Shaking off the political unease stirred up by sexual harassment allegations by a Labour Party staffer in her department, PM Jacinda Ardern hopes to meet President Donald Trump in New York next week. This would be a first for her and will follow up on the meetings Deputy PM Winston Peters has had in Washington DC.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters is in Australia for the regular six-monthly consultations with his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop – and to deliver a speech to the National Press Club.
Some see this as a critical moment in the Trans-Tasman relationship in the light of the recent spat over Australia’s action in deporting increasing numbers of Kiwis. More important, there is growing concern in both Canberra and Wellington about the role China is playing in the Pacific.
If anyone from the NZ coalition government can get some traction in Canberra, it is probably Winston Peters. He may, however, find the current climate there very edgy after PM Malcolm Turnbull survived a leadership ballot by a close 48 votes to 35. Continue reading “China will be on the agenda in talks between Winston Peters and Julie Bishop”
Earlier this month Jenny Shipley announced she would step down as chair of Genesis Energy at the annual meeting in October after nine years in the role. Her decision followed a week after Transpower’s chair, Tony Ryall, said he had notified the company’s shareholding ministers he will retire from the board of Transpower effective December 31.
Only people prone to conspiracy theories would see anything other than a coincidence in the timing of these two announcements.
Yet those familiar with political events over the past two decades – or three – may recall both Shipley and Ryall share a bit of history with none other than Winston Peters, who happens to be something more than Deputy PM in the Labour-NZ First government and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also holds the State-owned Enterprises portfolio. Continue reading “The political power game: energy company resignations suggest the trough has been tipped”