After a year in which the Labour-NZ First coalition settled into office and those who had never expected to sight the inside of the Cabinet room were adjusting to their new riding instructions, the mood of the country is now anticipatory.
The government has generated a sense of change, if only by its ministers harping on about “ nine years of neglect”. It’s a theme that may come back to haunt them.
For change itself can be unsettling. Politically, New Zealanders prefer stability. They are not revolutionaries.
That’s why Grant Robertson has kept a steady hand on the tiller, eschewing the drastic economic reform those on the fringes call for. Continue reading “A mood of anticipation has been created – Ardern now must deliver”
Deputy PM Winston Peters has lit a firestorm in his own support base over the government’s decision to sign the controversial UN Migration Compact—a move National says it will overturn.
NZ First’s Facebook page went into overdrive as one-time NZ First voters voiced their anger. After all, NZ First campaigned strongly against the previous government’s immigration policies and stood out in demanding stricter controls on migration.
Now the party appears willing to adopt the UN’s rules on open, regular migration.
So did Peters miscalculate? In Parliament he had been using the UN compact to bait National, because it was the government in 2016 when offering support as the compact was being initiated. Continue reading “UN compact: Peters’ supporters fear he hasn’t put NZ First”
Chris Seed has been confirmed as Secretary of Foreign Affairs & Trade, as Point of Order earlier foreshadowed. An experienced diplomat, he succeeds Brook Barrington who the State Services Commission named as CEO of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.
Seed, who recently returned to NZ after serving a five-year term as High Commissioner to Canberra, is expected to work closely with Foreign Minister Winston Peters on his Pacific Reset policies.
His appointment is understood to have been extremely well received by senior staff in MFAT, whose morale was severely bruised during the era of John Allen as CEO. It is known that Peters has been keen to return MFAT to the slot it enjoyed before the Allen era as one of the key sources of advice to Cabinet, not just on foreign and trade policies but in other areas of national security. Continue reading “MFAT’s prestige is expected to bloom again, now the ministry has gone to Seed”
Left-wing blogger Chris Trotter, in one of his recent essays, questions whether PM Jacinda Ardern is really running the government or is merely its figurehead.
He cited several examples of the PM appearing to be unaware of key policy decisions and questioned whether allowing her leading Cabinet Ministers to simply get on with the job is a central feature of her management style.
“I hope not. It would suggest that Ardern has chosen the role of figurehead rather than leader. That her job is to supply the warm and sympathetic face of the Coalition Government while the heavy-hitters of her Cabinet – Winston Peters, Grant Robertson, David Parker, Phil Twyford, Meagan Woods and Shane Jones – carry out the day-to-day business of governing the country”. Continue reading “Pacific Reset – what Labour really thinks about it will be seen when US ships arrive”
Before flying out on his Washington mission, Deputy PM Winston Peters announced (in his role as Disarmament and Arms Control Minister) that NZ will take up the chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime later next year.
Peters says NZ’s emerging space industry makes it particularly relevant at this time that it works on effective international control of sensitive missile-related technologies. NZ will host the annual plenary meeting in Auckland in October 2019, which is expected to attract over 200 delegates.
The issue may be high on the agenda for his talks in Washington, where Peters has appointments with key figures of the Trump administration, including Vice-president Mike Pence, Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Continue reading “NZ’s role in missile control gives Peters a boost on US mission”
Greenpeace has got its knickers in a twist over the government’s decision not to include agriculture within the emissions trading scheme as part of reforms which the government says will help improve the operation of the scheme.
But Greenpeace registers “disbelief” that what it calls the country’s biggest polluter is still being excluded from the scheme.
Point of Order, noting the increasing stridency of Greenpeace lobbying on climate change, believes it reflects the organisation’s dismay that the Green Party is not doing its job (as Greenpeace sees it) on climate change.
Almost certainly Winston Peters, as leader of NZ First, put the kibosh on bringing agriculture into the ETS. He knows it would not only choke the country’s leading export industries but kill off any support NZ First has tried to win by portraying itself as the “saviour” of failing provincial economies. Continue reading “Greenpeace gets heated over decision to protect exports and keep farming out of ETS”
The Point of Order Trough Monitor was triggered today when the Deputy PM sent out a press statement to record his beneficence as Minister of (ha!) Racing.
It was headed Government allocates $610,649 to racecourse safety
Racing Minister Rt Hon. Winston Peters announced today that the Government has invested $610,649 in 25 projects to improve safety at racecourses.
The grants are made available from the Racing Safety Development Fund which provides $1 million annually to racecourse safety across two funding rounds. Continue reading “The Trough Monitor: $1m up for grabs for racing industry safety initiatives”