The international commentariat may be forgiven for believing new PM Chris Hipkins has relaunched the government rather well.
First a clever pivot to the centre and now a compassionate and inclusive focus on disaster recovery.
Giving credence to rumours that the key strategic brains agreed and executed a skilful change of direction rather well.
Continue reading “Not as simple as it looks” →
Buzz from the Beehive
There has been plenty to keep the relevant Ministers busy in flood-stricken Auckland over the past day or two. But New Zealand, last time we looked, extends north of Auckland into Northland and south of the Bombay Hills all the way to the bottom of the South Island, with several smaller islands such as the Chathams thrown in for good measure.
Citizens had been paying the salaries of 20 Ministers before Jacinda Ardern quit as Prime Minister last week. Until the new Cabinet is named (later today by all accounts), this has been trimmed to 19 Ministers, but then there are four Labour Party ministers outside Cabinet and two support ministers from the Green Party.
You may well ask: and what have they been doing? Continue reading “Minister of Education (who might be replaced later today) left it to his ministry to apologise for ill-managed Auckland edict” →
DR BRYCE EDWARDS writes –
One of the most popular moves Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ever made was the pay freeze her government imposed on politicians back in 2018. The freeze may have only been grudgingly agreed to by other MPs and parties, but it had universal public support.
The pay freeze is due to end this year, and new rules for setting politicians’ pay mean MPs are likely to get a huge increase to make up for six years of standing still. The move should spark debate about whether we pay our politicians too much, and whether it’s appropriate during a cost-of-living crisis for politicians to receive a major pay increase.
Fixing the disparities in politicians’ pay
For the last five years, politicians have had to forgo annual pay increases. Back in 2018, the newly elected Labour-led government implemented a pay freeze when MPs were about to receive an embarrassingly high pay increase. At this time, the Government was pushing to limit the pay demands of public servants, and the scheduled MP pay increase for that year was viewed as hypocritical. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: MPs are set for a big post-election pay increase” →
Buzz from the Beehive
The buglers, trumpeters and others in the Beehive band charged with blaring news of what our ministers are up to seem to have packed up for the Christmas-New Year holidays.
Point of Order found no new posts when we checked earlier this morning.
But we did receive an email from the office of the Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty, and when we made a second check, just before publishing this Buzz from the Beehive, it had been officially posted-
Planning on heading to the beach or bach this summer? Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty is reminding Aotearoa New Zealand to be prepared over the holiday break.
That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts, and a jolly good motto, too.
Continue reading “More Beehive advice: keep a weather eye out for tsunamis (and keep your EV charged for a hasty getaway)” →
DR BRYCE EDWARDS writes –
Labour’s Hamilton West by-election loss at the weekend has been widely described as a disaster for the party, illustrating just how much the tide has turned on the Government.
But what did the by-election result say about the state of the National Party? Tama Potaka’s win was a vote of confidence in him as a candidate and for the party as a whole. Winning 46 per cent of the vote was a strong performance, easily beating the Labour candidate’s 30 per cent support.
National failed to inspire voters in Hamilton West
However, the extremely low voter turnout really does need to be considered when evaluating National’s success. According to the Electoral Commission, the eligible voting population in Hamilton West is about 57,211. Therefore, 14,392 votes is a turnout of only about 25 per cent. (Some news reports suggest a higher turnout figure, but they’re failing to include the number of eligible voters in Hamilton West who weren’t enrolled.) Continue reading “BRYCE EDWARDS’ Political Roundup: National is failing to inspire voters” →
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has once again won international headlines — but perhaps not in a way her colleagues would have relished.
Still, the reports that raced around the globe have given foreigners a fresh perspective of the NZ leader.
As the NZ Herald reported, Ardern was heard calling the Act Party leader David Seymour an “arrogant prick” as she took her seat in Parliament yesterday afternoon, following questions in the House of Representatives.
Seymour told the media afterwards that the Prime Minister had apologised to him via text message.
The Herald referenced other reports.
The Guardian’s Eva Corlett called her “the latest leader to fall victim to a hot microphone” after US president Joe Biden and South Korea president Yoon Suk Yeol, who had also recently been caught out swearing on a live mic. Continue reading “Ardern wins world headlines again, but this time for being less than kindly with words enshrined on Hansard’s official record” →
As inflation hits levels a generation of New Zealanders hasn’t seen, politicians are thrashing about,blaming anyone but themselves for the financial storm enveloping households and businesses alike.
The official cash rate has already risen from a Covid low of 0.25% to 3.5% and is expected to hit 5% or higher.
Grant “look, no hands” Robertson tells the Dominion-Post the banks’ social licence requires them to support borrowers “if times get tough”.
Meanwhile over in the NZ Herald, the Greens’ Julie-Anne Genter says we need a tax system that prioritises people over profit. Continue reading “Who’s to blame for Kiwis’financial pain? Seymour may have the answer” →
Have all members of Parliament taken the day off, on this Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day?
We ask because there were some objections to the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day Bill, when all stages were passed under urgency into law last Tuesday.
The legislation created a one-off public holiday to mark the end of the 70-year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The holiday is taking place today, the day of New Zealand’s State memorial service for the Queen.
When a party vote was called for on the question that urgency be accorded the Bill, Labour (64 votes); National (33); the Green Party (10) and Gaurav Sharma voted in favour.
ACT (10) and Te Paati Māori (2) voted against. Continue reading ““Voodoo economics” is among Seymour’s objections to public holiday – Waititi’s grouches are rooted in a sovereignty challenge” →
Buzz from the Beehive
It sounded like a double dose of news of the sort that is apt to lift a Prime Minister’s popularity in political opinion polls and boost support for her party.
One goodie was a public holiday, the other the relaxing of Covid constraints.
This certainly looked like a vote-winner to the political pundits at Point of Order.
But the populist Winston Peters, leader of New Zealand First, has pounced on what he presumably perceives to be an opportunity to pick up support by expressing opposition to the public holiday.
The other big statement of the day was that the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also known as the traffic light system, was to be removed from 11.59pm last night, Monday 12 September. Continue reading “Pitching for poll support becomes puzzling when a populist politician (does that describe Peters?) opposes a public holiday” →
The Prime Minister failed to unambiguously champion the democratic ideal that all citizens should have equal rights as citizens, when she was questioned on Q + A a few weeks ago.
She flunked the test again in Parliament this week.
On Tuesday, ACT leader David Seymour asked:
Does she stand by Minister Willie Jackson’s statement that “‘one person one vote’ is but one value within … [democracy], not the only value.”, and, if so, what does she say to Victoria University professor of political science Jack Vowles, who wrote in reply to Minister Jackson that “everyone having a vote or votes of equal weight to elect those who represent them is not just one value [of democracy], it is a foundational principle. As such, it is recognised in the Bill of Rights”?
Here was an opportunity to assure the public she believes in a liberal democracy of the sort with which Kiwis are familiar. One person, one vote – that sort of thing.
Jacinda Ardern simply had to acknowledge she agreed with Jack Vowles. Continue reading “The PM is an unambiguous champion of all Kiwis having votes of equal weight? Not if the Treaty is tossed in to perplex her” →