Is it the kind of headline that will win votes at the general election? “Rock-star reception in Fijian village” followed by a sub-head “Rapturous greeting for Ardern during visit to launch $3m sanitation project”.
The reporter (veteran Barry Soper, Newstalk ZB’s political editor) poses the rhetorical question: “Is there any wonder that Ardern loves going overseas?”
As well, there has been the effusive welcome from Fiji strongman Frank Bainimarama who, according to another reporter, is expecting, even “demanding”, Ardern to pressure Australia on its climate change inaction.
Point of Order suspects Ardern may be less forthcoming than Bainimarama would like, when she meets Australia’s Scott Morrison. Almost certainly climate change won’t be on the agenda in the Morrison-Ardern talks.
Still, that won’t diminish Ardern’s popularity with those New Zealanders who delight in her being billed as one of the world’s leaders, by global media like the US Time magazine which featured her in a cover story recently. Continue reading “Funding furore is enough to bug voters (while marring the PM’s image) – and then the covid-19 virus comes along”
No-one should have been astonished to learn from a Newsroom headline that Political sparks fly at Waitangi as PM promises ‘more mahi’
The report began by noting
There was a sharper, election-year edge to proceedings at this year’s Waitangi pōwhiri. Simon Bridges and Winston Peters clashed, while Jacinda Ardern made the case for why Māori should have patience with her Government…
The report observed that National leader Simon Bridges’ speech seemed to be addressed not to those on the paepae, but for the New Zealanders who would be following events at Waitangi from home.
After a glancing reference to National’s record on Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Whānau Ora and partnership schools, he moved swiftly to attacking Ardern as he referenced her speech at Waitangi last year.
“She said there would be less poverty, she said that she would reduce inequality between Māori and Pākehā, sadly the Government has failed to deliver on these promises.” Continue reading “NZ First pumps PGF millions into Maori projects in Northland – then accuses Bridges of politicking at Waitangi”
Even though the general election is seven months distant, this may be a week which offers a pointer to the mood in a critical element in Labour’s support base.
The cameras will be focused on PM Jacinda Ardern and daughter Neve at Waitangi Day celebrations. But will the message her government is delivering – transformational change for Maori – ring true with her audiences?
Two years ago she said at Waitangi she wanted to be held to account each year for the performance of her government.
A year ago she talked of how her government would reduce unemployment, strengthen education, and eliminate inequality between Maori and Pakeha.
And this week there has been a series of announcements involving millions of dollars for projects in Northland. Continue reading “The PM’s Waitangi challenge: delivering enough transformation to ensure the Maori Party is not re-energised”
Several Ministers were given an opportunity yesterday to bray about infrastructure spending and try to persuade voters what a splendid job they were doing.
National brayed, too, that the government was implementing its investment programme while quibbling about a two-years pause.
Oh – and Chris Bishop took credit for having some of the government’s spending being directed to the Melling interchange.
The flood of press statements started with a grand announcement from the PM and two of her ministerial colleagues (here), followed by statements from Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones (here ), Finance Minister Grant Robertson (here), Deputy PM and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters (here), Education Minister Chris Hipkins (here), Climate Change Minister James Shaw (here), Health Minister David Clark and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter (here), and Transport Minister Phil Twyford (here).
A quick costing for households from the Taxpayers Union found
“Grant Robertson just spent nearly $7,000 per Kiwi household in a single announcement. Continue reading “Infrastructure grumbles: Govt is chided for ignoring climate change, neglecting the poor and being too slow”
NZ politicians have been quiet over the holiday season, perhaps in the case of the Labour team, reflecting on the “year of delivery” and where it all went wrong.
But now we are into a new decade (one authority has already labelled it “the roaring 2020s”) and New Zealand cannot stay isolated in some sort of cocoon, no matter how much this may be desired.
Even those politicians who have succeeded in finding a peaceful beach on which to sun themselves will be formulating the strategies they hope will work for them in election year.
Many on the Labour side of the fence believe Jacinda Ardern has a fan base strong enough to carry the coalition to a second term. Here at Point of Order, we have encountered sufficient adoration within that fan base to consider that they will stay loyal when they cast their ballots.
And she is regarded as one of the most admired world leaders, isn’t she?
But as elections elsewhere have shown, particularly in the UK but also in Australia, constituencies which have never deviated from being rock-solid Labour for decades can turn decisively away from the party. Continue reading “Adoration of the PM is a strong card for Labour but polls are pointing to a close-run election”
Blogger Lindsay Mitchell has used the Official Information Act to flush out data on emergency housing from the Ministry for Social Development.
The results have been posted under the heading Motel charges premium for emergency housing.
At long last MSD has updated OIA requests, Mitchell writes. Responses up to November 2019 are on-line
“ … and always make for interesting reading. For instance payments made to the Olive Tree Motel for emergency housing.”
Clients are granted an amount which is paid directly to the motel, Mitchell explains.
In the June 2019 quarter the motel was receiving $265 a night.
But nightly charges per unit range from $145 to $165 according to their website. Charges reduce for longer stays.
The response to another request reveals that over 600 accommodation providers received emergency grants in the June 2019 quarter. Continue reading “How taxpayers are pumping millions into the motel business to provide emergency housing”
New Year is a time for predictions to be made by commentators bemusingly confident they can foretell what the year ahead will bring, and for last year’s predictions to be checked.
On her blog today, Lindsay Mitchell has gone back a bit further than January 2019 to check on a prediction she made in September 2017 that Jacinda Ardern would increase child poverty if she became Prime Minister.
So how has that turned out?
On 7 of 9 measures introduced under the Child Poverty Reduction Act, to June 2018 poverty had increased. That’s fairly out-dated data now and not a particularly useful measuring stick.
But also now known is that children in benefit dependent households rose between June 2018 and 2019. Continue reading “Child poverty – the depressing data the government’s spin doctors have not been braying about”