How the parties are keeping us up to date – sort of – through their blogs

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Last of the National bloggers?

The most recent National Party press statement to land in our email intray arrived last Friday, giving Opposition leader Simon Bridges a platform to say plummeting business confidence “should be sending shivers down the spines of Government ministers”.

Almost half of Auckland businesses surveyed by the Auckland Business Chamber believed the economy would deteriorate over the next six months, Bridges observed.

He blamed government policy (what else?):

“This ‘free fall’ in business confidence is a direct result of the poor decisions and uncertainty created by the Ardern-Peters Government which has done nothing to give businesses a boost.”

He also had a crack at the government’s buck-passing a great deal of decisions to an army of review teams.

“With 122 working groups or reviews set up in the last eight months, it’s easy to see why businesses don’t have confidence in the Government’s ability to make decisions.”

It so happens the Nats have a blog, too, which you can find on the party’s website  under “News”, where visitors are given the choice of going to party “press releases” or to “blog“.

The blog perhaps is of greater interest to historians than news buffs.  The most recent post is headed “Statement from Chris Finlayson” dated October 26 2017. In this Finlayson declares:

I leave office today grateful for the opportunities given to me in the last nine years and filled with optimism for the future of the country.

The Green Party website’s menu more clearly separates its blog from its news.

The most recent news is a press release dated June 6 2018 which announces Green Party welcomes HNZ fronting on meth testing scandal

The Green Party welcomes the belated fronting by Housing New Zealand today on the bogus meth contamination of houses and agrees HNZ should consider repaying tenants costs associated with their evictions.

The most recent blog post – in the name of Eugenie Sage – is a bit older, dated May 31 2018, and comments on The Waste Management Institute of New Zealand’s discussion paper entitled “Rebooting Recycling – What can Aotearoa Do?”

The paper responded to China’s decision to restrict the imports of 24 different recyclable materials and the impacts this has had on international markets for recyclables. Sage said China’s decision opens an opportunity “because China is showing us that there is no time to waste”.

Labour’s blog and news site is one and the same, dominating the party website home page. 

The most recent post when we first started working on this item was dated June 8 2018 and  notes this was World Oceans Day, a day to raise awareness about the effect pollution is having on our oceans and encourage solutions.

It’s also an opportunity to think about our environment as a whole, and to promote action on the environmental issues that affect us all.

A quick check before we published this showed Labour reporting that a proposal to repeal Three Strikes is not going before Cabinet today on the basis that New Zealand First have indicated they would be unlikely to support it.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said:

“I acknowledge New Zealand First has concerns about the Three Strikes repeal. The strength of this coalition is that change only occurs with the support of all three parties.

“Further work on a balanced reform package for a more effective criminal justice system that make our communities safer will be considered by the independent advisory panel to be appointed shortly, and progressed in August at the Criminal Justice Summit.

“We are committed to a meaningful and balanced programme of change and we will be consulting our coalition partners and the public on this over the coming months.”

The Act Party has no blog but does bring its news to visitors to its site. In the most recent post, dated June 9 2018, Act leader David Seymour complains that in setting up a new government ministry to ‘fix’ the housing crisis, Phil Twyford “is exhibiting the same thinking that created the crisis in the first place”.  

“Bureaucracy – in the form of the 900-page Resource Management Act – should be public enemy number one when it comes to the housing crisis.”

The New Zealand First webpage includes neither news nor a blog – at least, not that we could find.  The webmaster’s focus, through a “contact us” button, is in hearing what the public has to tell them rather than in what they can tell the public.

But New Zealand First is right up with the play on its Facebook page:

“A proposal to repeal Three Strikes is not going before Cabinet today on the basis that New Zealand First have indicated they would be unlikely to support it, says Justice Minister Andrew Little.”

We haven’t visited other parties’ Facebook pages. Our focus was on finding which of them were blogging and how well they were doing it.

UPDATE:  

The Nats quickly reacted to Labour’s announcement it has been stymied by New Zealand First on going anywhere soon with its proposal to reform the three-strike law.

The Government’s embarrassing back down on Three Strikes has underlined the cracks in the Coalition and shown just how little thought is going into decisions which directly affect the lives of New Zealanders, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

This statement was added to the other party news releases on the party’s website.

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