nat voters always go blue.

      The course is set with State housing sell off, TPPA, sky city, Sabin and the albatross that is Collins and her antics exposed in DP amongst others like novo pay, charter schools, rising power prices etc.

      If little can keep his caucus and crew on message with each assigned an issue, not scare the horses with CGT and others then I can’t see the swingers and non voters allowing the NACT wrecking crew a 4th term.

      A narrative of wilful selling out and corruption needs to be built up, the NACT will do as they do to assist.

  13. hoom 13

    I don’t see how these scandals are really any different than the *innumerable* previous ones dating back to before he was leader of the NACTS.

    Sure the media makes some noise now, but in a couple of weeks they will be ‘Report cleared… PM tired of questions…’ and thats the last they’ll say until after the next election/in passing during the *next* scandal.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Every political instinct in National’s collective consciousness should be screaming that providing further support to SkyCity is utterly insane.

    Well, it looks like National have been having more <a href=""backroom talks with SkyCity:

    SkyCity has agreed to change its plans for a controversial Auckland convention centre to meet the original budgets, preventing the need for a taxpayer top-up.

    After submitting plans for a more expensive design than that agreed with the Government in 2013, the casino operator will now pare back its plans.

    “I welcome SkyCity’s agreement with the Government’s approach,” Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said in a statement.

    More indications of the corruption that business and this government engage in.

    • hoom 14.1

      Now the Media can be quiet about it.

      In a couple of years when it turns out to be unprofitable “Its the fault of the people that we have this crappy white elephant.
      If only we’d given that extra $100M then we’d have had a proper world class convention centre & all would be Fine.
      Now that we are stuck with this sub-quality albatross we definitely need to be providing an operating subsidy”

  15. whateva next? 15

    “We live in strange days when Matthew Hooton and the NBR and Rodney Hide are offered up as the voices of sanity on a proudly left wing blog.”
    Indeed, Thatcher’s reign also ended when a critical mass from within the ranks felt enough dis-ease about what was happening.

  16. les 16

    I wonder how much the govt will be stumping up for promotion and marketing for the centre and for how long!

  17. lynne27 17

    What National needs is a few more leaders. That is why we are so popular. New leaders bring new ideas.

  18. emergency mike 18

    The comments in Hide’s Herald article are worth a look.

    5% ‘Who cares, nothing to see here.’
    95% ‘So sick of these pricks, where’s my pitchfork?’

  19. Stuart Munro 19

    Actually this government (and using the term is frankly charitable), this miserable troupe of hebephrenic buffoons is more like it, had late stage terminal third termitis last year. But the MSM and rightwing dirty tricks crew, with some assistance from leftwing fratricides, made just enough trouble to shove the ambulant corpse over the line.

    This is no credibility to the Key government – their economic chops are entirely fraudulent and their values don’t amount to a hill of beans. No outfit so desperately useless it could make Brownlee leader of the house will ever have any credibility – they’re short on talent, vision, and a whole lot of competence.

    Superficially Key is much better than Abbot – but that’s because he’s a deeply superficial character – and like the Chesire cat, pretty soon all that’ll be left is the smirk.

  20. fisiani 20

    It looks like we should again start counting down to the end of this National Government.
    Ok . I’ll play that game. 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 20266………

    If National are really so terrible why are they polling above 50%? Wishful thinking is not reality.

    • lynne27 20.1

      But Stuart, You were saying this 5 years ago. When is it going to happen?

      • Stuart Munro 20.1.1

        Polling is, shall we say, not a hard currency Fisi.

        Ha – I was saying something similar about Shipley – and I wasn’t very impressed by Helen Clark either. But really – this government has decoupled from its societal function: enriching cronies and making sleazy deals with the likes of the Ca$ino are epiphenomena to the business of governing, and this is what Key is getting woefully wrong. The $100 billion in debt may look like a profit stream to an ignorant banker like Key – but it’s $5 billion a year out of our desperately underfunded social supports. I know a lot of folk who just aren’t making it any more – post-grads most of them, stable long-term folk who used to be middle class.

        The fishing industry is typical – NZ and Japan have essentially the same littoral area and thus similar temperate marine resources. Why is NZ’s fishing industry 1% the size of Japan’s? Why does it employ just 1% of Japan’s fisheries employment numbers? And why are our fisheries ministers both blissfully ignorant and entirely complacent about such matters? Were they dropped on their heads as children? Where is the governance? Most of the Gnats seem to think they’re there to collect the super – they certainly haven’t earned any.

      • Chch_chiquita 20.1.2

        I think it will happen when enough people, mainly from what is still considered to be the middle class, will start feeling the pressure.

        • Sabine 20.1.2.1

          It will happen when those with paper value understand and realize that they don’t have enough cash value and paper value to buy something else elsewhere.

          Most peeps would have voted for NO CHANGE….lol, but now they are slowly but surely come around to see that their kids are not in full term 40 hours a week contracts – not even on minimum wage, that their kids will never pay back their student loans on 0 – hour contracts, that their kids don’t earn enough to even buy Mum and Pop’s home from them …lest alone buy the house from their neighbors.

          Eventually the right will be as sick of John Key as many on the left were sick of Helen Clark.

          re: Fisiani….that guy is just really bad at sarcasm, irony and comedy.

          • Stuart Munro 20.1.2.1.1

            The paper boom in house prices has concealed the failures of local governments to manage development sustainably. But the resulting increased rates rakeoff doesn’t refelect improved services – if anything they’re declining. It works for the speculators but hobbles the productive and the socially responsible. Reform, when it comes, will be dramatic.

            • Colonial Rawshark 20.1.2.1.1.1

              The paper boom in house prices has concealed the failures of local governments to manage development sustainably

              It’s actually a bit worse than that. The failure of local and central government to handle the housing availability, affordability and financing issue has helped to fuel the boom in house prices. Speculators win while society as a whole loses.

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  • Learning From Brexit
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    1 week ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
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  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
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  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
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  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
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  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
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  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
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  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
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  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
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  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
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  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers
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  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
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  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
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  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
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  • District Court judges appointed
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  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
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  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
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  • Taking action to reduce road cones
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  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
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  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
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  • $25 million boost for conservation
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  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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  • Country Kindy to remain open
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  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
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