Ardern to meet Trump?

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.

Continue reading “Ardern to meet Trump?”

China will be on the agenda in talks between Winston Peters and Julie Bishop

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”

The political power game: energy company resignations suggest the trough has been tipped

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”