Latest opinion polling has created a stir among the political cognoscenti. On one side, ACT’s rise is being seen as a big problem for National. From another, Labour’s fall by 9.7 points from the previous poll points to sharp disillusion with the Ardern government.
TV3’s AM Show told viewers ACT’s four-point rise to 11 % constitutes “soaring popularity”. Well, not quite.
Then there seemed to be a general judgement that Judith Collins’ fall below ACT leader David Seymour’s rating signalled her imminent demise as National leader.
In reality, the Newshub Reid Research poll’s findings, while recording sharp shifts from its previous sampling, weren’t much different from the Colmar Brunton post-Budget poll which recorded Labour down to 46% from its previous highs in the fifties. Continue reading “Poll results won’t deter Labour from its reform programme – but they shouldn’t unnerve the Nats, either”
The latest cohort of school students took to the streets last week to demand climate change action. In Wellington, several thousand strikers marched to Parliament.
Izzy Cook, one of the organisers, said they had their own list of demands.
“Investing in a just transition to a sustainable future, reducing agricultural emissions, prohibiting the use of fossil fuels nationwide so phasing them out, getting climate education [and] honouring our neighbours in the Pacific Islands.”
The demands were handed over to Climate Change Minister James Shaw.
But he said it’s not just him who needs to be listening. Continue reading “Young eco-warriors press for change – if they get what they demand, they should brace for a lower standard of living”
James Shaw has set a new standard for ministerial conduct in the way he has performed over the allocation of $11.7m of taxpayer money for a privately-owned Green school in Taranaki.
The Green School was one of 150 projects getting a grant from a $3bn fund— the shovel-ready infrastructure fund – and Shaw was willing to put them all at risk.
An email to government ministers and the Treasury from Shaw’s office included a stark ultimatum:
“Minister Shaw won’t sign this briefing until the Green School in Taranaki is incorporated”. Continue reading “Apologies galore from the errant Shaw – but what about an apology to the taxpayer?”
Did we miss it? Or was it posted on the Beehive website after we had recorded the Government’s August 26 announcements?
Whatever happened, we are chagrined to have missed the official posting of the declaration that Green Party co-leader James Shaw has bypassed the strictures of his party’s policy to announce: Taranaki school construction project to create jobs.
The statement didn’t seem untoward, in the Covid-19 era of massive borrowing to pump billions into infrastructural work and employment.
More than 200 construction jobs will be secured in Taranaki through Government funding for a school expansion project, the Associate Minister of Finance, James Shaw said today.
Green School New Zealand will be supported with $11.7 million from the $3 billion set aside by the Government for infrastructure in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
The ‘shovel-ready’ project would enable the school to expand its student roll from 120 students to 250.
But the announcement subjected Shaw and his party to widespread criticism – indeed, ridicule – because of something the press statement did not mention. Green School is a private school which charges up to $24,000 a year for New Zealand students and $43,000 a year for international students.
We are talking Green hypocrisy here, because: Continue reading “Private schools could be on to a Shaw thing – but maybe they need “Green” in their name to secure millions”
Latest from the Beehive
We drew a blank, when we paid our morning visit to the Beehive website. Nothing had been posted since Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced the Government’s plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment.
Hmm. Let’s check our email in-tray.
This contained advice about the PM’s next media conference – in tandem with the DG of Health – on the virus thing that has thrown politics and politicking into a bit of a tizz. The conference is at 1pm today.
Our email also brought statements (all Covid-related) headed – Continue reading “When the Greens press party leaders to continue commitment to science, we wonder if they include themselves”
The Green Party’s major new election policy for a wealth tax has, not unexpectedly, had a mixed reception, not least from politicians of other parties.
The policy to tax the wealthy to fund a payment of at least $325 a week for anyone not in full-time work, predictably brought cheers from trade unions and child poverty lobby groups. But it provoked scorn from the other side of the fence, where the idea undermines the core principle of capitalism as the driver of economic growth.
Interestingly, one sample of public opinion on the issue showed 85% against—and only 15% in favour.
But that lopsided result has its upside for the Greens and brings a glow to those within the Green Party who worked up the policy. It could guarantee the Green Party is not overwhelmed by the halo effect at present enveloping Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, which could result in the kind of election landslide delivering an outright majority in Parliament for Labour.
If it lifted the Green Party’s current ratings of around 6-7% to double-digit levels it would be a major victory. Continue reading “How the Greens’ wealth tax proposal could be a political lifeline for Winston Peters and his party”
The world stands on the brink of a food crisis worse than any seen in the last 50 years, the UN has warned as it urged governments to act swiftly to avoid disaster.
So what is the Ardern government doing about it? Shouldn’t it be working to ramp up food production? After all, NZ prides itself on being among the world’s leaders in producing high-quality food.
Instead, Climate Change Minister James Shaw is celebrating being “ ambitious” in tackling what he calls the climate crisis with, he says,
“ … necessary rule changes that will incentivise NZ’s biggest polluters to invest in the transition to a clean, climate-friendly economy”.
This includes putting a price on farming emissions. Shaw reckons it’s great that this puts NZ further ahead on climate action than many other parts of the world. Continue reading “Agriculture Minister is missing in (in)action while climate change warriors harry NZ’s dairy industry”
Keep an eye out for armies of tree planters hard at work.
No, not the One Billion Tree programme. We refer to the tree planting that is essential to offset the carbon emissions generated by high-flying Green Party MPs.
Newshub drew our attention the other day to Climate Change Minister James Shaw’s international travel expenses, the highest of all ministers from October to the end of December, at $77,771, compared to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s $54,487.
When asked to justify the expenses, Mr Shaw told Magic Talk on Friday the Green Party offsets all travel through tree-planting, something he said he’d “recommend people do”.
“Those programmes have to be verified and part of the verification process is that the tree planted has to be additional to what’s already being planted. We do that through a programme that’s run by Enviro-Mark.”
“I am carbon neutral. But, the best thing to do would be to reduce emissions – that’s the main thing you’ve got to do. You can’t just buy your way out of trouble with offsets,” Mr Shaw said. Continue reading “The Greens have a little list – and the high-flying MPs on it are big spenders of public money”
Global efforts to tackle climate change have stalled in Madrid. The 197 parties to the UN talks agreed to the need for new emission cuts, but they stopped short of concrete commitments and left the outstanding issues of the Paris Agreement undecided.
Never mind, NZ is showing the world what “meaningful, ambitious and lasting climate action looks like”.
That’s how Climate Change Minister James Shaw sees it.
As the head of the NZ delegation at the global climate talks, Shaw shared with delegates to COP25 the progress the Ardern government is making
“ … to build a cleaner, safer planet for future generations”. Continue reading “Climate commission’s challenge is to produce a world-leading plan (dairying included) for a low-emissions economy”
“I didn’t come down in the last shower,” Opposition leader Simon Bridges huffed on RNZ’s Morning Report when quizzed about his objection to the establishment of an independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
We are left to conjecture on what he did come down in and when it might bring him to earth. A thunder cloud of paranoid suspicion, perhaps.
On this issue his instincts have seriously failed him. When the Taxpayers Union is welcoming a Green Party initiative now that it has been modified, Bridges and the Nats should take a bit more time before declaring their position.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:
Continue reading “Bridges is offside with supporters in bridling against an independent budget office”