A frustrated champion of transformation will retire – now let’s wait for Peters to declare his intentions

The  Labour-led  coalition  may have to generate  a  second  wave  of  Jacindamania  if  it is to  win another term in the Beehive.

Re-election  is   not  an   impossible  dream, despite  the failure of   Labour to deliver   what  many of  those  who  voted  for it  in 2017  expected.

Retiring   Green  MP   Gareth  Hughes  summed it up when he  told reporters  the government  had not  delivered  “transformation”.

The pace of change, he reckons,  has not matched what he sees as the problems facing the country.

“Across my 10 years here, things have actually got worse. Emissions have increased, homelessness is growing.  I don’t think the government has been transformational.  There’s been pockets of transformation, but I don’t think historians are going  to look back and  say ‘This was a turning point on the scale of the 1930s or 1980s’.  And I think that’s desperately needed. It’s a disappointment that we aren’t seeing the change I think we need”. Continue reading “A frustrated champion of transformation will retire – now let’s wait for Peters to declare his intentions”

Labour said “let’s do this” in 2017, the “year of delivery” was 2019 – and next year voters might consider a fresh approach

 With  a general election  due  in  less  than  a  year,  party  strategists are   already  perusing  poll results  intently,  testing  political  trends and working on  how to  frame   the shape of the  campaign itself.

This  could  be  especially    difficult for   those in  the  Labour camp. The  problem   is the  long  list    of policies   unfufilled,  stacked  up    along   the   promise    of   the  2017  slogan:  “Let’s  Do This”.

Voters’  memories  are   short,   but  not  so   short  that  they won’t  recall Labour  was  going to  solve  the  housing “crisis”  with KiwiBuild,  eliminate  child  poverty,  make the tax system  fairer  with a capital  gains tax,  repair  the  “broken”  welfare  system,  and    “fix”  the health sector  after  “nine years of  neglect”.

As well,  there was  the  commitment  to  invest  in  public transport   rather than new   highways.

And  just  as  2019  began, Jacinda Ardern  in her role as  Prime  Minister   promised  it  would be the  “Year  of Delivery”   Continue reading “Labour said “let’s do this” in 2017, the “year of delivery” was 2019 – and next year voters might consider a fresh approach”

Phil’s failure to fix things prompts further calls for his firing – but there’s an electoral case for Nats to hope he stays

Fresh calls for PM Jacinda Ardern to sack Transport Minister Phil Twyford have followed accusations the minister has misled Parliament.

Twyford is on record in Parliament as saying no one from the previous NZ Transport Agency Board asked to stay on before all were axed in September. Now he has conceded at least one board member did so.

National’s Chris Bishop says misleading Parliament is yet another nail in the very badly damaged coffin that has Phil Twyford’s name on it.

“He has repeatedly stood by his claim that all five NZTA board members walked willingly out the door. It wasn’t until media backed him into a corner that he admitted some were shown the exit”.

On TV news shows, Twyford is labelled a laughing stock, as they list his failures with KiwiBuild and the Auckland light rail project, two key Labour policies in its 2017 election programme. Continue reading “Phil’s failure to fix things prompts further calls for his firing – but there’s an electoral case for Nats to hope he stays”

Voters (focussed on the govt’s performance at home) are not dazzled by Jacinda’s stardom on the global stage

The  latest  political  poll from  Newshub Reid  Research  appeared  to  show  a  huge  swing  from  its  previous  sampling in  June,  with a   9.2% fall in  support  for Labour  (from  50.8%  to  41.6%)   and a 6.5% surge in support for National  (from 37.4%  to  43.9%).

Back in  June, Labour  was enjoying a  post-Budget  surge. Subsequently in  July, Colmar Brunton polling rated  National  at  45%   and Labour  43%.

So this  swing in Reid Research’s work could be seen as a  correction—-except   the overall trend  is as  worrying for  the coalition as  the slump  in the  Prime Minister’s rating  from 49%  to  38%.

This  is  also reflected  in UMR’s polling for Labour which has shown her  popularity  declining for  five  consecutive  months. Continue reading “Voters (focussed on the govt’s performance at home) are not dazzled by Jacinda’s stardom on the global stage”

Our PM is up there with Greta Thunburg in the running for this year’s Peace Prize

Ardern in running for Nobel  Peace  Prize”, the  headline in the  NZ Herald’s  Monday edition proclaimed.

We  learn  from the text  of  the accompanying comment piece  by  the  Professor of  Law  at  Waikato University, Alexander  Gillespie,  that the PM,  Jacinda  Ardern,  is  rated  as second favourite, but  a  bit  behind the front-runner, young climate change activist  Greta  Thunburg.

Gillespie  says  that  although  Ardern does not command the  same  global  media coverage as Thunburg,  the depth of her response  to the Christchurch massacre  on March 15 has made  her  in the eyes of  many the best  candidate for the  award.

The sincerity, empathy and compassion  she  displayed  towards the families and their  Muslim was unique in an age when tolerance, respect and reconciliation are  rare”. Continue reading “Our PM is up there with Greta Thunburg in the running for this year’s Peace Prize”

PM’s triumph on the world stage takes the spotlight off shabby stuff at home (at least, for now)

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the meeting between the Prime Minister and the US President in New York this morning is a diplomatic coup.

“Securing a 25-minute long meeting with the US President during the UN Leaders Week is an achievement in its own right given the pressure on the President’s scheduleAll the more remarkable was the level of attendance on the American side. The President was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the newly appointed National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.What is clear is a very positive discussion was held on a range of international issues and areas of shared interest, including on advancing our bilateral trade interests.

“In the world of diplomacy, this level of engagement is gold. The President’s meeting also followed a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Prime Minister’s representation of NZ on climate change, and the Christchurch Call.The so called mega-Monday has been a very good day for delivery of NZ interests on the world stage”. Continue reading “PM’s triumph on the world stage takes the spotlight off shabby stuff at home (at least, for now)”

The science of meetings: the experts find most of them tyrannise our offices and are woefully unproductive

The Cabinet will meet today without Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.  She has arrived in New York to join other world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly – and to meet with some of them.

A meeting with Donald Trump will be among the highlights.  Trade is likely to be top of the agenda. She will meet with Britain’s Boris Johnson, too.

Back on the home front, Winston Peters will chair today’s Cabinet meeting.

We can only conjecture on how many other meetings will be conducted around the country during the day, but in the US – according to an item on the Freakonomics website – 55 million meetings a day are held.

Most of them are woefully unproductive, and tyrannize our offices. The revolution begins now — with better agendas, smaller invite lists, and an embrace of healthy conflict. Continue reading “The science of meetings: the experts find most of them tyrannise our offices and are woefully unproductive”