How the Nats have opted to invest in the future with small change

A post on the left-wing The Standard blog expresses bemusement at National’s re-election of its party president.

MickySavage writes:

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”

NZPP leaders decide the best way to make progress politically is to step back from Advance NZ

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”

It might be a rogue poll but the Nats must offer alluring policies – and get back to championing our rural regions

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”

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  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”

Muller’s resignation has election implications for the smaller parties as well as for the Nats

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”

Perhaps we need Peters to temper the adulation and prevent the landslide re-election of the Ardern government

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”

Part 2: The economics and politics of coronavirus are hard to discern but may surprise

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”

China, political interference and the matter of whether the Nats should give back $150,000

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”

A green partner for the Nats looks unlikely as Sustainable NZ’s sustainability is tested

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”

Pundits peddle opposing views on how PM should deal with Peters – but voters perhaps have other concerns

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”