Joint State of the Nation – is this a Government in waiting? Really?



It was a smart move to hold a joint State of the Nation. It builds on the symbolism of the Memorandum of Understanding and creates the perception that there is unity and that the Greens and Labour are a Government in waiting.

Pity that the 4 week Mt Albert by-election will erode the symbolism of this State of the Nation, and that’s going to be the real test of this joint statement.

Will the Greens and Labour still look like a Government in waiting come the end of February?

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With National and Gareth Morgan yet to show their hand, it’s one hell of gamble that the by-election won’t create huge friction between Greens and Labour, and the Greens are going to have to wear that if it happens.

To the actual Joint State of the Nation – this is the music and MC…


Place is packed, Spark is still down so the livestream numbers will take a hit.

Chloe Swarbrick on the stage which is good to see. Have no idea who the rest of the people on the stage are. They all look like they catch buses. Or cycle.

Labour and Green activists are on their best behaviour smile and hand people signs.

One wag comments to me that it has all the managed tension of a Hillary Clinton campaign speech.

Labour’s ‘numbers man’ Rob Salmond is hiding behind a curtain, which is where he should always hide.

The Livestream is awful. Very clunky.

Guy Williams says he’s a ‘poor mans Mike Hosking’, that’s unfair, he’s a bankrupt Oliver Driver.

Livestream is so awful, only die hard political geeks will be watching this, numbers viewing online on the Labour Party and Green Facebook page don’t get above  250 on Labour and 380 on the Greens .

Metiria makes a big issue of fierce women, ends up sounding like Hillary Clinton. Says some nice things about Helen Kelly though, so that’s nice.

Makes the point that workers should be able to come home without being dead.

Jeanette Fitzsimons makes a surprise mention in Met’s speech, (she was chained to a gate with a bunch of other Grandmothers last week protesting Dairy’s love of coal).

Met talks about Green Party values. It’s all a well worn path without any surprises or new details.

A surprising wasted opportunity, Met’s a much better public speaker than this. It’s good that the Greens have gone on and on about feelings though because their largest voting bloc – millennials – are all about the feels.

No new policy announced, but lots of love for women. It’s almost as if there are no men in the Green Party worldview. Dr Invisible James Shaw doesn’t say anything.

Pretty bland and empty speech by Metiria.

Andrew is up next. Can we call him ‘Butch’ now he doesn’t wear his glasses?

I think he’s been reading too much Simon Wilson over on The Spin Blog.


Makes the point that he’s worked hard for workers all his life.

Talks about his prostate cancer, says, “‘My battle with cancer colours everything I see, even today” – allows him to stand up for Cancer patients and makes health an issue to debate.

Cleverly allows Andrew toward the ‘that’s not right’ style of politics. No real ideology as such, just the general sense of unfairness.

Argues that his kids won’t ever own their own home, so he wants to make sure they do.

Is strongest who he makes a case against Trump, sounds like a statesman when he denounces Trump.

Has a good go at Bill English’s decision not to go to Waitangi.

Makes some fair points but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before.

Amazingly no new policy mentioned at all. It’s all come off like a group hug session in a safe space. It’s hard to even know why they did the Joint State of the Nationa as there is bugger all in this.

I don’t think anyone who voted National in 2014 would change their vote based on today and no one who didn’t vote will come out and vote because of this Joint State of the Nation.

It’s still early in the election year, so let’s hope they sharpen up before Bill English sets the date.

Two suggestions – get someone in who knows how to livestream as this was a joke and 2, get new speech writers both were pretty stale for States of the Nation.







  1. My 18 year old daughter and friend are jumping up and down after hearing the free tertiary policy so there are two young voters who just got motivated. You need a holiday Martin so negative!

    • Ummm, were they listening to the same speech? There wasn’y any announcement of free tertiary education – I might need a holiday, but perhaps you need to see a dr if you are hearing things that didn’t happen.

      • Three years free post secondary education….

        Semantics. For young people that excites them. Shame the policy will only apply to people that are newly entering the tertiary sector, I.e. those who are going into their first year at uni / training etc.

        It won’t be available to anyone who wishes to retrain in a new area.

        Probably would have been better off to write off all student debt over a three year period and ensure no more student loans.

        • +100 …re “Probably would have been better off to write off all student debt over a three year period and ensure no more student loans”

          …many young NZers are struggling with paying back student loans

          …it is a millstone around our best and brightest

          (young NZers who could not afford honours despite being ‘A’ students and invited by their universities

          …their places are taken by rich fee paying foreigners

          … who then see it as an entry to buying up scarce NZ housing)

          • “who then see it as an entry to buying up scarce NZ housing”

            Do you have evidence of this? Some stats would be helpful.

  2. @ Martyn Bradbury may indeed need a holiday but then I need to see every single NZ politician go somewhere where fertaliser is in short supply and explode. Finally, some use. A bag of blood and bone doesn’t cost $-six figures plus entitlements a year.

    Now. All you fat, well dressed pricks? Fuck off and blow up.

  3. Anyone who is looking for something other than more of the same from Labour or the Greens will be constantly disappointed.

    • Exactly. There will be a continuation of privatization and continuing of poisoning our country with 1080 and a continued cozy relationship with the U.N. and not much will change. Deep sea oil will continue as well as not serving and helping properly those in need. Much of the same ole same ole.

      Again, let us look at who is behind most politicians and who owns the media and expose them instead of constantly spinning wheels.
      We do not own or dictate OUR GOVERNMENT who are on OUR PAYROLL.
      Those who do own most govts. need exposure – where is that exposure ? ? ? Where is the light shining on the criminals behind the curtains and hidden in the cupboards ? ?

  4. Well so long as Labour want to keep the spy base at Waihopai they will lose votes.

    I took part yesterday in the well attended annual protest at the base and am appalled that New Zealand as a sovereign nation spies on behalf of the US on Bangladesh, India, China, Solomon Islands, all south Pacific nations and other countries.

    Are these people now our enemies?

    Is Little so thick he doesn’t understand that we shouldn’t be in the club, it has nothing to do with terrorism but everything to do with our support of the U.S. as the dominant power in the world, controlling the world’s resources and finances.

    As for that gun hungry ex cop well really they are going to stand him, I feel sorry for the Greens.

    I was always appalled everytime some person was shot and killed and the media would say ‘this has been referred to the IPC’ and next thing a big long burble from Greg O’Connor about how the cops are always right. Not sure why they allowed this when the IPC needed to investigate.

  5. Chloe Swarbrick publicly supported privatisation via Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) during the 2016 Auckland Mayoral campaign.

    How ‘left’ is it to support privatisation via PPPs, particularly now the lid has been lifted on the entrenched bribery and corruption, entertwined in NZ roading contracting?

    (Despite the latest total bollocks from Transparency International – that according to their 2016 ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – New Zealand (and Denmark) are ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt countries in the world’?)

    If you want a real shake-up inside the House, against corruption and for real transparency, don’t bother voting for an MP for Mt Albert, who is already an MP?

    Who hasn’t got either policies or a proven track record in ‘whistle-blowing’ against corrupt ‘conflicts of interest’, in either private-sector contracting of public services, or property development?

    This ‘common sense’ argument of not voting for an existing MP is gaining political traction.

    It has worked in Epsom.

    Penny Bright

    Proven ‘anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner.

    Future fiery Independent MP for Mt Albert 🙂

  6. I don’t know if greens/labour are the answer, but after 8 years of basically a dictatorship by National, a slightly more caring government ( if there is such a thing ) for people and environment would be a welcome change…

  7. I absolutely agree with Martyn, this was underwhelming, indeed. We had speeches full of emotion and generalist direction, nothing of substance, no new policy, no clear policy anyway, so what the heck.

    If they think they can win by simply doing this PR stuff, and creating a hype of “feel good factor”, I regret, this will not cut it.

    Perhaps the only chance for Labour to get back into the percent range of votes is to get Helen back on stage?

    She is so “capable” she will attract even some Nat voters, to make the difference.

    So where is Labour’s policy for sick and disabled, for sole parents, for those poor workers, except for nice words and slogans??

    Perhaps the world and people are now so superficial, it no longer matters what is presented, as long as the image and impression look good?

    This does not motivate me to vote for either Labour or Greens, we are back to voting for the lesser evil, nothing more or less.

  8. Here we have a directly-affected State tenant, Niki Rauti, making a HUGE stand against the privatisation of State housing.

    Where is support for Niki Rauti, from Labour or the Greens?

    I’ve actively supported the Tamaki Housing Group, including Niki, since their formation in 2011.

    Here is my Press Release:

    Stop Niki’s eviction!

    Tuesday, 17 January 2017, 5:04 pm

    Press Release: Penny Bright Independent candidate Mt Albert by-election:

    “Stop Niki’s eviction!”

    “The privatisation of State housing is now a Mt Albert by-election issue.
    Which of the other declared 2017 Mt Albert by-election candidates are going to stand up and be counted, to STOP NIKI’S EVICTION?”, asks Penny Bright, Independent candidate for the Mt Albert by-election.
    2017 Independent candidate for Mt Albert Penny Bright calls on all decent, concerned citizens to help defend Niki Rauti – this really gutsy (former) State tenant, who is refusing to budge, and making a brave stand against the privatisation of State housing and ‘democracy for developers’!
    WHEN: Tuesday 17 January 2017
    TIME: 6pm
    WHERE: Assemble outside Glen Innes Public Library – to march to 14 Taniwha St, Glen Innes.
    (This facebook video clip has had over 3000 views and been widely shared).

  9. Want to see some REAL policies that will help to ‘Roll back Rogernomic$’?

    “If New Zealand was truly ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ – shouldn’t we arguably be the most transparent?

    So – why isn’t the Public Records Act 2005, being properly and lawfully implemented and enforced?

    “17 Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

    “So, how come we don’t know exactly where billion$ of taxpayer and ratepayer public monies are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors at NZ central and government level?”

    “What has anyone from Transparency International New Zealand had to say about the endemic and entrenched bribery and corruption revealed in the unprecedented bribery and corruption conviction of just ONE corrupt ‘public official’ and just ONE corrupt contractor – where the bribes totalled $1.2 million over 7 years?
    “Reasons for the Verdict of Fitzgerald J”


    “How many thousands of ‘public officials’ and private contractors are there across NZ central and local government?”

    “As a genuinely (politically fiercely) independent, self-funded proven
    ‘anti-corruption campaigner’ and Independent candidate for the 2017 Mt Albert by-election here is my ACTION PLAN:

    Read on – if you dare 😉

    Penny Bright
    PROVEN ‘anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.
    Future fiery Independent MP for Mt Albert 🙂

  10. The Greens will suffer a rude shock this year, when it comes out what their youth membership have been up to, and the extent to which senior members of the party knew about it (read, multiple incidents of them eating their own, showing them to be tribalists and networkers of the worst kind, actively ruining people in some cases).

    The truth will out.

    • The Greens will suffer a rude shock this year, when it comes out what their youth membership have been up to, and the extent to which senior members of the party knew about it …

      How about some firm information rather than vague insinuations, Peter?

  11. Given Nationals track record of stealing policy, (and of course giving a half arsed knock off version dressed up as the real thing), if it passes the focus group standard I would not be announcing any policy until much closer to the election. Leave National clinging to tax cuts and running a housing crisis.

    I would think this was a unity display more than anything.

  12. No, it is not. Homeowners and property investors, as well as migrants (colonists), overwhelmingly support the Transnational Capital Party. The best hope is to force National into coalition with Peters and then watch them implode. Falling that, just watch on as the immigration (colonisation) levels lead to social (followed by economic) collapse.

  13. Meteria Turei seems to have lost her mojo since Russel Norman left. He gave the Greens some push and drive and his absence is telling, particularly where Meteria is concerned. Now without Russel’s fiery co leadership, she is coming across as very bland and ho hum, almost boring in fact! Perhaps she is bored herself and is only going through the motions of being a Green MP co leader.

    As for blue/green James Shaw as co leader … um James who?

  14. Greens and Labour – a dwarf shackled to a corpse.

    If people reject National this year it won’t be because they are inspired by this shower.

    The Left is in serious trouble with these two parties hogging parliamentary seats.

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