Muller’s resignation has election implications for the smaller parties as well as for the Nats

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”

Clark wants compassion suspended (temporarily) while Muller wants the Minister’s head (permanently)

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)”

Maori can’t be found on Muller’s front-bench list but they are getting priority treatment on a revised surgery list

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”

O’Connor is accused of being slow to act on bovine tb – but Nats have been slow to raise questions, too

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”

Bishop is given a chance to make an impact in National’s reshuffle

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”