This is the day when it is predicted we will know who will lead the next Government although after listening to Bill English on Morning Report this morning I am not so sure.
English stated that there have been policy discussions only and no negotiations about the type of support or of potential cabinet positions. They will have to be fast if they want to deal with these today.
In either event the New Zealand Board will be meeting and discussing which option it prefers.
The choice seems to be very close. I have been becoming cautiously optimistic and thinking that the change of Government that our country desperately needs may indeed happen. We are currently in the worst of both worlds where a cost accounting approach to the complexity of Government and the enormity of the issues that we are facing coupled with an anti ordinary person belligerence is running down our public institutions and resulting in the lives of ordinary kiwis becoming increasingly impoverished. As Rob so elegantly put it this Government is great at spin but awful at governing.
But the vote this election was clearly a vote for change. And New Zealand First insiders are very aware of this. Former MP Pita Paraone had some very relevant comments in this morning’s Herald. From the Herald:
“Personally, I feel the winds of change,” he told the Herald. “I think the decision they must make is one that will also ensure the future of New Zealand First. And I think one of the things they have got to consider is people quite clearly want change.”
Paraone said while National was easily the biggest party, a majority of voters didn’t support it. He said leader Winston Peters and others in today’s crucial meeting would be thinking about what each option meant for the long-term future of the party.
Peters would remember 1996 when NZ First eventually backed the incumbent National Party, Paraone said.
“New Zealand First certainly paid for that in 1999. And that time in 1996 people were asking for a change, too. In fact a lot of people supported New Zealand First in anticipation of that change.”
The Herald leak story about the Kermadec sanctuary is a potential worry. It has been Labour policy and I have supported the proposal in the past but there are a lots of fish hooks (excuse the pun) and Labour subsequently withdrew its support for the proposal. And New Zealand First has opposed it in the past on the basis that it breaches the 1992 Maori Fisheries Treaty settlement.
But time will tell. Will we have three more years of this stifling micro managed troup of cost accountants and a continuation of all the different forms of dirty politics or will we have something better?
And to finish with a very appropriate piece of music …