A post on the left-wing The Standard blog expresses bemusement at National’s re-election of its party president.
You would think that the conference held immediately after National suffered one of its worst drubbings in its history National would take the opportunity to refresh its leadership and change its direction.
If you did you will be disappointed.
May we suppose this means he was disappointed?
Surprised, perhaps, but Labour and its supporters surely should be delighted at National’s disinclination to overhaul the party leadership after a disastrous general election result.
In his report on the party elections, Stuff’s Thomas Coughlan noted there was some change. But it was small change. Continue reading “How the Nats have opted to invest in the future with small change”
Browsing through items of political news published on Labour Day, we came across a statement from the New Zealand Public Party (NZPP) and Reset New Zealand which declared they were retreating from Jami-Lee Ross’s Advance New Zealand party.
Not a full retreat, necessarily. Rather, they
“ … have moved away from their election alliance with Advance NZ to reform back into the intended party”.
The intended party?
An amalgamated party without Ross and his supporters, we imagine.
“We recognise the importance of this movement continuing to improve itself in many ways, and at the same time staying true to its core”, said NZPP’s leader, Billy Te Kahika.
“That means NZPP will continue to call things out on behalf of the public, hold this government up to scrutiny, demand its accountability, and defend our rights and freedoms.
“We will also be a watchdog of the New Zealand media that continues to be hostile towards the organisation that is rightfully questioning the Government’s COVID-19 narrative and educating the public about the patently dishonest actions of this sector towards us and the persistent slanting of facts and misinformation”. Continue reading “NZPP leaders decide the best way to make progress politically is to step back from Advance NZ”
Latest political polling puts Labour at 60.9%, which – if carried through to the election – would give it 77 seats in the next Parliament. Is anyone (apart from the most fervent National supporter) surprised?
National’s campaign manager, Gerry Brownlee, dismisses the Newshub Reid Research sampling as a “rogue” poll. This begs the question whether he would have done so, if it had shown his own party a bit higher than 25.1%.
Other polls (even one suspects National’s own private polling) have had Labour above the 50% mark.
With the Covid-19 pandemic raging around the world, New Zealanders are comforted their government has got it right: they only have to look as far as Victoria to see what happens when the governing authorities make a mess of it. Continue reading “It might be a rogue poll but the Nats must offer alluring policies – and get back to championing our rural regions”
So what’s the wily old master up to now? In his opening campaign speech, Winston Peters attacked his coalition partners. His party, he says, is sick of “woke pixie dust” from them:
“New Zealanders need to know what’s out there, and what they have been saved from.”
Surely he is not talking about Jacinda Ardern and her party? Haven’t they been our saviours from the coronovirus pandemic?
Peters then spells out what he has saved us from: NZ First has been the handbrake on the “nanny state”.
“We’ve used commonsense to hold Labour and the Greens to account. We’ve opposed woke pixie dust. We’ve defended socially conservative values, like the right to believe in God. We’ve focussed on the wisdom of sound economics”.
Will voters on September 19 show their gratitude? Continue reading “Peters abjures pixie dust (while saving us from the nanny state) but he might need some to win seats at this year’s election”
So is the election now a foregone conclusion? With Jacindamania still raging, and the National Party shattered by its own shambolic performance, it looks like a walk in the park for the Labour Party and its coalition partners.
Certainly NZ First leader Winston Peters wasn’t slow to rub salt into the wounded Nats.
After a cursory nod to National’s departed leader Todd Muller (“ a good man”), Peters said:
“National has demonstrated to voters as clearly as it is able that it cannot govern itself. During a time of crisis, when stability and real experience is what the country needs from its politicians and their parties, National’s instability and hubris takes it out of the running for the coming General Election.”
Swinging the boot a bit harder, Peters went on:
“Leading a divided and incompetent caucus would have tested even the best leader. Continue reading “Muller’s resignation has election implications for the smaller parties as well as for the Nats”
Jacinda Ardern and her government have won global admiration for vanquishing the coronavirus. At home their ratings have soared. Polls show more than 80% of those sampled support the way the government handled the pandemic crisis.
New Zealanders accept without a blink the virus is universal and ubiquitous, a threat to all humankind. They celebrate how as part of a team of 5 million led by Ardern (and Ashley Bloomfield – whoever thought a public servants would become such a cult figure?) they repulsed Covid-19.
There is adulation of the kindness and compassion displayed by the Prime Minister.
Other governments, by comparison, have been condemned for their bungling and incompetence, the failures of their public health systems, and death tolls criticised as needless.
Foreign affairs commentator Simon Tisdall in The Guardian says a new age of revolution is dawning — but just what kind of revolution it may be will rest on how the pandemic’s shock waves and after-effects are directed and shaped. Continue reading “Perhaps we need Peters to temper the adulation and prevent the landslide re-election of the Ardern government”
So to be clear, at this stage not much is clear. But it’s surely possible to draw out a few facts and try to isolate what might emerge as significant.
Point one: We can be reasonably sure that there will be a large fall in measured economic output.
This will capture the changes in our collective economic behaviour, both voluntary changes in response to events, and those mandated by governments. Think restaurant meals uneaten, movies not watched, flights not taken, bungees not jumped, houses not painted, and so forth. Some things postponed, some gone for ever. Continue reading “Part 2: The economics and politics of coronavirus are hard to discern but may surprise”
A terse – almost cryptic – statement from an unnamed person in the National Party alerted Point of Order to independent MP Jamie-Lee Ross’s focus on foreign political donations and foreign interference in New Zealand politics during a Parliamentary debate yesterday.
Using the legal protection afforded by Parliamentary privilege, Ross accused the National Party – to which he once belonged – of receiving “large amounts of foreign donations” linked to the Chinese Communist Party. He called on National to return about $150,000 of Chinese money.
The National Party statement simply said:
The National Party is unaware of what Mr Ross was referring to today in Parliament and have not seen the document he referred to.
We stand by our previous statements on this matter and are confident that the Court will establish the clear facts.
Until that Court process is complete it is not possible for us to say more at this stage. Continue reading “China, political interference and the matter of whether the Nats should give back $150,000”
The Sustainable New Zealand Party is struggling to demonstrate it has enough political sustainability to last until the election campaign heats up later this year. Within just a few months media attention has turned from its founding to its foundering.
The New Zealand Herald seems not to have caught up with the foundering bit of the fledgling party’s brief existence (at least, we found no up-to-date report in a quick Google search). But on November 10 last year it did report on the party’s establishment under the heading Sustainable NZ Party launches with promise to boost conservation spending by $1 billion.
The party is led by Vernon Tava, a former Green Party member who unsuccessfully stood as co- leader in 2015 against James Shaw, arguing that the party should declare its willingness to partner Labour or National in government. Continue reading “A green partner for the Nats looks unlikely as Sustainable NZ’s sustainability is tested”
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”