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Turning on Key

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, November 25th, 2011 - 33 comments
Categories: election 2011, john key, Media - Tags: ,

All the public polls (yes except Horizon) tell us that National should win this election, possibly with an absolute majority. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. But whatever the result it’s been a costly election for Key. After the teapot tape fiasco and the subsequent police raids on media, his political capital with the media (except for die-hard fans) is spent. Consider this rather frank opinion piece by Chris Whitworth at 3 News:

From smiling to silent assassin: National’s media stonewall

Media and politicians can make strange bedfellows. It’s an uneasy and at times abusive relationship that comes under strain from past hurts and differing needs. … 

So when the Prime Minister meets ACT candidate John Banks for a cup of tea, why was there such a media scrum you ask? Because up until then John Key had given media nothing but double-speak about National’s deal with ACT.

In fact, many in the media feel Key and his Cabinet have completely shut up shop ahead of the election, forcing them to jump on what ever scraps they are given.

Radio New Zealand’s head of news Don Rood says Key refused to front for both of their scheduled election debates with Labour leader Phil Goff on Morning Report – despite requesting the interview at the start of the year. .. Mr Rood says even during the year some National MPs have been “hesitant” to appear on the station and have often pulled out. Labour’s campaign spokesperson Grant Robertson suggests the “cold shoulder” from National is intentional.

A quick look at the RNZ website shows a similar gap in policy information provided by National. … The problem could be excused if Radio New Zealand was alone in this, but National’s reluctance to front appears to be industry wide.

TV3’s The Nation issued a press release earlier this month informing viewers that Key refused to appear on the show. It read: “John Key refuses to talk to The Nation so we’ve gone in search of him … follow[ing] the Key campaign and find[ing] that its endless photo opportunities are carefully planned stage shows”.

And so the list keeps growing.

Key has scarcely appeared on TV3’s Campbell Live or TVNZ’s Close Up – bar the standard leaders’ debates – and refused the New Zealand Herald’s request for a one-on-one between him and Phil Goff. I contacted the press secretary for Steven Joyce – National’s election campaign manager – yesterday for explanation but as of yet have not received a reply. …

So who is to blame? Did the media harass Key into a corner until he felt his best defence was just to keep quiet, or is it arrogance from a party who think the election is already won?

I think it’s more sinister.

Key doesn’t respect the media, and wants to have his cake and to eat it too. He wants the media for all his photo-ops and baby-kissing but then stonewalls when asked – repeatedly – for serious debate.

If the polls prove correct and Key does return for a second-term in Government, he would be wise to repair the burnt bridges with New Zealand’s media, because in the words of former US president Bill Clinton:

“Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”

Or tapes by the tonne.

Anyone else get the impression that Key’s second term, if he gets one, won’t be the same free ride as the first?

33 comments on “Turning on Key”

  1. ianmac 1

    Nat strategy does seem to have been to avoid all serious discussion/interviews at all costs. I suppose if you say nothing you cannot be faulted, but in a democracy surely openness is essential. Democracy must have eternal vigilance but where was the MSM in championing that? A quiet note from Rood and one from TV3 reflects the lack of a champion. Too little. Too late.
    If the Nat machine has treated the population with contempt, then so has the media by their silence!

  2. Roy 2

    I sincerely hope that the media DO stop fawning all over Key. It would be a very welcome change and might change the minds (using the word advisedly) of those who rely on the media to tell them who to like.

    • Tom Gould 2.1

      Here’s a little test for the MSM. Key has plane diverted. Media find out. Extra coating of teflon applied. The test of the MSM will be if they chase this story with the same relentless vigour they chased Clark speeding to the rudgy? Let’s see.

  3. Mango 3

    I thought the “ink by the barrel” quote was actually Mark Twain but it’s true whereever it comes from. Has the media only now reversed it’s massive right wing bias? And will it last? I must admit iv’e been automatically subtracting 10% from national’s poll ratings. The polls have bee decreasing in accuracy for some time now (witness the auckland mayoralty and Hone’s survival against all opinion).

  4. Anne 4

    Anyone hear Matthew Hooton on RNZ this morning? He’s got his knickers in a tortuous state again. This time over a nasty, vicious Labour pamphlet. Talk about pot, kettle black! Has he forgotten the Ex. Brethren pamphlets and his hand in all the nasty off-shoots from that affair? Amnesia is a beautiful thing sometimes.

    I’m sure I heard Mike Williams giggling down the phone-line. 😉

    • Gosman 4.1

      What was wrong with those Brethren pamphlets exactly?

      If you had a problem with them then does that mean that there you also think there is no problem with the Labour party (not a third party) scaremongering with their pamphlets?

    • tc 4.2

      Hooten is simply an extension of the nat PR machine and about as objective as Joyce when it comes to his views. The fact RNZ even ask him on shows where their bread’s buttered so they can look up to Griffin going ‘we did good boss’.

      real public radio would have objective commentators (hardly any exist in NZ) se we get this right/left tennis that does SFA in terms of enlightenment….just what the masters want.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    Time will tell whether the MSM decides to try the ‘fair, balanced and accurate’ approach to political reportage, or decides to revert to their traditional role in a democracy in relation to unbridled all powerful executive government. Going by this morning’s edition of the Herald, nothing much will change after Key’s second coronation on Saturday.

  6. The local national candidates for Dunedin were happy to turn up for our election forums for Otago Access Radio. Michael Woodhouse gave a good showing, and was put his party’s policies squarely in contrast with the others present. Joanne Hayes also fronted for Dunedin South, and gave an excellent view of her politics. In fact, her interview here http://sustainablelens.org/?p=251 at 43:30 sums up her party’s views on sustainability quite nicely.We had a lovely run recording these – we were soft, non confrontational and unthreatening, and I think got a really good response from the candidates, most of whom had no chance of being elected, but were party faithful, and gave a really human face to why they supported their policies.

  7. neo-medievalist 7

    “Much of New Zealand will see a partial solar eclipse on Friday, with Wellington under its main track, space agency Nasa says.

    Many traditions have long held solar eclipses represent a bad omen for rulers – and Friday is just a night out from the general election.”

    http://tvnz.co.nz/election-2011/lunar-night-show-due-eve-4558900

    Perhaps if we burn the pollsters in effigy .. then the economic pundits .. then the print media editors .. then political “researchers” .. we might arrive at a consensus where rulers survive at the whim of frequent online popularity polls or mortal combat in Eden Park.

    Your choice ..

    • Treetop 7.1

      Hope the prediction for the solar eclipse comes to fruition.

      The effect of an eclipse can be delayed for a month and this would indicate that there is going to be a dynamic coalition as I think it will take a month for the new government to be assembled.

      Even though it can appear to be problematic having four parties in a coalition, due to there being a deep recession next year I prefer to have a government with many views. A bit like a war cabinet.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      It’ll be funny if the “miracle upset” does actually happen. I can imagine this would be reported world-wide: eclipse results in electoral defeat for a “dead cert” winner.

      • Treetop 7.2.1

        I did not mention Mercury Retrograde 24 November 2011 – 13 December 2011. Electrical malfunction, (purchases, computers) travel delays, bad for signing any contract as it usually has to be renegotiated.

        Will have to see how accurate the astrology ends up being.

    • ianmac 7.3

      On the News just now. John Key has banned the eclipse and it will now not take place until a rigorous police investigation has been completed.

      • Treetop 7.3.1

        Lol Mercury rules communication and a Mercury Retrograde also has miscommunication. A Mercury Retrograde can kick in a few days before or after the the actual date, this may explain why the High Court decision was what it was. As for the police investigation I predict lots of miscommunication of the actual facts.

  8. Treetop 8

    Not fronting up is contagious under Key’s watch e.g. Marshall re police recruits and the Ombudsman re asset restructuring.

  9. Blue 9

    NZ’s greatest weakness as a democracy is that we have a piss-weak media.

    It has proved over the past three years that it is in no shape to be a proper fourth estate. It can’t hold those in power to account, because Key simply ignores it whenever he chooses and the media have no comeback.

    If he doesn’t want to front up, he doesn’t. If he doesn’t want to answer a question, he won’t.

    There are no adverse consequences for him, the media just sit there and take it and he’s as popular as ever with the voters.

    It’s only when his popularity falls that he will need to be accountable again. And with the media cowed, there is less chance of that happening.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    Isn’t this Bronagh’s job? Or maybe Liz Hurley’s…

  11. Jan 11

    Chris Whitworth’s “many in the media feel Key and his Cabinet have completely shut up shop ahead of the election.” Agree with nearly all the comments above. It’s the media’s inability to ask the hard questions, to dig where they are unanswered and to provide meaningful analysis of the answers that is the cause of significant democratic deficit this electoral cycle. Umm 4th Estate, hold to account, essential element of the political process. Not really!

    Political parties will do what they can to set the media agenda and indeed to take unpalatable things off the agenda if they can. In this respect National have been very successful. However writing like this on behalf of the MSM is to cry crocodile tears.

    As an example a story which is profiled on the front page on Scoop is not visible on the TV3, New Zealand Herald or Stuff news or election pages is the one about the non-released information on asset sales – an OIA made by TVNZ in August and released yesterday. This issue is arguably transformational for the future of the country. Even on TVNZ’s own webpage this story is hidden well down on the elections page. In contrast all four sites have a high profile story on the diversion of the AirNZ plane to New Plymouth – in contrast a piece of trivial flim-flam and all four are still all profiling teacup stories on their news pages.

  12. mike 12

    Agreed Blue. MSM performance at holding Key to account has been a pathetic love-fest. A strong watchdog is crucial in a strong democracy. Instead we have this timid PC pandering with rank ‘we are in the same business, selling illusory perceptions to the public so scratch my back and I’ll scratch your’ overtones. Time and time again when Key is asked an awkward question, he gives a non-answer, and the journo seems to say, “Oh well, I’ve done my job,” and the story dies on the spot. It’s appalling.

    There are creaking signs that some of the culpable journos are starting to wake up to the realization that John Key has them well trained as a branch of his PRopaganda dept, (as in the OP). But it’s too little too late for this election. Well done guys.

    • tc 12.1

      The Oz MSM would’ve had Key on the mat over tranzrail shares and probably gone before the next shonkey issue like further conflicts of interests (uranuim shares, winery etc) and then the outright lies over all sorts of issues like beemers etc.

      The BBC interview showed how it’s done and Beatson cleaned up English with consumate ease over the GST hike. We do have good journo’s they just have pride and values and as such don’t ply the trade where it should be as it’s not wanted or valued by the cowering sorts at mediawonks, recycling rick’s circus or granny etc.

  13. anne 13

    Key and his crowd are now claiming that winston is in the election illegaly anyone know what is going on here?
    Some idiots out there just dont realise the danger key is to our democracy.

  14. anne 14

    Key and his cronies put forward alot of urgent policies,one of them was the policy stopping
    pirated music etc,however a EU court has ruled that internet service providers cannot be required to install a filter that would prevent illegal downloading of files.
    Thats one for the people who share music etc,we shall wait for a test case here,unless key
    buys off the judiciary.

  15. anne 15

    Yes if you go the the Scoop nz it has it there,i seen the headline so i had to find out.

    • ianmac 15.1

      Thanks anne.http://www.scoop.co.nz/

      It links to Farrar who must have hunted for ages to find apparently that a technicality has been breached.
      But that will go down well. Knock off the opposition.
      And it also shows that he/they expect that NZF will win seats. How sad.

  16. ianmac 16

    Farrar’s exclusive has been destroyed as an anti-NZF ploy, by Sprout and Graeme Edgler who have pointed out that Winston is eligible under the Electoral Act and nothing to to with the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
    They must know that NZF is definitely over the threshold and therefore not a wasted vote to electors.
    (Some rabid Right voter on Kiwiblog wants to now vote NZF just to watch Winston being chucked out. Ha.)

  17. gingercrush 17

    I see parallels with 2002 and Helen Clark. Like Key, Helen Clark was a polarising figure with many on the left undoubtedly warming to her while on the right we sneered at her just as the left sneer at Key. Both went into their first election as government with huge support. Labour was polling over 50% and Helen Clark’s approval ratings were high as well. There is a slight difference in that part of the first year Clark did not get the greatest media. But by 2002 had well and truly turned that around.

    With Helen Clark a combination of factors conspired as they always do in elections that broke that cosy relationship. Corngate was one factor. The silly signature on the picture was another. The media increasingly grew weary of Helen Clark and Labour. The only thing that stopped that coming sooner was that Bill English was even more unpopular and National well had a terrible 2002 election. It really wasn’t till Don Brash grabbed leadership of National that the media really started getting into Labour.

    If National is the government after this election I suspect he’ll get a rather easy ride initially as Labour sorts themselves with who is going to lead their party in the future etc. But there is a difference. Goff has the respect of the media in a way English never had so even if he stays as leader. The relationship between the media and John Key/National is going to be strained.

    Thus, if National are so lucky John Key needs to do some type of mea culpa with the media to get that relationship back someway to what it was. I suspect that is going to be very difficult.

    • ak 17.1

      Well done ginge. After four years of gradually diminishing natapologia and increasing clarity of vision, you’ve finally seen that the media determines our governance. Welcome to our world: we used to call it Democracy.

  18. Rodel 18

    John Armstrong, asked by RNZ Jim Mora what he’ll do on Election night said he’d be working at the Herald for the next days paper…then he’d go down to National Party’s headquarters for the celebrations or commiserations….
    Says it all about our media, doesn’t it?

  19. hoom 19

    I suppose if you say nothing you cannot be faulted, but in a democracy surely openness is essential

    The trick is they have stayed away from the serious media but been all over stuff like Breakfast, Talkback & pop radio so the non-politically interested public frequently sees/hears Key all friendly & engaging in small talk -> ‘Oh media, quit badgering that nice mr Key’.

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    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    7 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    16 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    6 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    7 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
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  • Climate change research boost
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  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
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  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
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  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
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  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
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  • Outstanding public service recognised
    Six New Zealanders tonight received medals for their meritorious work in the frontline public service. The Public Service Medal, established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is awarded annually. “For the second year this Government has recognised public servants who have made a real difference to the lives of New ...
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  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker heads to Shanghai today for the China International Import Expo and meetings focused on reforming the WTO. Over 90 New Zealand companies will be exhibiting at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which runs from 5-10 November. “China is one of New Zealand’s ...
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  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
    Drivers holding a current five-year learner or restricted car or motorbike licence, expiring between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021, will receive an automatic two-year extension, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Over 144,000 drivers’ time-limited licences are due to expire in the next two years; 67,000 ...
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