The Ihumatao saga could have a far-reaching impact on NZ politics

Is the government digging itself into a hole as it awaits a solution to the problem of contested land at Ihumatao?

For two days in a row, PM Jacinda Ardern has backed away from questions over a   Crown loan being used to purchase the land where a housing development has been held up because of a long-running protest.

Continue reading “The Ihumatao saga could have a far-reaching impact on NZ politics”

Is PM Ardern’s halo beginning to slip?

Is the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at risk of losing the halo she has worn so gracefully for so long?

No way, say her legions of supporters.

Just look at the reaction when Sydney radio veteran Alan Jones called on Australian PM Scott Morrison to “shove a sock down her throat”.

Continue reading “Is PM Ardern’s halo beginning to slip?”

Jones and Bollard get into the creation business to decide how best to spend $41 billion

It looks suspiciously like the government has a Biblical adviser to help with the names it gives to new agencies and programmes.

Earlier this week we turned to Google for a translation of “Hokai Rangi”, the name the Corrections Department has given to its widely publicised strategy for reducing (a) prison inmate numbers and (b) the high percentage of Maori in the prison population.

According to Google, the Government wants its brave new touchy-feely Corrections system to become Heaven.

And now we have an announcement from Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones that our new Infrastructure Commission should be known as …

… drum roll, please….

 … the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga.
Continue reading “Jones and Bollard get into the creation business to decide how best to spend $41 billion”

James Shaw’s number should be up with the Stats portfolio and (based on a Green colleague’s advice) a woman should take over

James Shaw must go and be replaced as Minister of Statistics by a woman.

Julie Anne Genter, Shaw’s Green Party and ministerial colleague, hasn’t said so. But here at Point of Order we are confident she would agree.

The case for a woman taking over as Minister of Statistics is raised by a combination of the mismanaged 2018 census and by Genter’s championing of female leadership.

One analysis of the Stats NZ fiasco, by David Williams at Newsroom, says the census was bungled

“ … because of bad leadership, poor oversight, flawed decisions, and a misplaced hope that it’d turn out OK.” Continue reading “James Shaw’s number should be up with the Stats portfolio and (based on a Green colleague’s advice) a woman should take over”

Sure, the PM made the Vogue cover – but polls suggest some of the lustre has been lost

PM Jacinda Ardern has been flying her government’s flag in the  Tokelaus,  as  well  as  featuring on the cover  of  Vogue,  achievements  few of  her  predecessors   have managed.

Such  events   have almost  certainly  strengthened  the  conviction of  those  who believe   she has  focussed  the eyes of the world as never before   on this country.

In  any case, when  Opposition  Leader  Simon Bridges  attacked Ardern  for  being  a  “part-time prime minister”  it  was almost  as if he had committed  some  kind of  sacrilege.  The  NZ Herald’s cartoonist reacted  with what he no doubt thought was a  clever  drawing  showing Bridges scraping  the bottom of the barrel.

Ardern’s  mate  Grant  Robertson  was  hot under the collar, too.  He raged that Bridges  had  been  “disrespectful to the office of  prime minister”  and was engaging  in  “dirty politics”.  Not  only that, but there  were  “sexist overtones”   in   what Bridges  was  saying. Continue reading “Sure, the PM made the Vogue cover – but polls suggest some of the lustre has been lost”

The Incredible Shrinking Man? No, not Phil – he has gone from KiwiBuild to building the economy

PM Jacinda Ardern is on record as saying Phil Twyford did  an  “incredible”  job     in  KiwiBuild.

So  incredible  she  decided   to   move  him  on.

Perhaps “incredible” in the circumstances was not  one of the  most felicitous phrases. Most other New Zealanders  see   it  as one of  the government’s biggest failures.

Twyford  didn’t  have  what the   job needed,  neither   the  knowledge  of  what   the  policy   entailed   nor  the  administrative ability to  implement it.  And there’s also the  suspicion he  didn’t  have the people skills  for building a team.

Ardern puts it  more  gently:

“KiwiBuild has not progressed as well or as quickly as we’d hoped or expected” Continue reading “The Incredible Shrinking Man? No, not Phil – he has gone from KiwiBuild to building the economy”

PM announces a wellbeing fund for Rainbow people while greenies splash into an established fund

The Point of Order Trough Monitor has drawn attention to the creation of a brand-new fund.  How rich will be the swill is still under consideration, it seems.

In the opening sentence of the announcement, the PM says improving the mental health and wellbeing of young members of the rainbow community is at the heart of the establishment of the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund.

Further down, she says the government is “proposing” to establish a charitable trust with a one-off endowment of $1 million.

It is unclear from this whether the matter proposed is the establishment of the trust or the size of the endowment.

The monitor was triggered again when Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced a handout from the Community Environment Fund, set up “to empower New Zealanders to make a positive difference to the environment”. Continue reading “PM announces a wellbeing fund for Rainbow people while greenies splash into an established fund”