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Why we need to get on with the election

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, August 17th, 2020 - 114 comments
Categories: covid-19, election 2020, health, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, uncategorized - Tags:

Auckland, and the rest of the country, has been on tenterhooks for the past week.  Are we facing a Melbourne type second wave surge?  Was our pride in being Covid free horrendously misplaced?

Because for over a hundred days we have been very happy with living in Aotearoa.  While the rest of the world struggles locally we enjoyed the ability to gather together, attend weddings and tangihanga, watch sport, catch trains and busses, hang out with family, open our businesses, and get on with life like it was 2019.

Then the bad news happened.  A South Auckland family were tested and had the virus.  Contact tracing suggested that a number of close contacts also had the disease

The past week has been a blur.  The Government has been warning us for a while that the disease would come back.  Of course it would.  It has beaten highly advanced nations such as Singapore, South Korea and Australia, countries that had it under control but then suffered from its counter attack.  It has devastated Europe.  Sweden is a mess, the rest of Scandinavia is doing better but still struggling.  China has thrown its considerable might against the virus and has it under control, but not by much.

Taiwan is doing well.  Vietnam was, but is now struggling.  Most Pacific Islands, god bless them, are doing ok but they have closed up their borders and are hanging on because the sweet sugar hit of tourism has been switched off.

But we have this desire to be world beaters.  We want to knock the bugger off.

The good news is that it appears all infections are linked to the same cluster.  The Pacific family, god bless them, had the sense to be tested and were tracking where they had been to and have since the diagnosis done everything correct.  They deserve our gratitude and our thanks that they have acted so responsibly.  Those keyboard warriors on social media who have given them abuse should frankly get stuffed.

And the genome sequencing suggests that the virus did not come from anyone in quarantine.  The cool store theory may have legs.  Collins cannot help herself suggesting that the outbreak is evidence of a quarantine failure but the genome analysis clearly indicates that it is not.

This will go one of two ways.  If this current cluster is managed and isolated and there are declining numbers of new infections over the next week then great.  Crisis averted and Jacinda’s mana will be reinforced.

If it spirals out of control or proves to be impossible to eradicate then her standing will be lessened but not by much.  We will be in the same position as the rest of the western world excepting Taiwan which will be unique in its successful handling of the virus.

Dealing with this disease is like engaging in a really important game of whack-a-mole.  But one that you cannot afford to miss.

It is interesting that a coalition of losers, including National and NZ First, has emerged and are demanding that the election is delayed.  National’s pollster has conducted a poll and hinted that Aucklanders favour a delay.  Given that he is the source of Gerry Brownlee’s “closer to 40%”comment when referring to National’s polling I think the results should be taken with a large amount of salt.  He requires people to pay to see the results and this for me would be a bridge too far.

National is demanding a delay to the election and is hinting that a withdraw of confidence may happen otherwise.  Last time I checked loss of confidence in a Government required an election to be held.

And I wonder if Collins remembers back in 1984 when National called a snap election?  The election was called on June 14 and held on July 14.  It seems there is plenty of time to restart campaigns and have the election held.

National are creating huge amounts of noise right now which suggests their concerns about not being able to campaign properly are not correct.  I wonder if the fact they have barely any released policy and are still struggling with selections has any bearing on their behaviour?

I suspect Jacinda may delay the election for a month in the hope that Auckland gets back to level 2.  But for me I would like to get on with the election so we can have a new Government set up to again address this uniquely dangerous infection.  The longer the election campaign is stretched out the greater the level of noise being generated.  I would prefer that our elected representatives just got on with the job and were not distracted by petty politics from Parties facing a disaster in the next election.

Update:  Ardern has announced a short deferral of election day to October 17.

114 comments on “Why we need to get on with the election ”

  1. tc 1

    Agreed Mickey. Postal voting, extended polling hours to allow a gradual vote over the run up incorporating social distancing etc. Trend has been to vote more and more pre the day.

    Pure scaremongering from the opposition who have disgraced themselves during this pandemic, well true colours and all that.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Tenterhooks:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenterhook

    [Thanks Robert. Would you believe I have gone through my whole life thinking it was “tender hooks”? Now corrected – MS]

    • Anne 2.1

      I was 20 before I discovered you don't say 'coyar' for 'choir' so don't be too concerned mickysavage.

      About that woman Judith. She's doing her usual bully-girl thing. I doubt Jacinda and her team will take a blind bit of notice.

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      As did I, MS, till it was pointed out to me smiley

  3. lprent 3

    Those keyboard warriors on social media who have given them abuse should frankly get stuffed.

    You mean the pin headed racist bigots? I haven't seen any of their stupid bile yet, but I'll be happy to express exactly what I think of them if I do. Always nice to see bigots whine.

    But for me I would like to get on with the election so we can have a new Government set up to again address this uniquely dangerous infection. […] I would prefer that our elected representatives just got on with the job and were not distracted by petty politics from Parties facing a disaster in the next election.

    My view as well. Even if we have to do an election in Auckland with advance voting (which was more than a third of the valid votes in the 2017 election anyway), that will be no more dangerous than queuing at the supermarket. Just spread the advance voting out over more time.

    The Electoral Commission should start planning to do that as a preparatory precaution in any case. Who knows if we wind up having pandemics in 2023 or 2026. The novel diseases have been more frequent in the past decades. There is no reason to suspect that they will stop appearing.

  4. You_Fool 4

    What I would like is to hear from an independent electoral commission made up of experts on constitutional matters, and what impact the lock down will have on the election, vs delaying.

    What the CoL has to say in their own self interest is just blathering of idiots…

    • I Feel Love 4.1

      Agree, if the EC says delay then fine, but I would prefer it be their call

      and I saw a Tweet, “if you can’t campaign during Level 2, I can’t see you governing unser Level 2″‘

  5. Ffloyd 5

    I hope the election days stays as it is. Collins only wants to extend so that her and big Ger or Bigger as he is now known, can hopefully find an Achilles heel they can exploit. You know, because they are so fair and reasonable etc and just want their democratic right to be upheld Yada Yada and they will extend the window of time to do a bit of trolling to hopefully improve their polling. And Winston just needs to hush his mouth. He is no longer relevant. We need the election to be held 19th Sept so we can have certainty going forward in the next few weeks. Just get it done. And watch Collins and Bigger get rolled.

    • observer 5.1

      No dissolution today simply means that National MPs will have to be in Parliament tomorrow. There is no way that helps Collins. Every MP who wanted out, will be back (or she will have half empty benches). A very unhappy caucus, because of their leader.

    • Sacha 5.2

      Please knock off focusing on Brownlee's body – distracts from his woeful actions and character.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Suggest we call G Brownlee 'Woeful Actions' or WA for short, as he has no character only a big blustery body which we shouldn't focus on when its the present politics that should have our whole attention.

        • gsays 5.2.1.1

          Muller had the name:

          National Disgrace.

        • theotherpat 5.2.1.2

          how about BUFF… big ugly fat fucker….if the shoe fits.

          [How about your next comment will be postponed by 4 weeks – Incognito]

          • Incognito 5.2.1.2.1

            See my Moderation note @ 2:58 PM.

          • greywarshark 5.2.1.2.2

            the other … Did you not read sacha's comment? We are trying to limit ourselves from the rubbish it's too easy to spout. You don't have the nous to come up with anything.

            • Incognito 5.2.1.2.2.1

              Indeed, it is a fine line between trying to be funny, mockery, and fat- or body-shaming. There have been quite a few of these kinds of comments here lately but this one clearly crossed the line. When you’ve got nothing, say nothing, or go practise in the mirror and see whether you get a laugh.

  6. Ad 6

    If Prime Minister Ardern went for the election date as planned there's a high risk that the only parties in Parliament would be Labour, National, and Act.

    And it would be very foolish to think that Labour would get over 50% and be able to rule alone.

    This could easily blow up badly for Labour if it kept to its current course.

    Forget Covid 19's impact, the Greens need time to get above the line.

    • Andre 6.1

      In that scenario, it's not whether Labour get over 50%, but whether Labour get more than Nat plus ACT. That's a much lower bar than 50%.

  7. Hooch 7

    Can you imagine National/Collins agreeing to delay the election if the roles were reversed?

    • Hunter Thompson II 7.1

      I could imagine that if the current roles were reversed, Judith Collins would be gracious, put petty politics aside and act purely in the interests of all New Zealanders' health and safety.

      But if I were to do that I would risk straining my imagination beyond repair.

  8. observer 8

    This is a strange hill to be fighting on today, since it will be overtaken by 10 a.m.

    I think debating a delay within the 3 year term is a very minor matter. It is Judith Collins' wish to extend the term that is 100 times worse, a constitutional outrage. She should be hammered for that. But she isn't, partly because people are focusing on this instead.

    National can't withdraw confidence they don't have, that's irrelevant. It's confusing/conflating the two issues. No 75%, no way. That's what matters.

  9. Red Blooded One 9

    Just to be a moaning old git, I absolutely hated the ongoing reference to the Government as the COL or Coalition of Losers so am just as disappointed to see us slag them in the same way. Having said that, I think the PM will be "fair" and delay, whereas I think she should stick to Sept 19th.

    • Enough is Enough 9.1

      I too find it embarrassing when folk from the left use juvenile names to describe those on the other side (especially when they steal the same silly names the Nats used in the first place)

      • Red Blooded One 9.1.1

        I'm no saint, I suggest one persons juvenile is another's clever, but the Loser tag really grates on me (Michelle Boag, was using it very early on, John Banks used to use it all the time). I hang my head in shame to admit I refer to the Punch 'n Judy show for the current Opposition.

  10. Sacha 10

    I want an election sooner rather than later. However in passing can I question why you are following others in highlighting the ethnicity (and location) of this family?

    • Anne 10.1

      I think mickysavage is responding to the slagging off they are receiving by the ignoramuses on social media – pointing out they have done everything right and should be lauded not insulted. Every opportunity should be used imo.

      • mickysavage 10.1.1

        Their ethnicity has already been released and is the subject of some of the attacks. I wanted to express support for them and note their commitment to the rules was very valuable to all of us.

        And South Auckland gets bad press. Believe me I grew up there! Because of poverty it is unfortunately the place more likely than many to have a cluster appear. Thanks to this family's responsible behaviour there is a hope that we can get on top of this.

  11. Devo 11

    The whole ‘we need more time to campaign’ thing frm parties who haven’t bothered releasing meaningful policy 5 weeks before an election is taking me right back to high school w everyone begging teachers for extensions on assignments they haven’t startd the day before they’re due.
    — Melissa Ansell-Bridges (@mansellbridges) August 16, 2020

    • tc 11.1

      +100 All the while expecting a lift in polling with a trumpian styled strategy their media shills croon along to.

  12. Tricledrown 12

    Looks like Winston is playing wag the dog

    If he does he will be finished

  13. Peter 13

    Collins wants it delayed because she thinks, well hopes, that over the period their share can only go higher, could not go lower.

    Peters wants it delayed as a way of keeping the death throes of his party away.

    Seymour is just throwing stuff out for attention and relevance because that's what he always does.

    Te Kahika and his mob will want it delayed hoping scores of thousands in the interim have lobotomies then going the. It would the average IQ of the group would go top.

    Ardern just has to take the hysteria and bullying that has gone on. I realise there are all sorts of constitutional niceties, but the best suggestion was from the guy on the radio this morning who say Ardern should delay it for three years.

    • Andre 13.1

      Collins wants it delayed because she thinks, well hopes, that over the period their share can only go higher, could not go lower.

      Not necessarily. If you were staring at a shit sandwich, and given the chance to swap for a brown bag that most likely had an even more shit sandwich but also had a small chance of having a lunchmeat sandwich, would you do the swap?

  14. Nic 181 14

    The election was set for 19th September. If we assume the Writ day at Parliament is today and the current Lockdown ends Wednesday 26th, then I suggest the election date goes into early November. November 5th is a good date for an election. Let's blow up the Nats!

  15. Shanreagh 15

    I too, cannot see a need to delay the election and the point about getting a new govt confirmed to continue the response to Covid-19, in a short sharp manner is well made by MS. I think the election, if delayed, should be by two weeks only ie 2 weeks from 19/9. I don't see the need to extend out to November.

    PS the only campaign leaflets I have received per mailbox have been from National

  16. Sabine 16

    it is very hard to believe that hte government has not spend a single thought about the 'what if' scenario of the virus coming back before the election.

    Seriously, not one fucking 'what if' thought? No plan b? Nope, business as usual?

    Oh well. that is how you give ammunition to your enemies.

    • Sacha 16.1

      The Electoral Commission has planned for an election at Level 2. What do you expect the government to have done?

      • Sabine 16.1.1

        to plan for level 4 – worst case scenario.

        after all we are in Covid times now.
        Or is that asking too much? Seriously they must have at least on suit in their midst who should be able to do a risk analysis of 'What if another outbreak happens and we have to put all or parts of the country in lockdown'j.

        that is what i expect of them. After all it is what is expected of every business and every family in this country. Prepare for another lockdown, loss of job, loss of income etc etc etc.

        So yeah, they have no one to blame but themselves if they did not at least play the worst case scenario at least once to see what should/could/must be done.

        • ScottGN 16.1.1.1

          What are you banging on about? The Electoral Commission has clearly said that they are able to conduct an election under level 2 conditions. And they have just as clearly said that holding an election under Level 3 or 4 conditions will be extremely difficult. You may not like to hear that but that doesn’t mean that planning has not been done.

    • observer 16.2

      Er, they've gone on and on about it, before it happened. Hipkins talking about the app, Woods on the borders, Bloomfield on masks, etc.

      It's not their fault we stopped listening.

      • Sabine 16.2.1

        "We' did not do anything.

        You may have stopped listening, but WE did not. Besides the government should even plan for that.

        I mean we had the images coming from the US voting in Wisconsin. Plus we have the numbers of cases raising after these votes.

        Besides, so far it has not yet been established where they guy in AKL got hte virus from. So maybe just maybe….don't blame the citizens of the country just because the government dropped the ball on how to do election in times of a pandemic.

        • observer 16.2.1.1

          I'm really not sure what point you're making.

          Plan for a level 2 election, done. Plan for level 3 locally, done.

          Level 4 is total lockdown, and realistically would mean delaying the election. But we aren't at level 4, so it isn't an issue.

          • Andre 16.2.1.1.1

            We can still go and buy food at Level 4. Voting takes much less time and less getting near other people than a grocery run. I can't see any obstacles to providing better protection for election workers than grocery workers had in Level 4.

          • Sabine 16.2.1.1.2

            We are not YET at level 4. 🙂

            Chances are we are going to be there in due time as the cases seem to be growing and going into hard lockdown seems to be the fastest and least damaging way to get it under control.

            But hey, if they all did this planning, this post and that of Lprent is not needed and we can go back to fooling us how this is all normal.

            • ScottGN 16.2.1.1.2.1

              Nothing that has happened with the current outbreak so far points to Auckland having to go into Level 4 let alone the rest of the country. You are over dramatising the situation.

            • Hanswurst 16.2.1.1.2.2

              Chances are we are going to be there in due time as the cases seem to be growing and going into hard lockdown seems to be the fastest and least damaging way to get it under control.

              The growing number of cases don't tell you that, especially given that the current alert levels haven't been in place long enough for the effects to be discernible.

    • Just Is 16.3

      You Obviously Haven't Been Listening to the news for weeks.

      The Electoral Commission is prepared for most scenarios, it's common knowledge

  17. Very good article.

    Agree 100%

    Thank you. Now bring on the Election.

  18. Stuart Munro 18

    I do think delaying the election should be considered. Covid is a big enough issue to have constitutional implications. But that doesn't mean that opposition parties should be encouraged to create uncertainty for any length of time over it.

    Ideally there should be a debate followed by a conscience vote that settles the matter. The government might have concerns however, that NZF will display the erratic behaviour that typically peaks pre-election, to prevent an orderly solution. In that case they might quite properly put the election back three weeks – the time lost to Covid – without allowing other parties to exploit the decision.

  19. Sacha 19

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/423695/election-date-there-isn-t-a-risk-free-option-chris-hipkins

    Green co-leader James Shaw said calls for a delay to the election were politicking.

    "I think it's 100 percent electioneering. There are some political parties who are clearly prioritising their electoral fortunes over the health of our communities and strength of our democracy and I think that's extremely disappointing.

    Shaw said National Party leader Judith Collins was "essentially laying the groundwork to be able to say that unless she gets what she wants then she'll be able to declare the election illegitimate.

    "I think that's incredibly dangerous."

    “[Peters] is clearly flirting with the idea of creating a political crisis, if you read between the lines of what he was saying yesterday.”

  20. observer 20

    I just think it's really funny that the opposition whinge about the PM being on telly, and thanks to their whinging about the election she's about to be on the telly.

  21. SPC 21

    My original reaction when Auckland went to Level 3, was that the election would be delayed for the period they are at this Level.

    It's either 1 or 2 weeks as known, but may go long as a month. .

    That's logical but Winston Peters has gone rogue …

  22. Weasel 22

    Judith Collins on politics in another time when Nats in control: “It’s not turn-sies time.”

  23. Sacha 23

    17 Oct says PM

    • weka 23.1

      nice compromise

      • Sacha 23.1.1

        I was hoping for a week earlier as a compromise, but apparently too tight for the Commission to do its thing.

        • You_Fool 23.1.1.1

          Also school holidays run into it too much, which can mean higher special votes and lower numbers of election workers available

        • Chris 23.1.1.2

          I hope Ardern stresses the need for other parties to have a chance at campaining as the main reason for the change. And depending on how virus issues unfold the delay might even boost Labour's support.

      • Robert Guyton 23.1.2

        And elegantly delivered by the Prime Minister.

        • Robert Guyton 23.1.2.1

          Pete George thinks so too!

          "Ardern’s speech announcing her decision was carefully and competently crafted and well delivered. She is good at fronting this sort of thing."

          • Robert Guyton 23.1.2.1.1

            David Farrar, not so much!

            "And in the end the decision by the PM is primarily about what maximises her chances of Labour gaining a majority. If it was about public health then the decision would be a no brainer and a delay would already have been announced."

  24. Muttonbird 24

    Kicking the can down the road.

  25. A clever choice from Labour. Spikes Winston's constitutional guns and reinforces to the country that this is a listening and caring government.

    Cold comfort for National, who get four more weeks to try and lift themselves out of the doldrums, while the grim reality is that it's four more weeks of daily updates from Jacinda Ardern on the telly, reassuring and comforting the nation while demonstrating that she is in total control.

    • Sacha 25.1

      All a vote of no confidence would do is immediately trigger an election. More bluster from the desperate codger.

      • ScottGN 25.1.1

        Not necessarily. The GG only has to call an election if no one can command a majority in the House. If the government falls the opposition parties could band together with NZFirst and provide a caretaker admin and reschedule the election within the limits of the current term. Delaying until next year requires a super vote in the parliament. That’s my understanding of what Edegeler andvGedfis have said.

        • observer 25.1.1.1

          It's a fun hypothetical, though of course the public's response to that would have been outrage, giving the phoney caretaker government a month of internal chaos followed by a landslide defeat.

    • ScottGN 25.2

      Yeah I think that Collins and National have made a strategic mistake with this. Any doubts in the public’s mind about how the government has handled the current outbreak will have subsided (so long as the situation doesn’t deteriorate) by then and we will still have had wall to wall Jacinda on the telly every day.
      As far as Judith wanting to ‘help’ the PM delay until next year, that was never going to fly. As observer points out further up the thread that option is a serious constitutional affront.

      • te reo putake 25.2.1

        Yep! Collins will go down in political history as the first Tory leader to publicly campaign for a Labour Government to extend their stay in power 😉

        • Ad 25.2.1.1

          Other than the National MPs who will go out, there will be plenty of National loyalists who will look at the utter mess of the next three years' recession and breathe a sigh of relief at losing this one.

          • AB 25.2.1.1.1

            And a subset of those loyalists who will be gleeful at the future opportunity to unleash brutal austerity on their social inferiors because of the government deficit.

            • Sacha 25.2.1.1.1.1

              And the ones bemoaning a chance to get into that right away rather than waiting. Never waste a crisis..

    • Agree with you TRP. Jacinda gets it right again.

  26. ScottGN 26

    Now for Judith to corral her bunch of sorry-arsed escapees back into the House!

  27. observer 27

    Good decision (and not just because I named the date on here last week wink)

    I still think people underestimate Ardern's political skill. Collins wanted next year. Peters wanted November. PM has consulted and looked inclusive and reasonable and then told them to bugger off, without ever telling them to bugger off.

    And the command of detail in that press conference was impressive. Next idiot who says she's a lightweight, tie them to a chair and make them watch it.

    • SPC 27.1

      The reason they wanted the last possible date was that if the EC could not run it on that day, parliament would have to resume and been effectively required to super majorirty an election next year. In such a context National would have demanded a coalition arrangment in the interim.

      Now the EC has 5 Saturdays they can hold the final day of voting, options to delay up to 4 times – creating a longer and longer period of early voting if required.

    • Pat 27.2

      Indeed….she certainly has hoisted them on their own petards…they will do well to learn the lesson this time…it's getting repetitive

  28. mauī 28

    Wonderful, wonderful Arden.

  29. Weasel 29

    Given the extra time until the vote and Miss Collins' abysmal performance to date, I'm opening a book on National having a new leader by then. Any takers?

  30. SPC 30

    A Curia poll of Aucklanders showed 58% want an election delay and 29% want 19th of September.

    Whereas the Herald poll had 40% wanting it on Sept 19 and 21% in October.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12356984

    • observer 30.1

      The Herald poll also says only one voter in 5 wanted an extension of the term, which was the preference of Judith "finger on pulse" Collins.

      • SPC 30.1.1

        Two majorities, one for a delay and the other by no more than a month.

        Oct 17 being after the school holidays – allowing early voting at schools (up to 12th when schools resume)?

  31. PaddyOT 31

    So technically are those who have left for good,then returning to Parliament to make decisions? The terrible suffering if we all have to hear the Natz departees Valedictory speeches again.

    • Sacha 31.1

      The awkward post-breakup encounter..

      • PaddyOT 31.1.1

        Not sure if my comment was clear sorry. Being flippant was my bad.
        That "post-breakup " encounter is funny to contemplate.

        I was alluding to more serious consequences beyond the media hype which was poorly expressed by me.

        I was referring to other comments re-no dissolution and effects such as needing 'plans' comments. " No dissolution today simply means that National MPs will have to be in Parliament tomorrow"., clarity on " constitutional matters" .,
        Parliament is not dissolved so Members of Parliament and the Government still continue to exist.
        Moving the dissolution has an effect on all the parts.
        So a re-instated House per say was new territory. The recalled Parliament members are needed to legislate any of Government's major measures, eg. " Without a parliament any government would run out of money pretty quickly. Only Parliament can approve the bills that provide cash to run the country.".
        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/the-house/audio/2018759138/dissolving-parliament-what-is-that

        So, Paula Bennet, Hamish Walker, Ian Lees-Galloway, Andrew Falloon et al who have breached public trust – JC and Brownlee even now – still get to vote in Parliament from tomorrow when making decisions for the future.

        Decisions such as those expressed by comments above-
        "after all we are in Covid times now.
        Or is that asking too much? Seriously they must have at least on suit in their midst who should be able to do a risk analysis of 'What if another outbreak happens and we have to put all or parts of the country in lockdown'j. ".

        that is what i expect of them. After all it is what is expected of every business and every family in this country. Prepare for another lockdown, loss of job, loss of income etc etc etc."

        And this one highlighting lack of trust and integrity flaws of MP's – " "Frankly, many New Zealanders would have heard loud and clear that these parties prioritise their potential electoral successes over the health of our communities, and the strength of our democratic institutions.” . Concerning? yes.

  32. Cinny 32

    Fantastic graphic MS.

    Wonder if retiring MP's will now get an extra four weeks salary?

    My john key loving boss said the following this morning, after praising Jacinda and announcing he is going to vote for our current PM…..

    "Imagine if that other women was running the country, I can't stand her, she's a bully, I don't trust her, what's her name again?"

  33. Dean Reynolds 33

    Watching Jacinda's masterful performance on TV1 this morning had me grinning from ear to ear – she's simply amazing! Compared to Jacinda, Collins looks facile, incoherent & small minded.

    • Just Is 33.1

      Collins is working hard to dispel the perception she's a nasty politician, leopards don't change their spots

  34. Golriz Ghahraman has just made the nice point on twitter that a month's worth of first time voters will now be eligible to cast a ballot. Happy birthday anybody turning 18 between mid September and mid October. Have some democracy with that cake!

  35. Dean Reynolds 35

    The other thing that struck me, at the end of Jacinda's presentation, was watching the jackals of the media shouting out their inane 'gotcha' type questions. These hyenas aren't interested in information, they just want a cheap headline to which they can put their name. I'm impressed with the dignity & patience exhibited by the PM, The DG of Health & The Minister of Health as they calmly answer each moronic question which is shouted at them.

    • Red Blooded One 35.1

      Agreed, I would like to see a ticker at the bottom of the screen naming the "journalist" and the organization they are from just to confirm and highlight what numbnuts is wasting everyone's time.

    • Heather Grimwood 35.2

      Yes i aree. I admire the resilience of the folk being rudely shouted at by those who obviously lack listening skills. I feel for the recipients who working long stressful hours must be weary enough without being subjected to such uncouth behaviour.

  36. Ken 36

    Judy and Gerry don't get any younger, prettier, nicer or smarter, the longer you look at them.

    The extra month just gives everyone longer to think about how badly an outfit that can't even run a political party properly is suited to run a country.

  37. Byd0nz 37

    Another month, whatever. Most people, i should think, already know who they will vote for, so the extra time will be for procrasternators, the dont knowers, swing voters whos vote will probably spread among the parties. Advance voting is OK I guess under the circ's, but I prefer to vote on the day, wearing some red as I line up to give both ticks to Labour.

  38. rod 38

    I would like to see another camera homing in on the person asking the question, so that we at home can see who these people are. smiley

  39. PsyclingLeft.Always 39

    See Winston Peters on the news with his Green attack mode raising Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald as examples of Actual Greens. Peters desperately seeking relevance. Any window of opportunity….Hopefully slammed shut soon. : )

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  • Independent group to oversee continual improvement in COVID-19 response
    A newly established advisory group will ensure New Zealand’s COVID-19 response continues to learn and adapt with a focus on continual improvement, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Throughout our response to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 we have been committed to continual improvement, and independent advice has been ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Training underway for elite emergency response team
    Candidates working towards becoming part of a specialist rapid emergency response team are being put through their paces at an intensive 13 day training course, attended by Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan.  “The Emergency Management Assistance Team (EMAT) is a squad of specially trained emergency managers who can go ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Govt fulfilling commitment to improve seafarer welfare
    The Government is fulfilling its pre-election commitment to allow more support to seafarers visiting New Zealand, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today.       The Maritime Transport Act will be amended through the Regulatory Systems (Transport) Amendment Bill to allow maritime levies to be used to provide support services ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Govt purchases enough Pfizer vaccines for whole country
    The Government has guaranteed that every New Zealander will have access to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, after securing an additional 8.5 million doses, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The Government has signed an advance purchase agreement for 8.5 million additional doses, enough to vaccinate 4.25 million people. The vaccines are ...
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    1 day ago
  • Celebrating Women in our COVID response – International Women’s Day 2021
    “This International Women’s Day I acknowledge the women who have been crucial in our COVID-19 recovery – our scientists, healthcare professionals, and essential workers – and everyone who is working every day to help women and girls achieve their potential in Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Minister for Women Jan Tinetti ...
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    1 day ago
  • $950k funding boost for World Conference on Women and Sport
    An additional $950,000 investment has been made to support New Zealand’s hosting of the 8th World Conference of the International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) in Auckland in 2022. The funding comes from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package and is for Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine ...
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    1 day ago
  • Celebrating Children’s Day / Te Rā o Ngā Tamariki
    Today marks Children’s Day / Te Rā o Ngā Tamariki and the Minister for Children, Kelvin Davis is asking all New Zealanders to think about their responsibility to support the lives of the tamariki in their communities and to make this a special day for celebrating them. Children’s Day / ...
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    3 days ago
  • Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission report shows progress
    Health Minister Andrew Little welcomes the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission’s assessment that transformation of New Zealand’s approach to mental health and addiction is underway. “This is an important step in the Government’s work to provide better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for all people in New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Over $300m returned to COVID-hit travellers
    The Government’s Consumer Travel Reimbursement Scheme has helped return over $352 million of refunds and credits to New Zealanders who had overseas travel cancelled due to COVID-19, Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says. “Working with the travel sector, we are helping New Zealanders retrieve the money owed to them by ...
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    5 days ago
  • Hundreds more schools join free lunches programme
    An additional 88,000 students in 322 schools and kura across the country have started the school year with a regular lunch on the menu, thanks to the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. They join 42,000 students already receiving weekday lunches under the scheme, which launched last ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt’s balanced economic approach reflected in Crown accounts
    New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected. The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU). The operating balance before gains ...
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    5 days ago
  • Over half of border workforce receive first vaccinations
    More than half of New Zealand’s estimated 12,000 border workforce have now received their first vaccinations, as a third batch of vaccines arrive in the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. As of midnight Tuesday, a total of 9,431 people had received their first doses. More than 70 percent ...
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    6 days ago
  • Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways
    The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor.   Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will ...
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    6 days ago
  • Next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers
    The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend. Following two new community cases of COVID-19, Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt committed to hosting Rugby World Cup
    The Government remains committed to hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2022 should a decision be made by World Rugby this weekend to postpone this year’s tournament. World Rugby is recommending the event be postponed until next year due to COVID-19, with a final decision to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Support Available for Communities affected by COVID-19
    Community and social service support providers have again swung into action to help people and families affected by the current COVID-19 alert levels. “The Government recognises that in many instances social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations are best placed to provide vital support to the communities impacted by ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces review into PHARMAC
    The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The Review will focus on two areas: How well PHARMAC performs against its current objectives and whether and how its performance against these ...
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    1 week ago
  • Impressive response to DOC scholarship programme
    Some of the country’s most forward-thinking early-career conservationists are among recipients of a new scholarship aimed at supporting a new generation of biodiversity champions, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. The Department of Conservation (DOC) has awarded one-year postgraduate research scholarships of $15,000 to ten Masters students in the natural ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to ANZLF Virtual Indigenous Business Trade and Connections Event
    I acknowledge our whānau overseas, joining us from Te Whenua Moemoeā, and I wish to pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you all today. I am very pleased to be part of the conversation on Indigenous business, and part ...
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    1 week ago
  • Main benefits to increase in line with wages
    Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today that main benefits will increase by 3.1 percent on 1 April, in line with the rise in the average wage. The Government announced changes to the annual adjustment of main benefits in Budget 2019, indexing main benefit increases to the average ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deed of Settlement signed with Ngāti Maru (Taranaki)
    A Deed of Settlement has been signed between Ngāti Maru and the Crown settling the iwi’s historical Treaty of Waitangi claims, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The Ngāti Maru rohe is centred on the inland Waitara River valley, east to the Whanganui River and its ...
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    1 week ago
  • Support in place for people connected to Auckland COVID-19 cases
    With a suite of Government income support packages available, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni is encouraging people, and businesses, connected to the recent Auckland COVID-19 cases to check the Work and Income website if they’ve been impacted by the need to self-isolate. “If you are required to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on passing of former PNG PM Sir Michael Somare
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her condolences at the passing of long-serving former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. “Our thoughts are with Lady Veronica Somare and family, Prime Minister James Marape and the people of Papua New Guinea during this time of great ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the National Māori Housing Conference 2021
    E te tī, e te tā  Tēnei te mihi maioha ki a koutou  Ki te whenua e takoto nei  Ki te rangi e tū iho nei  Ki a tātou e tau nei  Tēnā tātou.  It’s great to be with you today, along with some of the ministerial housing team; Hon Peeni Henare, the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Drone project to aid protection of Māui dolphin
    The Government is backing a new project to use drone technology to transform our understanding and protection of the Māui dolphin, Aotearoa’s most endangered dolphin.    “The project is just one part of the Government’s plan to save the Māui dolphin. We are committed to protecting this treasure,” Oceans and Fisheries ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New water regulator board announced as major Government reform moves forward
    Major water reform has taken a step closer with the appointment of the inaugural board of the Taumata Arowai water services regulator, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. Former Director General of Health and respected public health specialist Dame Karen Poutasi will chair the inaugural board of Crown agency Taumata Arowai. “Dame ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • North Auckland gets public transport upgrade
    The newly completed Hibiscus Coast Bus Station will help people make better transport choices to help ease congestion and benefit the environment, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said today. Michael Wood and Phil Goff officially opened the Hibiscus Coast Bus Station which sits just off the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting work to protect Northland reserve
    New funding announced by Conservation Minister Kiri Allan today will provide work and help protect the unique values of Northland’s Te Ārai Nature Reserve for future generations. Te Ārai is culturally important to Te Aupōuri as the last resting place of the spirits before they depart to Te Rerenga Wairua. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Critical step to new housing deal for Pacific communities
      Today the Government has taken a key step to support Pacific people to becoming Community Housing providers, says the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This will be great news for Pacific communities with the decision to provide Pacific Financial Capability Grant funding and a tender process to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Consultation opens on proposed Bay of Islands marine mammal sanctuary
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on a proposed marine mammal sanctuary to address the rapid decline of bottlenose dolphins in Te Pēwhairangi, the Bay of Islands. The proposal, developed jointly with Ngā Hapū o te Pēwhairangi, would protect all marine mammals of the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Three District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.    Two of the appointees will take up their roles on 1 April, replacing sitting Judges who have reached retirement age.     Kirsten Lummis, lawyer of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access
    Government announces list of life-shortening conditions guaranteeing early KiwiSaver access The Government changed the KiwiSaver rules in 2019 so people with life-shortening congenital conditions can withdraw their savings early The four conditions guaranteed early access are – down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder An alternative ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank to take account of housing in decision making
    The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into account government policy relating to more sustainable house prices, while working ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Investment to reduce cochlear implant waitlist
    The Labour Government will invest $6 million for 70 additional adult cochlear implants this year to significantly reduce the historical waitlist, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Cochlear implants are life changing for kiwis who suffer from severe hearing loss. As well as improving an individual’s hearing, they open doors to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Māori wards Bill passes third reading
    The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill passed its third reading today and will become law, Minister of Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta says. “This is a significant step forward for Māori representation in local government. We know how important it is to have diversity around ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers 1,000 more transitional housing places
    The Government has added 1,000 more transitional housing places as promised under the Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (HAP), launched one year ago. Minister of Housing Megan Woods says the milestone supports the Government’s priority to ensure every New Zealander has warm, dry, secure housing. “Transitional housing provides people ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrives safely – as the first vaccinations take place in the...
    A second batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived safely yesterday at Auckland International Airport, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “This shipment contained about 76,000 doses, and follows our first shipment of 60,000 doses that arrived last week. We expect further shipments of vaccine over the coming weeks,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $18 million for creative spaces to make arts more accessible
    The Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni has today announced $18 million to support creative spaces. Creative spaces are places in the community where people with mental health needs, disabled people, and those looking for social connection, are welcomed and supported to practice and participate in the arts ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little today welcomed Moriori to Parliament to witness the first reading of the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill. “This bill is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from all the parties involved. “I am delighted to reach this significant milestone today,” Andrew ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government action reduces child poverty
    22,400 fewer children experiencing material hardship 45,400 fewer children in low income households on after-housing costs measure After-housing costs target achieved a year ahead of schedule Government action has seen child poverty reduce against all nine official measures compared to the baseline year, Prime Minister and Minister for Child Poverty ...
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    2 weeks ago