Will the real National Party please stand up

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 pm, August 18th, 2014 - 52 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags:

I think it’s likely that the emails leaked to Nicky Hager  for “Dirty Politics” have everything to do with the National Party. Nicky Hager identified the main source for his previous book “The Hollow Men” as six people from the National Party. He thanks “the National party staffer who first suggested he work on this subject” in the preface to “Dirty Politics.” It may well be that the both leaks come from the same source, and for the same reason. There will be many people in the National Party who will be disgusted at what is now being done under their name.

In the preface to the earlier book, Hager describes how after the 2005 campaign nearly brought Don Brash to the Beehive in a ‘successful” campaign, “some people in the National Party were profoundly unhappy with how some of this ‘success’ had been achieved. They believed that some of this ‘good’ campaigning had been so unprincipled and even unlawful that the country was lucky they had lost the election.” The preface concludes:

While reading (these) chapters, be aware of how rare it is to see the way politicians behave when they confidently believe that they are acting in secret. The public is usually fed an unnutritious diet of scripted media statements, clever advertisements and practised denials. This is a chance, thanks to National Party sources, to see and judge for yourself some of what really goes on.

We’ve certainly had a blizzard of practised, if unconvincing,  denials from John Key and Judith Collins in the last few days as earlier posts on this site show all too clearly. But the way the group of political actors in Hager’s Dirty Politics behave “when they confidently believe they are acting in secret” goes beyond unprincipled and unlawful to decadent and disgusting. That is why I believe it is likely that it is those with integrity in the National Party – and there are many there – are the ones who have called time and blown the whistle.

In the eponymous chapter in the “Hollow Men,” Hager talks about how the 2005 campaign’s focus on political correctness and the nanny state

helps National to avoid confronting a deep and fundamental rift within its own ranks. For most of its history, the party was a combination of conservative and interest group politics..Since the 1980s National has had two very different and incompatible policies at work: conservative and radical free market right.. This fundamental conflict has never been resolved.

Don Brash was definitely from the radical right. So is John Key, as the “Hollow Men” shows, with the addition of “detoxification” of the right-wing brand. But what Key has added and allowed is a worse form of toxicity, a slimy poison infecting the underparts of the National Party. Its focus is not only external but also internal, as detailed in Slater’s tactics to solicit money to affect National Party candidate selections by negative tactics in favour of an extreme right wing faction led by Judith Collins.

So it should be no surprise that those underhand and bullying tactics may now have been brought to light in my view by National Party conservatives, who represent an altogether more decent form of politics. Those I know will be disgusted by this type of behaviour. It’s also testimony to a massive split inside the party. The paper over the cracks has now been torn apart.

Also, John Key trying to paint Nicky Hager as an “extreme left-winger” is absurd – this comes from the “Hollow Men” Epilogue:

For the National Party, the underlying problem has been the lack of a clear vision and philosophy to offer the public. Without these, the party is disorganised and ineffectual, and susceptible to being taken over by cliques and outside interests. Until new leaders find a genuinely conservative vision of their own, ..the party will keep sliding back into the same two ruts in the road – a more or less free market agenda that must be pursued by stealth and deception.

For that to happen it may well be appropriate that the TeamKey government should end, and “not with a bang but a whimper.”

 

 

 

52 comments on “Will the real National Party please stand up ”

  1. Not a PS Staffer 1

    Thanks Mike

    The behaviour of the current National Party insiders that you describe perfectly when you say it “goes beyond unprincipled and unlawful to decadent and disgusting” started with the shafting of Jim Bolger by Jenny Shipley & Co.

    The current smart-set in National have air-brushed Jim Bolger from their history. There are some remaining with decent values and hopefully they will assert themselves soon. I’ll never agree with the values of a Tory party and will always fight them: however New Zealand needs a healthy political landscape and a healthy, even if Tory, opposition.

  2. Pete 2

    I know plenty of decent men and women who are tribal National. If you get out into the smaller towns and rural communities, there are plenty there. Some of their MPs don’t deserve the vilification this scandal tars them with. The problem are the flash, urban, quick-buck set who seem to have all sense of empathy removed. I know I’ll get a little flack for saying this, but I still have some respect for Bill English, particularly after he spoke about how we have too many in prison. But he’s had his chance as leader. I wonder what his private thoughts are of Key.

    I really want there to be a progressive government in place on 21 September, but I want the government after that one to be less cruel and less vindictive. For that to happen, National needs to take a long hard look at itself and reconsider the position of people like Collins, Joyce, Brownlee and Bridges.

    • Harry Holland 2.2

      When the member for double Dipton was leader he seemed like a half-decent bloke I thought, for a politician and a tory that is.

      And this 2012 Washington speech summary from Bolger is interesting http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10884963

      “He used the occasion to vent about the perils of deregulation leading to the global financial crisis in 2008, on multinationals making billions and paying little tax, and the responsibility of free traders to be focused on people.”

      “Mr Bolger brought them back to reality talking about the 1027 deaths in a Bangladeshi factory through a building collapse. My question is whether such tragedies move large corporates to demand proper standards, proper conditions for workers to get a lousy 58c a shirt for their work.”

      About as good as it gets from a tory politician. The speech also contained the usual hypocrisy and hubris, but all the same I can’t imagine Key giving a speech like that.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I know I’ll get a little flack for saying this, but I still have some respect for Bill English,

      The Double Dipper from Dipton?

    • Enough is Enough 2.4

      I think National will do more than have a good hard look at itself. I think this is the end of the road for the party. They cannot and will not survive this, at least not as a mainstream party.

      Key will go within 24 hours of the election. An almighty war will then erupt between the Collins and Joyce factions. English, and Brownlee will resign and the public will desert them.

      They will break up meaning there will be new hard core right party and a centre party, both struggling for relevance and 5% by 2017.

      Key will be remembered as the man that destroyed the National Party

      • Thinker 2.4.1

        A bit Shakesperian tragedy, I think, to dramatise this as the end of National. The Democrats survived Watergate, and National will survive this… eventually.

        That’s probably a good thing, long term, because we need two major parties of almost-equal strength, to stop this current kind of politics permeating either side of the house. Look what happened to Labour, when National became unelectable, in 1984.

        I think what’s brought this on can be traced back past Shipley, and to the door of the ‘new right agenda’ which, if you look at who’s who today, wasn’t really started by the Labour movement, but by a right-leaning faction inside Labour, part of which became the ACT party of today.

        I think it was a combination of three things: Rich, powerful people. Self-absorbed, powerful people, and a declining interest in politics by mainstream New Zealand that allowed the first two groups to capture parties on both sides of the fence, resulting in minimal real choice for voters. Like Ford’s Model T, you can have any politics, as long as it is neoliberal.

        To be true, both National and Labour need fixing.

        To fix National, well, that would be stating the obvious, after the past few days.

        But, for many years, Labour has allowed itself to be a watered-down-version of National, which has been a big part of getting us to where we are today. That’s what I admire most about Cunliffe – his acknowledgement of that fact, and his determination to do something about it. Winning the election is only the beginning for Labour, if it is to return to being a hand-on-heart egalatarian party.

        Rogernomics challenged the then-Establishment and, thus, became the Establishment. A generation later, we are seeing nothing less than a similar kind of challenge to Rogernomics. Anyone who’s read Animal Farm will recall that the pendulum swung far right, before it swung back to the middle. Hager’s book is probably only the match that sparked the fire, rather than the fire itself. Simply, the time is right for a generational transformation.

        With Labour back to being a party for the masses, National would have to offer more than it has been offering to mainstream voters, and return to thinking about more than just the top few percent, if it wanted to get back to power. Muldoon had his faults but, hard as he was, I doubt he would have approved of a government for just the top few percent, the way National has become of late. Other commentators have pointed out, there is probably a core of a better class of politicians inside National, waiting to come out after the dust has settled.

    • Stuart Munro 2.5

      I’d have more respect for him if he resigned. If you can’t run an economy for toffee you shouldn’t stay in the job.

    • Colonial Viper 2.6

      Yeah I have time for Bill English as well. And he has done sorta OK with the economy, given the constraints that his party and financial neoliberalism apply.

      Notice though how they are replacing a lot of middle of the road Tory MPs with younger hungry corporate types. Not a good sign for the future.

      • Pete 2.6.1

        And one of those corporate types is Todd Barclay, who was gifted Clutha-Southland. I guess one of the things about safe National seats is that they seem to go to the kind of person who would appear to take their responsibilities for granted. A sinecure rather than an obligation.

  3. Sable 3

    Yes and I know I belabor this point but lets not forget the slimy turds in the mainstream media who enabled this character. I suspect Keys would be out of office by now were it not for their on going campaign of stoogery, flattery and misinformation. If National needs to be reformed the MSM in this country does as well and with equal urgency…

    • tc 3.1

      +1
      A public broadcaster derived from the trainwreck that is tvnz currently would be the best option. Better be quick though before the nats park it inside the casino.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      I’d say that the MSM needs to be reformed with more urgency. Blip’s list of National Party lies and distraction shows that. If the MSM had done their job National would never have got a second term. Hell, they probably wouldn’t have got a first term.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Better wingnuts apply within.

  5. lebleaux 5

    I too want a progressive government in place after September, but where are we gonna get one of those if its not lead by National … Hone, Laila, Winston, Wussell all leading David by the nose, bouncing from one apology to another … with Metiria dancing in the chorus. Say it can’t be so. Actually, have not seen or heard from David for a while now, is he still participating. Kelvin Davis for leader, that’s what I say.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Oh look, a Slater. Can I step on it or does someone want to pull its legs off first?

      • lebleaux 5.1.1

        Don’t dismiss Kelvin Davis so quickly – I just spent the weekend in the North, Kelvin is both liked and respected by a broad section of the community, a real asset. He could work really well with Shane Jones ….. oops ….. I mean he could work really well with Hone, Laila, Winston, Wussell all leading David by the nose, bouncing from one apology to another … with Metiria dancing in the chorus …. oh darn ….. no he couldn’t

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1

          Yes, and you’re associated with the lowest scum New Zealand has ever seen, and they live on the ninth floor of the Beehive. I’d vote for gang members before the National Party. At least they have the guts to stab people in the front.

        • tricledrown 5.1.1.2

          lowblow scum flots to the top slaters take on key

      • tricledrown 5.1.2

        Low blow for the lowbrow lurker OAB

    • You_Fool 5.2

      “Actually, have not seen or heard from David for a while now”

      Would that be David Cunliffe who has been all over the news for weeks now, just about all in a positive light despite the MSM’s best efforts?

      I don’t think I have heard from Dear Leader much, except to offer the latest denial

      • lebleaux 5.2.1

        As I said I have been in the North all weekend – Silent ‘T’s face was not to be found anywhere – not like that lovely man Kelvin Davis – he was everywhere. Looked to me like there was plenty of room on the billboard for Davey baby – but no show

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1

          Yes, your partisan ad hominem attacks confirm Nicky Hager’s findings. How is the view down there in the oil?

          That’s a rhetorical question 😀

  6. philj 6

    xox
    NATRAD and TVNZ needs a complete reconditioning. As does the MSM. It’s called democracy and a worthy 4th estate. Not the corporatocracy we have presently.

  7. Murray Rosser 7

    Mike, I think you are onto possibly the most concerning story in Dirty Politics – the chapter on Simon Lusk. Just who is now running the National Party – not the elected party officials and not the party leader either it appears when it comes to candidate selection. Of course candidate selection, especially of those in safe seats, is the key to the direction of the party. Has Key become so relaxed about selection that he is ‘quite comfortable’ seeing the future of the party handed over to hard right MP’s who’s selection has been engineered by Lusk and Slater?

    Or is this Key’s real agenda – continuing along where Brash and his Hollow Men left off but with a smile on his face and a relaxed attitude. Maybe style is the only real difference between Key and Brash? Certainly they both subscribe to the zombie economics refined by both National and Labour to a near perfect level in what was once our country but. increasingly, is just like New Zealand Insurance – ours in name only.

    Dingbat

  8. Saarbo 8

    Tonight on Native Affairs, Patrick Gower reckoned that Labour during the Clark years would have had some similarly dirty e-mails, somehow I doubt it. They may have been underhand and cunning, but not disgustingly ugly, hateful and filthy like the Slater/Lusk/Williams et al group.

    But, like National, Labour has a split. A split between a “free market right” and a group with a desire for more intervention, a group that has seen the damage that pure free markets have had on parts of our country and want to see a strong and effective government that can govern for all. This split is clearly the most damaging thing for Labour, unfortunately it seems, that we have this in common with National.

  9. Lloyd 9

    Isn’t it good that the Greens don’t have this problem?

  10. Ad 10

    Nice nostalgic idea Mike but the National Party aren’t like Labour’s. The National caucus are in Key’s image – both now and completely so in the next parliament after his root and branch renewal.

    You are really hoping that there’s a cohort of older National supporter who will shear away in disgust. They will exist, but they too are few and literally dying out. Most of them I believe will be more disgusted at Hagar for daring to attack the honour and therefore station of the Prime Minister.

    Nicky is merely holding a small mirror to New Zealand society on the morality of the Washington Consensus. By and large New Zealand voters chose this over several decades with their Faustian eyes wide open.

  11. North 11

    Mike Williams got it right on RNZ Nine To Noon yesterday when repeatedly he expressed that whatever went before in our politics this is different – these are “repulsive” people – “disgusting” people – when he cited the very tone and the very words seen in the emails.

    • tricledrown 11.1

      Repulsive behaviour North what I like about the Standard is generally we hold ourselves to a higher standard !
      lets keep it that way while we are pissed off and angry if we are going to criticise the Govt over sewer style politics we can’ t go their!

      • lurgee 11.1.1

        The comments here can get pretty nasty at times. Not Whaleoil nasty, but when you’ve got posters describing David Shearer as ‘mumblefuck’ and so on, we’re a few steps down the road. And posters calling Colin Craig a knob are another. Not as bad, but not good either.

        • tricledrown 11.1.1.1

          Time for all of us to grow up and not feed National a way out me included

        • Olwyn 11.1.1.2

          Expressions of fury and the mockery of opponents, are not on a par with revelations intended to do damage, in some cases serious damage.

        • vto 11.1.1.3

          What is it with Judith Collins forehead and eyebrows? She looks like some sort of fucking mutant alien ….

          the mutant alien

        • TeWhareWhero 11.1.1.4

          That’s the problem with the blogosphere – people like Slater don’t so much as raise the bar on what is acceptable as remove it completely. Yes, there are some people who post here who allow their anger to get the better of their political judgement – especially when they get into personalised exchanges with RW posters who are winding things up – but I have never seen the adrenaline charged spite that erupts regularly on Slater’s blog. More importantly than the occasional outburst of vitriol, what you get on blogs like this are thoughtful, principled – and sometimes downright brilliant – analyses of current political issues.

  12. tricledrown 12

    National need to take personal and collective responsibility for this mess!
    Shonkey John Key needs to take personal responsibility for this complete corruption of politics in New Zealand!
    John Key needs to fly to Israel to beside his Close Mate and help him out anyway he can I am serious about this Mr Key you can be a man and take responsibility for your loyal mate!
    Revelations that Cameron Slater knew what was in the book 2 weeks ahead of publication have brought this whole sorry saga out in the open.
    John Key and Co Williams Collins all should fess up resign from politics go and help Cameron Slater you lot are responsible for encouraging Cameron down this path so now is time to all of you to take
    Responsibility for the damage you have created!
    we on the left need to be very careful and understanding criticising the behaviour at not lowering our selves to the same level of behaviour!
    John Kirwan explains what Cameron Slater is going through right now.

  13. philj 13

    xox
    What does Slater have on JK? Why is JK so closely associated with Slater? Why does Key not distance himself? Why can’t Key see the smell? Any ideas folks?

    • Key can see the smell. He just doesn’t care. People like him* hire “the little people” to do the dirty jobs no matter if they can’t stand them.

      (* If any tabloid bloggers are watching, I mean “neoliberal rich pricks”, not his ethnicity.)

    • tricledrown 13.2

      Depression philj Slater has been battling depression and is in a dark place right now Key and Collins egging Slaters Manic attacks is a very low dirty and dispicable.
      Now they are distancing themselves from Cameron as well Lusk is abandoning Slater as well.
      Hence Cameron calling lusk gutless shows how low Lusk is!

  14. Chooky 14

    The old National Party is DEAD…( the one that my farmer grandparents voted for)

    The old National Party died when John Key became leader.

    The old respectable National Party transmorphed into a NACT Party

    The NACT Party is run by PR merchants and black ops personnel and John Key is its Chief Executive

    The NACT Party is a rogue privatised party

    (Winston Peters is the true heir to the old National Party)

    RIP old National Party

  15. fambo 15

    Jim Bolger was almost talking like an anarchist just before he was rolled – promoting the idea of devolving power down to lower levels of government such as councils

    • RJL 15.1

      Perhaps, but don’t be too quick to canonise Bolger.

      What he probably envisaged, in practice, was central government devolving itself of responsibility for social issues without really enabling local government to effectively do much.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        Bolger did fine. A National PM who helped push through proportional representation for us. For that alone the man deserves a knighthood.

  16. Lanthanide 16

    He thanks “the National party staffer who first suggested he work on this subject” in the preface to “Dirty Politics.” It may well be that the both leaks come from the same source, and for the same reason. There will be many people in the National Party who will be disgusted at what is now being done under their name.

    Hager talked about this in his interview on Sunday with Wallace Chapman.

    Apparently it was a staffer who spoke to him a couple of years ago, and mentioned various names of people (probably like Ede?) who Hager hadn’t heard of at the time, but turn out to be all through Cameron’s emails.

    IIRC he said that the staffer said it was pretty open knowledge all this stuff was going on within National. Seems unlikely Key would have been in the dark about all of it, like he’s claiming.

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    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

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    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.

    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Women in Space.

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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13

    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
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    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
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    4 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    4 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
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    5 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    5 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
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    6 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
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    6 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
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    6 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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