Congratulations Dr Smith!!



Dr Smiths


Congratulations are in order for Dr (Nick) Smith.

Not content with National’s default Blame-Game targets, Dr Smith has come up with an entire new scape-goat for National’s never-ending botch-ups; failed policies; scandals; mismanagement; under-funding; accident-prone Ministers; cronyism, and every other cluster-f*ck that a politician can conceivably come up with.

Up till now, National’s  favorite Default Deflection targets have been;

Deflection #1: The Previous Labour government done it

Never mind that National has been in power for nearly nine years, they can still point the finger at Labour for “the mess that they left us”. (“Mess” being record low unemployment; positive economic growth;  national debt paid down, and posting eight surpluses in a row. How many countries would love to have been bequeathed Labour’s “mess“?)

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How that “mess” has survived unchanged and “fixed”,  by National,  throughout nearly a decade is never explained. Only Guyon Espiner on Radio NZ’s ‘Morning Report‘ cuts of Ministers when they attempt to resort to Deflection Number One, with an exasperation in his voice that would do the parent of a toddler proud.

The Housing crisis was a recent example of Deflecting blame to Labour;




Key’s latest exercise in responsibility-avoidance;

“Under the nine years that Helen [Clark] was Prime Minister, my friend, nationally house prices went up 102 percent. Under us in eight years, they’ve gone up 43. In Auckland they went up 87 percent I think – under us it’s about the same.

If it was a state of emergency now, a crisis now, why wasn’t it a state of emergency and a crisis then?”

Even the passing of National’s ill-fated synthetic drugs laws (later repealed as an utter legislative failure) was blamed on Labour;




Who would have thought that after eight years in Opposition, Labour still wields such powerful influence? Who thought it possible to govern from the Opposition benches?

Labour, take a bow.

Which is all rather ironic, as Dear Leader is pushing Heaven, Earth, and Planet Key to support Helen Clark as the U.N.’s next Secretary General;

“There are major global challenges facing the world today and the United Nations needs a proven leader who can be pragmatic and effective.

Coming from New Zealand Helen Clark is well placed to bridge divisions and get results. She is the best person for the job.

I’ll do everything I can to get her over the line.


If Helen became the next secretary general of the UN New Zealanders would celebrate in the same way they celebrate Lorde for her singing and Lydia Ko in golf.”

Most people would say she was a very strong prime minister for nine years and she’s done a great job in the last seven years at UNDP.”

And subsequently;

“If they’re doing that, that is everything that’s wrong with the United Nations because, for goodness sake, let’s get the best person in the job…


I still think anyway if its a drag race between Kevin Rudd and Helen Clark, New Zealanders, and I reckon a hell of a lot of Australians, know who the best candidate is.”

Wow! Is this the same Prime Minister of a previous Labour government that Key blames all New Zealand’s economic and social woes?

Deflection #2: Welfare Beneficiaries/Housing NZ tenants done it

It’s the fault of those “lazy benes”. And/or Housing NZ tenants. It’s their fault that poverty has increased; wages have remained low; the income/wealth gap has widened; that there is over-crowding and homelessness.

Of course it’s their fault. Key said so;

“But it is also true that anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills. And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”

Didn’t you know that government social and fiscal policy is set by  WINZ beneficiaries  and Housing NZ clients?!

Deflection #3: The GFC/Great Recession/Overseas Events done it

Unemployment is still high (even with Statistics NZ fudging unemployment stats). It’s the GFC, stoopid, as Key pointed out;

“We did inherit a pretty bad situation with the global financial crisis. We have had three terrible earthquakes in Christchurch. We have had the collapse of finance companies. We have had to bail out what is, in terms of the earthquakes, the single biggest economic impact on a developed economy as the result of a disaster. The public don’t agree with every decision… but I think they believe on balance it’s been a tough three years and we’ve handled most things well. The second thing is it’s all relative. Yes, our unemployment went to 7 per cent and now it’s 6.5, but in America it’s 9 per cent officially and 14 per cent unofficially and in Spain it’s 20 per cent… “


“While I think we have to acknowledge that the last three years have been pretty tough with the Global Financial Crisis, on a relative basisNew Zealand’s been doing a better than a lot of other countries.”

Of course, Deflection #3 has a limited shelf-life, and sooner or later the public and media will wise-up to the fact that the Global Financial Crisis event was eight years ago.

Time for another handy international crisis?

Deflection #4: The Auckland Council/RMA done it

When it comes to Auckland-related problems such as housing unaffordability; homelessness, and over-crowding, the Nats have a geographic-specific Deflection solely set aside for that contingency;


Govt blames RMA Auckland Council sunspots


Very handy.

Deflection #4 is better than ‘Persil‘ at removing embarrassing and unsightly, Auckland-issue credibility stains…

But now, in a masterful, brilliant stroke of creative political bullshit-artistry, Dr Smith has come up with a brand new Deflection category.

Drum roll, please…




Deflection #5: The birds done it!

In a speech on 30 August, Dr Smith was at pains to rationalise away his government’s abject failure at cleaning up New Zealand’s heavily polluted waterways. His surrender to a future of rivers so contaminated with animal faeces and harmful micro-organisms that they can no longer be  swum in, was summed up when he lamented;

“A national requirement for all water bodies to be swimmable all of the time is impractical. Most of our rivers breach the 540 E. coli count required for swimming during heavy rainfall.”

The target to blame? Birds.

“We’ve got water bodies like the Washdyke Lagoon here in Canterbury and Lake Papaitonga in the Manawatu which are home to many birds whose E. coli make it impossible to meet the swimming standard without a massive bird cull.”

The… Birds!?!? Priceless.

Hear that, birds?!?! It’s all your fault!!




Expect to hear more of Deflection #5 in future, as the chorus of complaints about our rivers and lakes continues to grow.

Never let it be said that National cannot find a convenient target to deflect blame onto, whenever a situation demands it;




Obviously, any chance of National taking responsibility for the mis-management of our waterways is… for the birds.

But the public, the media, and environmental groups will not allow Smith to escape his responsibilities. He will be held to account and reminded of his failures at every turn. Like New Zealand’s polluted, unswimmable  waterways, his Environmental portfolio has become utterly toxic.

We can hear Dr Smith now; “Oh, the pain, the pain




Hive News: Hive News Tuesday – Key blames ‘Dirty Politics’ for lack of state house sale debate

Reuters: NZ Prime Minister says central bank should get on with housing measures

Parliament Today: Housing NZ’s Woes Blamed on Labour

TV3 News: Housing blame game flares up in Parliament

NewstalkZB: Govt accused of blaming Auckland Council for its own failings on housing

Sharechat: Key blames Labour for barrier to foreign buyer ban

Youtube: Bill English Blames Greens for Housing Crisis

TV3 News: John Key blames Helen Clark for housing crisis

Radio NZ: Labour forced our hand on timing – Key

Fairfax media: Government backs Helen Clark for top UN job 

Fairfax media: John Key – Don’t write Helen Clark off yet, after UN polling

NZ Herald: Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key

Dominion Post:  View from the top

Fairfax media: Key and Goff Q&A – Creating jobs

NZ Herald: Minister blames RMA for land price rise in Auckland

Fairfax media: Council blamed for Auckland housing delays Improving freshwater management

Other Blogs

Greens: Swimmable Rivers tour – Waikirikiri/Selwyn

No Right Turn: Lowering expectations

No Right Turn: So much for 100% pure

The Daily Blog: When Nick Smith said making every river swimmable ‘was not practical’ did a little bit of you die?

The Standard: Water quality too important for bird-brained excuses

Previous related blogposts

Labour: the Economic Record 2000 – 2008

John Key – Practicing Deflection 101

When National is under attack – Deflect, deflect, deflect!

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #2

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #1







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  1. It is just further evidence that politics has degenerated into a puppet show, and no one in their right mind should take seriously anything the self-serving liars and saboteurs say.

  2. national debt paid down, and posting eight surpluses in a row.

    Which was achieved by encouraging a blowout in private debt. And then there’s this:

    The mirror image from the graph clearly illustrates how the government deficit is reflected into a private sector surplus. If the government is spending more than it is taxing, it is stimulating the economy, not taking away from it.

    The opposite is also true. When a government is taxing more than it is spending then it’s causing the economy to restrict. We’ve been lied to for so long we actually view a government surplus as a positive when in reality it’s a negative.

    Of course, our monetary system is all wrong anyway. The government should be creating all the money in the economy. It’s spending then becomes the basis for the economy and, under such sovereign money, the economy can never go into recession. Even banks collapsing and people losing money through their risk taking is of no concern.

    The government spending would be made up of:
    1. A UBI
    2. Resource extraction industry
    3. Developing and maintaining infrastructure such as water, roads, telecommunications, power, education, R&D, and health. These are just examples and there’s probably some I missed.

    Under such a sovereign monetary system the governments deficit would be people’s savings and businesses profit.

    • Just a minute!

      Are we talking about the difference between the amount of money the government collects via taxes and the amount it spends?

      Or are we talking about balance of payments, which is what the nation acquires via trade and tourism etc. compared to what it spends overseas?

      And where do mortgages funded by overseas borrowing fit into the picture? What happens if property values increase faster that overseas borrowing. And what happens if house prices fall substantially but the loans and interest remain payable?

      Is it not all a game of smoke and mirrors? Isn’t there ‘hot money’ sloshing about all over the place, most of it unrecorded?

      We do know for certain that any narrative based on GDP is utter nonsense because GDP is utter nonsense and records numerous negative activities as positive.

      And we do know for certain that current economic arrangements have no future because they are predicated on converting fossil fuels into carbon dioxide. The greater the destruction the higher the GDP.

      For what it’s worth, this site, based on Treasury data, indicates that NZ national debt is over $110 billion, and is climbing by about $170 per second.

  3. Corrupt incompetent idiots are running this country with a huge amount of money at their disposal.
    Its a joke but no one is laughing except the 20% club and Key and English who cant believe how they have got away with it.


    This junta has spent more public money of ours through SS Joyce’s MBIE, which is a phoney Propaganda agency, set up and actively engaged in black opp’s activities, intelligence gathering, phoney studies, and attempted selling NatZ birdbrained schemes.

    1/ a corporate flag referendum,
    2/ attempted selling a dead rat toxic trade agreement called TTPA to the world and us,
    3/ Fracking,
    4/ oil drilling,
    5/GMO production,
    6/killing off regional rail,
    7/bribing Saudi dessert farmers.
    8/tax shelter industry promotions.
    9/subsidising aluminium smelter.
    10/promoting cycling instead of public transport.
    11/The selling of NZ as an easy place for others (students/tourists) to come here to make a buck.

    And as you suggested, a raft of other business profit driven Propaganda projects that it would make his idol Joseph Goebbels extremely proud today.

    This Government is an evil record of criminal enterprise no less.

    Good post Draco.

  5. Just a few thoughts on bird poop.
    Supposedly about 400,000 Kiwis live off rain water capture ???, most tanks have at least a count of 100* whatits per thingie of E. coli, the health/food people insist on a rating of zero E. coli for restaurants etc. My doctor said anything under 100 was fine, The E. coli we all have in our tanks comes from bird crap on the roof.
    Nick Smith was the man responsible for our leaky homes, he and his department ignored the warnings coming in from Canada.
    *unless you have a Tank Vac, which sucks the E. coli food from the bottom of the tank

  6. Another stellar piece of real journalism there Frank Macskasy, your articles should be mainstream for everyone to read.

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