Is it the kind of headline that will win votes at the general election? “Rock-star reception in Fijian village” followed by a sub-head “Rapturous greeting for Ardern during visit to launch $3m sanitation project”.
The reporter (veteran Barry Soper, Newstalk ZB’s political editor) poses the rhetorical question: “Is there any wonder that Ardern loves going overseas?”
As well, there has been the effusive welcome from Fiji strongman Frank Bainimarama who, according to another reporter, is expecting, even “demanding”, Ardern to pressure Australia on its climate change inaction.
Point of Order suspects Ardern may be less forthcoming than Bainimarama would like, when she meets Australia’s Scott Morrison. Almost certainly climate change won’t be on the agenda in the Morrison-Ardern talks.
Still, that won’t diminish Ardern’s popularity with those New Zealanders who delight in her being billed as one of the world’s leaders, by global media like the US Time magazine which featured her in a cover story recently. Continue reading “Funding furore is enough to bug voters (while marring the PM’s image) – and then the covid-19 virus comes along”
How voters react to the headlines generated by NZ First’s latest financial shenanigans may (or may not) determine the outcome on September 19.
The most recent Colmar Brunton poll had NZ First down at 3%, so some commentators are already writing off the party’s chances of survival.
But the real question, as some authorities see it, is whether Labour will suffer collateral damage from the fallout, if the Serious Fraud Office probe into the operations of the NZ First Foundation ends up in court action. It could be uncomfortable all round for the coalition if the SFO’s investigation leads to charges which a court ultimately finds proven. Continue reading “Pundits peddle opposing views on how PM should deal with Peters – but voters perhaps have other concerns”
Back in September, when reporting its annual assessment of what it calls “Mood of the Boardroom”, the New Zealand Herald featured an article on how CEOs ranked Cabinet ministers on performance.
Lo and behold, 17th-ranked Kris Faafoi emerged as the minister who most impressed “top chief executives”.
The report quoted a “leading banker” (who sensibly remained anonymous) as saying the
“ … unsung performers of this Cabinet are David Parker and Kris Faafoi. Both have reached out to the business community to genuinely ask for our views and listened. They also put government policies in their areas into perspective”.
Point of Order can only wonder whether those top CEOs are still clinging to the view they expressed last September that Faafoi is a “safe pair of hands”. Continue reading “The future of broadcasting is in Faafoi’s hands (which might not be as fumble-free as CEOs decided last year)”
Even though the general election is seven months distant, this may be a week which offers a pointer to the mood in a critical element in Labour’s support base.
The cameras will be focused on PM Jacinda Ardern and daughter Neve at Waitangi Day celebrations. But will the message her government is delivering – transformational change for Maori – ring true with her audiences?
Two years ago she said at Waitangi she wanted to be held to account each year for the performance of her government.
A year ago she talked of how her government would reduce unemployment, strengthen education, and eliminate inequality between Maori and Pakeha.
And this week there has been a series of announcements involving millions of dollars for projects in Northland. Continue reading “The PM’s Waitangi challenge: delivering enough transformation to ensure the Maori Party is not re-energised”
Synlait Milk’s updated forecast milk price— now $7.25kg/MS, up from $7kg/MS —renews pressure on Fonterra to hit the upper limit of its own forecast.
For the industry as a whole, the higher milk payouts underline the strong global demand for NZ dairy products. And they provide some welcome sunshine into many of the county’s dairy sheds.
When Fonterra in December flagged it was aiming for the midpoint of its $7 to $7.60 forecast range, it said that a $7.30 milk price would be the fourth highest in its nearly two decades of operation.
That $7.30kg/MS is comfortably ahead of Dairy NZ’s estimate of break-even for Fonterra’s suppliers of $5.95.
But now Synlait is saying is it has raised its forecast payout on the back of higher than expected commodity prices at the end of 2019. It believes those will hold in the medium term as supply and demand continue to be evenly matched. Continue reading “Payout perplexity – more money for farmers would impede Fonterra’s financial recovery”
Prince Charles has called for a new economic model in order to save the planet. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he pleaded with world leaders and businesses to revolutionise the interaction between nature and global financial markets,saving the planet from “approaching catastrophe”.
In an unprecedented royal intrusion on government policy, he argues market-based solutions and tax reform are the best options to halt the damaging impacts of climate change.Outlining 10 ways to transform financial markets and reduce global emissions, Prince Charles said nothing short of a revolution was required.
“I’ve come to realise it is not a lack of capital holding us back but rather the way in which we deploy it. Therefore, to move forward we need nothing short of a paradigm shift – one that inspires action at revolutionary levels and pace.”
He called for companies and countries to outline how they will move to net zero emissions – a signal he is not satisfied with the commitments made under the Paris climate accord. The United Kingdom has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050 but Australia and other countries have been reluctant to make similar promises. Continue reading “Climate change challenge for the Nats is to take scientists’ advice on GE and gazump the Greens”
Already it is shaping as the most challenging year for National since it lost the Treasury benches in 2017. For Simon Bridges, it’s make-or-break for his leadership.
Going head-to-head with the Jacinda phenomenon, he has little chance of monstering her in television broadcasts, and even if he did it could backfire on National.
Bridges’ task is more complex. He has to prove himself as the Prime Minister-in-waiting, clearly the underdog in a contest where he cannot be seen to be shouting down his opponent.
Yet he must win enough support to overwhelm Labour and its coalition allies combined – a feat which far more popular National leaders (John Key or Bill English) could not achieve.
He will need more than a cunning plan, or the social media wizardry of the Topham Guerin team (who were credited with a key role first in Scott Morrison’s surprise election success and then with Boris Johnson’s triumph in the UK.
So how could National frame an election-winning strategy? Continue reading “Make-or-break year for Bridges – he must prove he is PM material without shouting down Ardern”