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Wanted: a new Leader of the Opposition

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, November 30th, 2021 - 70 comments
Categories: chris bishop, Christopher Luxon, humour, Satire, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags:

Wanted a new leader of the opposition.

Must have the following attributes:

  • The ability to coordinate and manage an out of control rabble of a caucus many of who hate each other with a vengance.
  • The ability to stop caucus leaking.  Good luck with that.
  • An understanding of disparate factions and a workable plan to reconcile the aspirations of urban liberals who still want to be top dog, Christian Conservatives who disagree with all of the urban liberal faction’s progressive agenda, and the Farming Sector who just want things to be like they were in the 1950s but with current milk prices and farm sale prices.
  • Sufficient chutzpah so that when their underlings completely fuck up the most important budget of the last Parliamentary Term you can smile and grin like there is nothing wrong.
  • The expectation that if you fail you will be unceremoniously removed and publicly humiliated.
  • The ability not to flinch as you daily criticise the Government for being too lax with its Covid response, then too rigid, then too lax, then too rigid, then too lax, then too rigid …
  • Being able to repeat idiot attack lines consisitently day after day after day …
  • Having as your primary goal stopping Judith Collins from undermining everyone else and paying back double.
  • Being a professional mercenary in a previous life does not necessarily rule you out of contention.
  • Being male is essential.  Being bald, Christian and white is an advantage.
  • Has to be willing to drink lots of Whisky with Winston Peters.

At least there are lots of people interested in the job …

70 comments on “Wanted: a new Leader of the Opposition ”

  1. SPC 2

    The ability to pronounce mercenary as mercinary to reach out to those who went to state schools is an advantage.

    [Thanks now fixed – MS]

  2. Alan 3

    It is really going to upset you when National wins the next election isn't it Micky.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Right now? Not a chance.

      • Alan 3.1.1

        Two years is a very long time, the halo is slipping

        • weka

          the irony is that the halo can slip right off and Nat still wouldn't win. NZ voters like the appearance of competency and even with the mistakes Labour are making they still appear way more competent than Nat.

          Bigger problem for the left is a strong ACT vote.

        • Ad

          The 2027 contest will mean the first-time voter at 18 has to go back to when they were 8 years and under to remember what National was like.

          And from when they were 9 onwards, all National did was fall apart.

          So they'll have to be convinced to vote for something that is both forgotten, and broken.

          • alwyn

            Are you expecting one of our Governments to change the Electoral Act in order to extend their term?

            There won't be an election in 2027 unless that happens.

            • Ad

              Apparently the next one is in January 2024. So I went 3 years after that.

              Next New Zealand election date' – Google Search

              • alwyn

                What you have found is the last possible day on which the next election can be held. That date is calculated in the following manner., if you can really follow it right through.

                "The governor-general must issue writs for an election within seven days of the expiration or dissolution of the current parliament. Under section 17 of the Constitution Act 1986, parliament expires three years "from the day fixed for the return of the writs issued for the last preceding general election of members of the House of Representatives, and no longer." The writs for the 2020 election were returned on 20 November 2020;[7] as a result, the 53rd Parliament must dissolve no later than 20 November 2023. Writs must be issued within seven days,[8] so the last day for issuance of the writs is 27 November 2023. Writs must be returned within 60 days of their issuance (save for any judicial recount, death of a candidate, or emergency adjournment),[9] which would be 26 January 2024. Because polling day must be on a Saturday,[9] and ten days is required for the counting of special votes,[10] the last possible date for the next election to be held is 13 January 2024.[11]."


                There haven't been any elections during the summer holiday season since 1931 when it was held on 2 December. In practice the last feasible date for the election is late November as campaigning is considered to be impossible during the silly season.

  3. Maurice 4

    No matter how this pack is shuffled ….. it is still the same old, stale pack.

    Some new pictures on the cards are desperately required.

  4. Blazer 5

    Who is the guy with glasses on the far right in the main pic?

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      This guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Doocey

      Doocey worked in mental health and healthcare management in both New Zealand and the UK. He studied Counselling Psychology at Weltech, has a BSc (Hons) in Social Policy, an MA in Healthcare Management from Kingston University in London and an MSc in Global Politics from Birkbeck, University of London.
      On 28 August 2019, Sir John Kirwan launched the Mental Health and Addictions Wellbeing cross-party group, with the executive consisting of Matt Doocey, Louisa Wall (Labour), Chlöe Swarbrick (Green Party), Jenny Marcroft (New Zealand First) and David Seymour (ACT), to work together to improve mental health and wellbeing in New Zealand.

    • SPC 5.2

      Might be David Bennett Hamilton. But then bald guys are like smiths in that caucus – bald guy, then Collins, next bald guy, then

  5. Dennis Frank 6

    the responses in a Newshub-Reid Research poll last week asking the public to describe Luxon in one word (‘don’t know’, ‘unknown’, ‘who’) are a step up on those for Bridges shortly before his demise last year (‘idiot’, ‘average’, ‘dickhead’).


    When watching Luxon in an interview, or seeing a photo of the guy, try not to think of Humpty Dumpty. I've noticed it's quite difficult.

    • SPC 6.1

      Seven questions, spoke twice in general debate – close followers of parliament would not have much idea. Nothing unusual about that for a first year MP and the House was not always sitting … .

      But as Leader of the Opposition, only Don Brash is anything of the like.

    • Pataua4life 6.2

      Strange, I always think of Mr Ed with the current leadership.

      Name calling, bald shaming it's all a pack of shit. But seems to be the "Standard" MO on this site in regard to opposition MPs

      • SPC 6.2.1

        Why Mr Ed?

        And over at KB the terms of endearment for Labour women leaders goes like …

        And exactly how is observing baldness, bald shaming? Is observing someone wears glasses, or always wears the same colour tie and suit combination anything more than an observation?

        • Ad

          It really does matter what politicians look like. And what they sound like.

          Maybe not in the obscure bubble of imagined value-free formlessness you appear to inhabit, but not in any useful political reality.

          • SPC

            So between your – it really matters what they look like and vto's – we should not comment on it (even to observe that bald men of a similar age tend to look a bit alike) it would seem commentary is between a rock and a hard place.

            PS So you think lack of judgment of appearance and sound is “values” free. Interesting take on the human condition.

            • weka

              there's a difference between a descriptor and an insult/pejorative.

              • SPC

                Sure, but if it just a descriptor can it be an insult/pejorative?

                To use an example Michael Cullen was known for both his wit and sarcasm.

                • weka

                  context is what matters. I wouldn't have used the term bald like this in a post but I don't think micky was using it pejoratively. And while I agree with the idea that appearance matters (hence all the suits), I’m not sure the usage of bald here has anything to do with that one way or the other, except where it’s being used as a signal for men of a certain age (in which case, the usage is unwise).

                  There's a bit of conflict at the moment over the use of the word white. Personally I find it relatively easy to tell the difference between description and pejorative, but some people now object to it being used at all (which is problematic on a political blog).

                  • SPC

                    On a political blog and a feminist blog it would be quite appropriate to note the large number of men who look alike in one caucus (aging and white) supposedly representing the people of their electorates and on a party list.

                    It might also explain the current polling indicating the respective support for political parties from various sectors of the wider population.

                    • weka

                      I agree. That would be an example of using words as descriptors rather than pejoratives.

                      Stale, pale and male is an obvious perjorative.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ weka

                      Totally agree. Referring to a persons skin colour can be simply descriptive or perjorative depending on context and implied intent. But there's a fuzzy line between them.

                      In my view it's best to err on the side of caution and not use references to skin colour unless it's necessary for the argument. And this goes for all other immutable characteristics, especially relating to appearance, sex, age, ethnicity and so-on.

          • RedLogix

            It really does matter what politicians look like. And what they sound like.

            This is true – voters really are influenced by non-rational factors like this more than we'd like to imagine. I don't think we can air-brush this away.

            But we don't have to pivot our political argument on this. It is a sword that cuts both ways – after all if we run with 'Luxon Roll-On' what defense do we have against 'She's a Pretty Communist'?

  6. Tiger Mountain 7

    They might have to track down ex NZ National Board member “Merv from Manurewa”

    …Mr Bishflap could be a starter, his record shows he likes to be down with the kids…

  7. Patricia Bremner 8

    I think we are lucky people step up. It is such a scrutinized position.

    Whether P.M. or L.O. Life changes hugely. The internet the media and the Public scrutiny is fine when things are going well and most are happy, but can be diminishing if one gaffe is made. It is much easier to parody a person and their look or mannerisms.

    Luxon has been barely visible, and it says a great deal if that is considered a desirable quality. Anyone Key promotes…. ??? I'm told he is just as smilingly ruthless. (Thanks Anne)

    Bridges is a known candidate. He appears to have had some diction lessons. He admits he needed to grow and develop discretion. He was brash mouthy and dogmatic.

    These two candidates represent religion, one old one new. They have similar beliefs about rights… not liberal at all. The only difference is Luxon is better at keeping his "Powder dry" Interesting times we live in.

    The Party has talked about "What the Party needs" What about "What NZ needs" ???

    • Gezza 8.1

      I prefer PM & LOTO (to LO).

      I’d have pressed Reti to stand.

      Faced with Luxon & Bridges, I’d choose Bridges, & see if he really has ironed out the wrinkles. His diction (from what little we actually hear from him on the tv news) DOES seem to have improved. He has possibly acquired more genuine gravitas. He’s Māori. He wants to get tuff on gangs (so do I). He may be dispkaying more of a thoughtful approach to responding to questions.

      But I’d still prefer Reti, who doesn’t seem to need to reinvent himself, who’s a known quantity, & who has maturity, applomb & worthwhile other-life-experience. Pity he didn’t stand, imo.

  8. vto 9

    is highlighting the baldness of some people ok the same as highlighting the fatness of others?

    bald men

    fat women

    grow up

    • Gezza 9.1

      Name-callers never want to grow up. They’re likely to attack you for remonstrating with them.

      Name callers weren’t nice kids at school. My bet is they’re not very nice people now.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        As a moderator when I see a person 'name- calling' or pulling childish stunts with names – then they're immediately facing a head wind from me.

        We don't and probably shouldn't leap on every instance of it – but we do take notice.

        • roblogic

          Mocking and saying rude things about politicians is a great democratic tradition. If it was punching down it would be different.

          • RedLogix

            Yes I can accept most of this, but with two caveats.

            One is that if mockery and sneering becomes almost all the message – it turns toxic. There's a real difference between witty and witless abuse.

            The other is that different people have different ideas about 'punching down'. That's a wriggly definition to wrestle with.

    • Enough is Enough 9.2

      Totally agree

      We are pretty close to rock bottom when we have reached the levels of laughing at anyone's physical appearance.

    • SPC 9.3

      Is not being older and whiter a traditional advantage in Christian patriarchy?

      And it would do Luxon no harm in that group of voters.

  9. Chris 10

    If those deciding the next leader are people capable of comments like these then heaven help them:

    "National MP Todd McClay says a democratic vote for a leader makes sense.

    McClay, thought to be backing Bridges, defended the fact no deal had been struck – as many party figures were keen to see.

    “Look, we’re a party that believes in democracy and it's very important that we as a party have a chance to think these things through,” McClay said on the way into Parliament.

    “It's a very important decision we have to make – the caucus will make the right one.

    “The one thing we've heard from our members is they really want us to be united as a caucus.”


  10. Reality 11

    If Luxon wins, he will have to have his hand held by numerous advisers, be micro-managed every 15 minutes, and have daily catch-ups with Key.

    National was very outspoken about Labour's so-called lack of experience in government. Guess running an airline now counts as experience in government.

  11. Ffloyd 12

    Not sure about Bridges. His Samoan dancing leaves that there is a lot of work to be done there. Just might need the odd/occasional burst of dancing to drums to appeal to the voters. Second only to keys mincing walk on the catwalk.Not sure of anything else he could bring to the table.

    Luxon/Who? is sort of invisible/beige and he could find it difficult to sit down due to the flunkey up his rectum. But he was a CEO don’t you know so that would eventually qualify the beige man for a Gong. Does he speak?

    Either of these candidates would be great for Labour.

  12. weka 13

    repost from DR last night

    This would have to be one of the weirdest things I've read in a while (Luxon not Sachdeva). Wtf is Luxon on about?

    • SPC 13.1

      It seemed he wanted to say the government had a PR front office but no capacity in the back office to organise delivery (but was not sure whether to go with a Micky Mouse Disneyland or Wizard of Oz production or Stepford Wives metaphor – as in the PM should just go back to her home and hand the job to him after his caucus makes him their leader).

      They used a similar approach with Helen Clark, the only thing competent about the government (her and maybe Cullen).

  13. Anker 14
    • Personally I think Bridges is a safer choice. Luxon could turn out to be another Mueller (or maybe not, but that is the risk). Simon is a known quantity, and job ready. It would be interesting to see a preferred leader poll. When (?if) National lose next election, luxon could make his run then……..
    • Puckish Rogue 14.1

      I'd go Reti but my predictions have been a bit wonky of late

    • weka 14.2

      they'd be stupid if they do anything other than plan for the long term. Unless one of them turns out to be charismatic like Key I can't see Nat winning the next election. Never saying never, and two years is a long time, but they're in a massive mess, prob worse than the one Labour was in (and yes, we should be mindful of how quickly Labour's fortune changed).

    • Blazer 14.3

      Going back to Bridges ,would be like trying to reignite an old…'flame'…usually a waste of…time.

  14. Anker 15
    • Yeah a lot of people are thinking Reti, but I didn’t factor him in as the competition seems to be between Simon and Luxon…..

    I think national can afford to lose under Bridges, but not Luxon…

    • Puckish Rogue 15.1

      Personally I'd say to Bridges "you going to be leader and we don't expect you to win the next election, your job is to increase the vote as much as you can and so the next leader, Reti, isn't damaged and he'll take over after the elction'

  15. Jenny How to get there 16

    They look like pall bearers standing at a funeral, service, waiting to carry the coffin from the church.

  16. swordfish 17


    Last Colmar Brunton (Preferred PM):

    Luxon 4%

    Bridges 1%


    Last Newshub-Reid (Preferred PM):

    Luxon 2.5%

    Bridges 2.5%


    Last Newshub-Reid “If it was down to Judith Collins or Simon Bridges, who would you pick to lead the National Party?”

    Bridges … (entire sample) 41% … (Nat voters only) 42%
    Collins … (entire sample) . 23% … (Nat voters only) 40%
    DK… (entire sample) ……. 36% … (Nat voters only) 18%


    Kiwiblog Reader Survey – Next National Leader (non-scientific):

    Luxon 26%

    Reti 22%

    Bridges 18%

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      I'm pleasantly surprised that 22% of Kiwibloggers voted for Reti. Kindliness doesn't usually feature within that ecosystem whereas it seems Reti's primary characteristic.

      Mind you, the mongrel archetype has been receding from Nat ethos since Muldoon – Bolger did mongrel on a leash, Brash did a gentlemanly variant & Key seemed incapable entirely. His style was stiletto. Bridges never figured out a style & Collins' attempt to simulate the Muldoon style was never more than barking at any passing car.

      With Luxon we'll get a cheerful team-leader style. Complacency will give him an edge – kiwis love it. She'll be right will come back into favour.

  17. Anker 18

    interesting Swordfish. So not much between them. But I have to say, I think people support Luxon for leader, because of how he sounds on paper and John Key's endorsement……nothing he has said or done to date in parliament.

    Luxon I think is a high risk strategy. He may be just the ticket or he may be another Todd.

    By the way I agree with the comments about bald shaming or any comments of public figures appearance (fine to do it in the privacy of your own home, but not on line). Aside from anything else it looks childish.

  18. Stuart Munro 19

    Frankly I don't see any of the frontrunners achieving much.

    Key succeeded because he had a plausible aura of success – it took punters a while to work out that he was not the pragmatic achiever businessman they had hoped for.

    For National to have a ghost of a prayer they need another parachutist – Kathryn Rich might be a good bet – somewhat successful, has a brain, not entirely bereft of charisma. But leading that singularly unattractive assemblage of ambulant dogtucker would be no walk in the park even were they not perpetually at each others' throats.

    The baldness question is interesting – when does a legitimate descriptor become a distasteful pejorative? I cannot help but think the only one really troubled by the lack of a really attractive head of hair is the local head of the ANZ.

    • RedLogix 19.1

      Well to attempt to answer your question, the phrase "But leading that singularly unattractive assemblage of ambulant dogtucker " struck me as witty because you worked it into the argument elegantly. It doesn't come across as just mindless abuse.

      Mockery has it's place, but as the spice to an argument, not the main ingredient.

  19. observer 20

    One of the (many) out of date things in National is their leadership election. They always say "the numbers are confidential to caucus". No doubt they will again.

    In any other democracy, parties (including right-wing ones) have some degree of transparency in their internal elections. Most involve the wider membership, but even those who confine it to caucus (like the Aussie Libs) will release the numbers after a spill.

    It perfectly sums up National's feudal mindset that not only do they continue to regard a caucus of our representatives as a secret society, but they don't even acknowledge it as a problem.

    Then they are surprised when the public don't trust them.

  20. swordfish 21

    Bridges withdraws … looks like Luxon (unsurprisingly).

    • Enough is Enough 21.1

      Done the deal. Bridges number 3 on the list with Finance portfolio

    • RedLogix 21.2

      Without speculating on Bridges motives – deal or no deal – this is a good sign he may yet come back from a poor start and progress on to a mature political career.

      Leader of the Opposition is by far the hardest job and I wish anyone – including Luxon – best wishes with it.

    • tc 21.3

      Johnny's boy get his gift finally.

      An effective CEO by accounts which he will draw upon to sort out the infighting and bs out of both sides of his mouth.

      Unlike the corporate world you can't sack them chris and they'll feel alot more entitled than him being the teacher's pet leader.

  21. mary_a 23

    JK will be pulling new Natz leader's strings, now his boy Luxon is in the leadership role. When Luxon blots his copybook or throws in the towel (Muller like), JK will deny having any influence.

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