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”
Latest from the Beehive:
It wasn’t a word (in a Beehive press statement) that conveys great urgency or authority. Nor does it convey strength of purpose.
Rather than the responsible minister issuing an order, command, direction or instruction to the head of his ministry, we learned:
Health Minister Dr David Clark says he has required the Director General of Health to suspend compassionate exemptions from managed isolation, in order to ensure the system is working as intended.
It will only be reinstated once the Government has confidence in the system.
Having learned of a breach in the security system that is protecting us from Covid-19, in other words, the minister has delivered a requirement to the head of the ministry.
We note that – used in this way – at least one dictionary considers “required” archaic.
The trigger for the minister’s requiring a better performance was the revelation that two women who travelled here from the UK had tested positive for Covid-19 after being given a compassionate exemption to leave a managed isolation facility. Continue reading “Clark wants compassion suspended (temporarily) while Muller wants the Minister’s head (permanently)”
Claims and counter-claims about racism have been triggered by two lists in the past week.
Elective surgery was at issue with one list. Election prospects were at issue with the other.
Let’s sharpen our scalpels and start with the surgery.
Changes are being made in the Wellington region to a system whereby people placed on a surgical waiting list are treated according to clinical urgency, firstly, and then days waiting on that list.
Clinical urgency is determined using national scoring tools (www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/data-references/code-tables/national-booking-reporting-system-code-tables). In general the higher the score, the greater the urgency for treatment.
No longer, according to this press statement:
“Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs are prioritising Maori and Pacific in our surgical scheduling processes. The patients’ ethnicity is taken into account along with their level of clinical urgency and the number of days they have been on the waiting list within a given clinical priority band. Continue reading “Maori can’t be found on Muller’s front-bench list but they are getting priority treatment on a revised surgery list”
The Nats are accusing Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor of being slow to act on a bovine tuberculosis outbreak in Hawke’s Bay. Is it a fair cop?
OSPRI confirmed an outbreak in Hawke’s Bay in April last year, but a disease management response wasn’t put in place until October, National agriculture spokesman Todd Muller contends.
There have been more positive tests since then and one third of Hawke’s Bay will be under stock movement controls from March 1.
“Responses like this need to be fronted quickly for the sake of our valuable beef and dairy sector. The Minister needs to be across his portfolio and ensure these issues don’t sneak past him.”
But whether O’Connor has been caught napping depends on when he first learned (a) about the bovine tb and its rate of spread and (b) what was being done to deal with the outbreak – and when he should have first learned those things.
Continue reading “O’Connor is accused of being slow to act on bovine tb – but Nats have been slow to raise questions, too”
Look deeper than the headline moves in National’s reshuffle to find the longer-term significance. Those moves included Paul Goldsmith winning the prize of being Opposition Finance spokesman and Gerry Brownlee in taking on Foreign Affairs, not just because he has the capacity to deploy a bit of humour in needling Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, but because he is signalling he is up for another term.
Insiders point to the leap through the ranks of Hutt South MP Chris Bishop from the cross benches. Still only 36, but in his second term, Bishop has converted the once traditional Labour stronghold of Hutt South into a National seat.
In Parliament as Opposition spokesman on Police he has been effective in puncturing the government’s promises on building up police numbers by 1800. Generally he has kept Police Minister Stuart Nash on his toes and kept police issues close to top of the political agenda—something that some of his seniors have been able to do in their areas of responsibility. Continue reading “Bishop is given a chance to make an impact in National’s reshuffle”