2016 Issues



The last time I tried to predict anything was the 2014 election and NZers rushed to embrace John Key – so what the hell do I know, but here anyway are a list of issues that might come to a head next year…

Climate Change: What we are in danger of in 2016 is crossing tipping points built into the environment that immediately generate run away feedback loops. Frozen methane in the gigatonne are already furiously bubbling to the surface as oceans warm. More gigatonnes are coming out as the Arctic permafrost thaws. The Ocean conveyor current is slowing down. Antartica is in a far more perilous state than we previously thought. To date everything we are seeing now was in the worst case scenario list with the IPCC, so you’ll forgive my cynicism in regards to the Paris talks. This could be the event that prods to life demands from the electorate for far more radical policy than the current political spectrum allows for.

Economy: Nothing has been solved from the global financial meltdown, all we did was kick the can down the road. How stable is the global economy really? As the Fed raises rates we will find out if the  house of cards is strong enough to truly grow. China slowing down, emerging markets dying off, Europe in a coma and America barely doing anything means 2016 will become a must watch on the economics side.

Unemployment: National can’t let Unemployment go above 7% or else there will be political consequences, this is a problem because unemployment is picked to go over  7%.

Water: Watch for the Right to splinter into fury over the issue of Maori water rights.

Interest Rate hikes and Auckland Housing bubble pop: If the economy doesn’t pop alongside the property bubble in 2016, National will win 2017.

Inequality: Will continue to rise, but seeing as the middle classes benefit from the property bubble too much, it’s an issue that is as ignored as sternly as a fart in church.

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A prominent NZer goes to Court: A prominent NZer will go to Court in 2016 and lots of questions as to who knew what and when will erupt.

Slater vs Matthew Blomfield: There’s very little chance of Slater winning this case.

Slater vs Colin Craig: Slater has pushed Colin so far into a corner with his allegations of sexual misconduct, Colin has no choice but to destroy Slater in Court. For Conservative Party supporters, a Colin Craig victory will be seen as the second coming.

Hager trial: The level of political interference will start leaking out next year as damages start against the Police for their illegal raid. In the past Police have been able to effectively bribe people with payouts – Hager has no need for money and is far more likely to see the entire case come out in Court. If Dirty Politics gets seen by more people in 2016, expect a nastier set up for the election.

Private Prison/Public cost: Wiri Prison will be investigated and will be found to be as dangerous as Mt Eden. This will put immense pressure upon the Government as they attempt to launch their privatisation agenda in social welfare.

Auckland Mayoralty: It’s Phil Goff’s to lose.

Kim Dotcom vs America: Roll up, roll up – this will be the case of the year as it progresses up the Judicial chain of command.

Labour & Green lovefest: James Shaw’s desire to take the party to the right has suffered numerous setbacks in 2015. His demand to vote for pubs to stay open was a challenge to the Caucus which he initially won, but he lacks support within Caucus to take it much further. Those other members of Caucus have forced a deal with Labour and you can expect a whole lot more co-operation between Labour and the Greens in 2016. Marama Davidson will rise quickly in the Greens. Labour will continue to say ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs’ and do their best to woo National voters over.

NZ will go to war: Key pretends it’s an open question, but it’s not. NZ will increase its military commitment.

Police, SIS and GCSB will get new surveillance powers: Key will give all three more powers in 2016.

Blue Wedding: The frustration for more vicious right wing policy will drive a Collins and Key showdown. Watch for Simon Bridges to step up as Collins deputy. Most likely to be sparked by Maori water rights.

TPPA: If National try and ram this through early next year there is going to be large scale civil disobedience.

Media: The media will continue to meltdown into the clickbait dog shit it is now and Paul Henry and Mike Hosking will continue to dictate narrative, the time will be ripe for the Left to launch a counter narrative. 




  1. “A prominent NZer goes to Court: A prominent NZer will go to Court in 2016 and lots of questions as to who knew what and when will erupt.”

    And wait for some neutralizing of the judiciary about then!

    Also at the same time, pandas will become the main news focus for msm to concentrate on!

    • Hmmm, that does make me start to wonder if this has something to do with the new sexual assault laws national wants to bring in. Perhaps a way to avoid the noted case coming to the public’s attention?

      Similar to how they wanted it so that the coroner isn’t required to investigate military deaths (to help cover up any potential deaths of combat “trainer” troops in Iraq).

    • Yes, this one’s going to be interesting. A leading political figure accused the opposition of supporting rapists, in the NZ parliament. Will they come to regret their callous outburst, or will the whole affair be swept under the carpet with the government’s usual aplomb?

  2. The climate conference was a sick joke! American military are one of the biggest contributors to climate change but are exempt from any liability. War is the thing that needs to be stop to have any chance for human survival. The economy is teetering on the precipice .The faux wealth that is built on the sand of private debt is unsustainable. A house is worth what ever a bank is willing to lend against it. The rising unemployment could trigger a slowdown in the economy with the snowball effect resulting in a long nasty recession. Key is comfortable with a 40% drop in household worth.His banker/gangster mates will be rubbing their hands with glee. Wh the so called muddled classes should be concerned about falling into poverty.

  3. Thanks Martyn for all your good work this year, its been a depressing pisser of a year for sane NZers. Lets hope we see the beginning of the end to this political middle class greed fest in 2016. Lets hope Labour turns left to ‘real labour’ again and do a deal with the Greens and get there message across. Again I live in hope for the new year. All the best.

  4. A petty good summary of the state of the nation going into 2016.

    The only things I’d add:

    (a) More charter schools will go belly up.

    (b) Key will continue to make a complete ass of himself in the media.

    Merry Christmas to you, Martyn, and to all the thoughtful, intelligent authors and commenters who regularly contribute to The Daily blog.

    • Umi think you will see more charter schools get the green light and rightly so.
      They cost a 10th of excessive cost setup of state schools.

      • That is arrant tripe, Matt.

        The State (ie, us the taxpayer, pay for the land and buildings for new Charter Schools. Those assets are then transferred into ownership of the Charter School – an effect gift. How many other companies are given money and assets to start-ups?

        Oh yeah, Saudi businessmen.

        If you’re going to parrot lies, at least try to make it believable.

  5. Yes! (Well up to a point.)

    It is still commonly known as climate change but is actually planetary overheating or planetary meltdown. And the ‘fuse’ that leads to ‘explosion’ has already been lit. It is extremely unlikely any action taken at this late stage in the game will have much effect, since this major ‘can’ has been ‘kicked down the road’ for over 30 years. But we could try. However, the government is not the least bit interested in even trying and continues to pursue policies that make matters worse. I think your right; the situation will become so dire in 2016 even the most adamant denialists will have nowhere to hide.

    Yes! (Well up to a point.)

    The so-called GFC of 2007/9 provided an opportunity to commence reconfiguring the entire system but all that was done was to print extra phony money and rig interest rates (and a lot of other things) in order to hold the system together just a little bit longer, whilst in the process making all the fundamentals worse.

    Energy prices have continued to fall (WTI $34.45, Brent $36.49), and even that ‘tailwind’ has failed do much stimulation: indeed, numerous nations -including Canada- are ‘falling off the cliff’ right now as a consequence. That which cannot continue will not continue. We will either witness large numbers of energy company downsize or close shop and nations rupture under the strain, or will see energy prices rise to more realistic levels and witness the economic implosion that will accompany high energy prices. It’s now reached the point of no-win.

    Published unemployment numbers can be rigged or falsified any time. The US has been doing it for years.

    Yes, the corporate police state will attempt to tighten its grip on the populace, and at the same time attempt to keep the masses distracted and amused via more ‘bread and circuses’…..and will likely succeed in the short term. But, as you imply, the core now is so rotten that even ‘bread and circuses’ won’t hold back the tide, which is composed of an ocean of lies, for much longer.

    NZ is already at war -with the local environment, with the global environment, and with numerous groups around the world whose resources need to be stolen in order that the current lifestyle can be maintained in the short term.

    One other: the stampede to NZ from even worse places will accelerate.

  6. Ha ha, loving the entertaining thumbs down troglodytes here, dragging their prehistoric knuckles over here to increase the visitor numbers to TDB.

    • Do they think they can alter the facts by clicking a thumbs-down icon? Perhaps it is abhorrence of truth that drives them click thumbs-down. Or maybe instructions from the party hierarchy. Short-term vested interest is one of the most powerful drivers of long-term irrational behavior.

      By any measure of anything that matters -availability of resources, atmospheric pollution, ocean acidification, deforestation, soil loss, glacier loss, species loss, overpopulation, overcrowding, wealth disparity etc.- the world has never been in a worse state than now and NZ has never been in a worse state than now.

      The Key government is, of course, fully committed to making everything that matters much worse in 2016, both globally and locally.

    • Exactly Mary, could not agree with you more.
      Their bought and owned lame stream media is so boring and full of propaganda that they come here to get the truths that they secretly hate to hear so it makes them feel a bit better to give an negative tick.
      Again, we need to ignore them as they are falling fast down a dark and dreary tunnel of lies and denial and supporting a trainwreck of a govt.

      Still trying to get our heads around why most of our comments are not allowed through and that we have been stripped of our ability to edit our comments. Not necessary and not conducive to open and free speech.

    • Mary, I submitted a reply to your above comment and agreed with you and that comment is one of many that someone at TDB refuses to put up. This willy-nilly banning for no good reason is not what an alternative media outlet is about which is encouraging the truths and freedom of speech. Someone at TDB needs to think about just why they pick and choose comments and the real reasons they block freedom of speech.

  7. NZ is a sick joke under this corrupt Government that massages the real truth with everything they do.

    We next year will feel the pressure on this corrupt government to either begin to reverse their climb to the bottom of global statistics as a place to live or they will be forced out by other political Parties that are just realising our past standing as a desirable place as one of the worlds best safest stable places to live is dramatically going down the gurgler and may see their increased efforts to present them selves emerging as an viable alternative is required to turn the boat around before we all sink.

  8. ” What we are in danger of in 2016 is crossing tipping points built into the environment that immediately generate run away feedback loops. ”

    Should read: We have already crossed tipping points towards a new hot planet and runaway feedback loops are increasing exponentially. View clip glacier loss is accelerating:


  9. Also for 2016: Expect a massive swing to the Right in Europe, spurred by fears stemming from illegal immigration and terrorism.

    • Andrew, I up-voted you by accident. (Blame it on my workplace’s liquid lunch.)

      As usual, you’re full of crap.

      Cheers, buddy. Have a nice one for 2016.

  10. I’m wondering just what sort of media coverage we will get on the subject of how Christmas is just about the worst time of the year for some people. The Christmas New Year can be hell for people who are alone, who have little money for any celebration, or whose kids have to do without any Christmas presents for another year: all things most of us take for granted.
    No, we will probably get no coverage of this. We will get some coverage of how the emergency services soldier on, how the Salvation Army and other providers put on a free Christmas meal for anyone who wants one (all credit to them!).
    And, of course, we will get a carefully staged clip of John Key celebrating Christmas in typical Kiwi style, clutching a bottom of booze, wearing a misogynistic t-shirt and uttering platitudes about how Christmas is the most important time of the year for families.
    It would be justice to see John Key experience the kind of non-Christmas that his government’s policies have condemned the disadvantaged to endure over the last seven years. How his government’s policies have turned so many of the nation’s children into paupers in what should be the land of plenty.
    We won’t get any media coverage of that will we?

  11. A long list and certainly some valid issues for 2016 AND BEYOND!

    But my view is, that the biggest issue for all of us is the fact, that we have an opposition that is much in name only, and only occasionally comes out firing and convincing. That is my major issue for 2016, to have the opposition be shaken up from their too slack performance, and to present truly alternative solutions and policies.

    What I miss in Labour and Greens are some fighters, who dare to bluntly speak out the facts, to manage to wrap these into decisive, convincing arguments against this useless government, and to dish put formidable attacks with new, exciting policy, which must include the poorest and weakest in society, and the many middle and lower class workers.

    If that one issue is not addressed during 2016, forget the election in 2017. It starts with the leadership of Labour and Greens, who need to perform much smarter and better, and to coordinate their approaches while active inside and outside of Parliament. NZ First will continue as usual, and it is mostly Winston First, and I expect little change there. He at least can at times deliver, but we know that he may go and be the kingmaker for the Nats even, if he feels he can’t work with Labour and Greens. If Labour and Greens do not improve next year, there is NO more excuse for truly progressives to step out and up, and to form a new left of centre party. We can see how things can be shaken up by looking at the election result in Spain.

    Climate change is sadly an issue most do not directly relate to, not in NZ, as it comes slowly, and people just do not see the threat as great as it is, it will not be a vote winner in 2017. The economy is muddling on, that is based on “growth” for “growth’s sake” on endless immigration, an approach where the government does not think of consequences for the coming generations, as more people need more resources, more jobs, more space, housing, education, healthcare, retirement support. The bill will come later, but people are easy to fool here, they hear “growth” and think, “my job is safe”.

    As for unemployment, it is comparatively low, when we look at many other developed countries, of course there is the marginal employment, precarious jobs and poverty, which affects too many, but as long as Key and Nats have the support they maintain now, this is no threat to them.

    Housing costs and inequality are issues, but again, as long as 50 percent are doing ok, as their equity in their homes increases, and as long as they are getting their bags filled at the supermarket by low paid workers, asking no nasty questions, they do not worry.

    The biggest issue is the opposition, needing to wake up and perform, and using the issues above, word them well, throw challenges and attacks at the government, and deliver a convincing alternative, that is my view, all else can fall into place.

    • “As for unemployment, it is comparatively low, when we look at many other developed countries, of course there is the marginal employment, precarious jobs and poverty, which affects too many, but as long as Key and Nats have the support they maintain now, this is no threat to them.” – Mike in Auckland

      That is official, recorded figures, Mike. Real unemployment and under-employment are much higher.

  12. ” Counter narrative” – encouraging debate and healthy look at both sides of the coin. Sounds like open minded media with a new outlook. Sounds great in theory.

    I like your predictions and agree but if we are to encourage healthy debate, why do you often oppose and not allow comments and links that do not agree with your views and beliefs ? Sounds a bit narrow and biased even though you label it and judge it and put us in our place for being disobedient writers and concerned folks. It feels like you pick and choose your comments that get through based on the fact that they may be repetitive or not on the subject when they very well may be related to the subject and why not repeat things that are of extreme importance and relevance ? ? ?
    Lets hope we all can be less rudely judgmental and more compassionate and open to others beliefs and opinions even if they do not agree with ours. We so need more open minded, unbiased alternative media outlets.
    TDB is greatly appreciated and I hope more open to complete and unbiased freedom of speech in 2016.

    If you delete this comment and not allow it through, it will only prove our point, sad to say.

  13. Merry Xmas Martyn, enjoyed your columns, keep up the good work and have a happy new year

    The thumbs down thing is just a typical right wing petty attempt to impose their beliefs on other people, it starts from the top.

  14. Re: climate change being the number one issue….

    Yikes! At 403.89, we now have a daily CO2 data point 5.15ppm above one year ago! That’s twice the recent historic trend of about 2.5ppm per annum (0.7 ppm per annum rise when Keeling started measuring).

    Okay, one data point does not make a trend, but it is symptomatic of the shocking predicament we (well actually our children) are in.

    Surging atmospheric CO2 is not so surprising really, when you consider that chopping down trees, burning fossil fuels, and covering pasture in concrete and asphalt have all become so popular.


  15. The situation in
    Syria is paramount, despite the sleepy hobbits trying to ignore all that goes on. The involvement of Russia, US and France and UK will solve nothing. Al Nusra and others fight ISIS and will dominate, but they are guilty of human rights violations, altogether, the war is of endless atrocities:

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