RIP Neo-Liberalism in New Zealand: 1984 – 2017

By   /   October 20, 2017  /   55 Comments

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A coalition with Labour and the Greens offers a fresh start. It puts NZ First into a brand new government, with a fresh  leadership, new ideas, and none of the baggage offered by a tired government that had simply run out of ideas.

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Peters has called it: NZ First will go into coalition with Labour-Greens.

In reality, it was the only decision he could possibly make.

Firstly, National has a scary reputation for devouring it’s coalition partners:

  • Peter Dunne – falling electoral support at each election until he faced a potentially humiliating defeat by Labour’s Greg O’Connor. Instead, he chose to resign and leave Parliament voluntarily rather than being turfed out by the voters of Ōhāriu.
  • ACT/David Seymour – a shadow of it’s hey-day in 2002, when it had nine MPs, it is currently hooked up to perpetual political life-support. Seymour is  tolerated by the Nats as a cute mascot rather than as a useful partner. No one has the heart to flick the “off” switch to end Seymour’s tenacious grip on parliamentary life.
  • The Maori  Party – it’s close alliance with successive National governments took it from five seats in 2008 to losing everything at this election. Coalition with the Tories was the proverbial “kiss of death” for the Maori Party.

NZ First has dodged that party-killing-bullet by declining to join with the National ‘Black Widow’ Party.

Secondly, a National-NZ First Coalition would have meant taking on the baggage of failed policies; knee-jerk rush from crisis-to-crisis,   and bad headlines from the last nine years of mis-management from the Key-English Administration;

  • increasingly polluted waterways
  • families living in cars
  • under-funded health system
  • stretched mental health services
  • increasingly unaffordable housing
  • rising greenhouse gas emissions
  • low wages
  • economic growth predicated on housing speculation and immigration
  • etc, etc, etc.

A coalition with National would have meant taking ownership of nine years of worsening statistics and bleak media headlines.

How would that benefit NZ First? The answer is self-evident.

National has had nine years to address the critical problems confronting us as a nation. The sight of families with children living in cars or rivers that are toxic with urban and rural pollution and unfit to swim in is not the New Zealand we wanted to leave future generations. Yet that is precisely the legacy bequeathed by the Nats and their neo-liberal, market-driven ideology. That would have been the poisoned chalice from which Peters would have supped from.

As Shakespeare might  have said, “fuck that shit!”

A coalition with Labour and the Greens offers a fresh start. It puts NZ First into a brand new government, with a fresh  leadership, new ideas, and none of the baggage offered by a tired government that had simply run out of ideas.

It also accords Winston Peters with the legacy he sought: the Kingmaker who put the sword to thirtythree years of the neo-liberal experiment.

The nightmare of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson is over. Neo-liberalism is dead.

Thank you, Winston Peters.

And as I promised: I offer my apologies for doubting that you would make the right decision. This is one of those occasions where I am happy to have been proven 100% wrong.

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Related blogposts

Once Upon a Time in Mainstream Media Fairytale Land

An Open Letter To Winston Peters

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= fs =

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55 Comments

  1. Samwise says:

    He had no choice indeed, Frank. A coalition with the Nats would’ve been a death warrant for Peters. Especially as how he’s railed against the neoliberal paradigm.

    Like you, I woke up feeling it’s a brighter day and a brighter future as well.

  2. MattyGee says:

    Federated Farmers and Fonterra must be sh**ting themselves…

    • Sam Sam says:

      Shitting themselves why? Should read Theo Spierings couldn’t find enough consumers to buy milk products.

    • countryboy says:

      What are YOU going to shit yourself with when you don’t have a farmer providing you with food for you to eat?

      The enemy isn’t farmers dipshit. Your enemy is, as is us all, the banks and their influence on farmers and farming.

    • e-clectic says:

      Shitting themselves – sure, that’s their business model.

  3. David Stone says:

    “A coalition with Labour and the Greens offers a fresh start. It puts NZ First into a brand new government, with a fresh leadership, new ideas, and none of the baggage offered by a tired government that had simply run out of ideas.

    It also accords Winston Peters with the legacy he sought: the Kingmaker who put the sword to thirtythree years of the neo-liberal experiment.

    The nightmare of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson is over. Neo-liberalism is dead.”

    That is unfortunately not established yet.

    As far as I can see the finance gurus behind Jacinda in Labour are still committed neoliberals. She will have to defy them to follow Winston’s economic philosophy. Its’ not time to celebrate the end of neoliberalism yet.
    D J S
    D J S


    Thank you, Winston Peters.

    And as I promised: I offer my apologies for doubting that you would make the right decision. This is one of those occasions where I am happy to have been proven 100% wrong.

  4. Aaron says:

    End of Neoliberalism in New Zealand? I wouldn’t bet the house on it just yet, this is still a very timid Labour Party.

    • Andrew says:

      A timid and weak Labour Party relying on the support of a Nationalist Conservative of the same ilk as Trump.

      Best of luck guys!

      If Jacinda can hold this together she’s a very talented lady

    • Bg says:

      I presume you are dismissing Winston being in the pocket of corporate fishing interests as no part of neo-liberalism

      • Sam Sam says:

        Be my standards neofeudalsim like feudalism before it when lords owned all the land to control the population is similar but not the same as 10% of the elite establishment owning 50% of the wealth and 60% of new income.

        People like to call it neoliberal so the pyramid of contract fraud. When you pay money for taxes or insurance you expect something in return. If you don’t get basic services up and running for example; red zones all over Christirch, sub-standard hospitals, and so on and so on. Well that’s fraud.

  5. Fern says:

    I had to laugh at Michelle Boag on TV this morning, Oct 20, saying indignantly that the losers get to form the government. No, Michelle, it’s democracy.

    • Jack P says:

      Indeed, it’s MMP… naturally the corporate media will continue to push for FFP. Winston was right about the media treating this election as FFP. Michelle Boag has always been wrong when commenting on policies that benefit all of New Zealand. Thank God we have a new government.

      • Sumsuch says:

        The only people to oppose the Labour Govt of 1935 were the papers and the doctors and the banks. Let power whistle through its arse.

    • Patrick says:

      We can only hope that Winston will concentrate on his legacy and let Jacinda lead the coalition.
      It was sad to see Winston announce the coalition as he is not the leader.
      Jacinda should have made the announcement and Winston should have had his say later. That wasn’t even Winston speaking – it was his ego.
      If he can keep his ego in check – a huge ask – this can work.

    • Samwise says:

      If Boag had her way, only “winners” would get to form the government. “Winners” predominantly white, male, and in a high income bracket or high net-worth. She is a bitter old crone

      • Margaret says:

        Michelle Boag is past her use-by date!

        A great follower of John Banks – and she sings the praises of Murray McCully – “He gets things done.”

        Yeah right ! Perhaps it was a retirement village he was financing in Saudi Arabia.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Geez Fern I turned her face off with my remote as I saw it.

      We hope Winston and labour’s Broadcasting policy gets started soon as we need to shut these evil merchants of thes dying neo-liberal plans out of our lives thank you.
      They must be driven out of our lives so we can renew democracy again.

      • Margaret says:

        Yes, indeed.

        The look of shock, horror and disbelief on the face of Mike Hosking in the past two days is something to behold.

        ‘What goes around, comes around.’

        Not one to convey any empathy for the plight of the less fortunate among us, his impending move from the positions he commands to influence the minds of the gullible, will be cause for celebration.

        “Let’s do this”

    • bert says:

      It’s probably not PC buuuuuuut…. Boag was a loser when they dished out the goodlooking award. She is a National troll and should never be seen or heard from ever again.

    • What is it with these sour old Tory hags ?
      Boag, Collins, Bennett etc.

      Each of them have a look of having lived the good life at the fridge door for far to long.

      They are soo nasty with it.
      We are better of without them.

      • Michelle says:

        Actually its MMP that got rid of those parasites bleeding our country. And the tories didn’t complain about MMP giving them the last 9 years but now many want FPP bunch of self serving greedy bastards. As for michelle bog we don’t need her benefit and gollins they can f…of bunch of old bags past their used by date

      • Patrick says:

        Stop.
        these comments are crap.
        We have a new government.
        lets support it! I didn’t vote for it but it’s what we have so I’m for the coalition.
        The hate you guys are promoting is childish.
        Give the new regime your support and turn down the vitriol of the old.
        We are Kiwis – give the new and old a fair go. Isn’t what this country is about?

        • Patrick, your hypocrisy is breathtaking considering the vitriol that you’ve been dishing out to Martyn, on another story. Do me a favour and get lost.

          • Patrick says:

            Will try again.
            No hypocrisy Frank.
            We have sponsored a Muslim family for almost 30 years so I believe I am entitled to an opinion.
            I find the the way that woman behaved despicable but to see it happen right in front of you and to do absolutely nothing about it – not even to comfort the Muslim women – should be condemned – surely.
            Incidentally as President of the Flat Earth Society ( as appointed by Frank) I see that IAG is not suing Climate Change Inc over the Port Hills fire but the power company whose gear failed and started it.

            • We have sponsored a Muslim family for almost 30 years so I believe I am entitled to an opinion.

              So you say.

              Save your defensiveness, Patrick. Just because you’ve done one good deed (according to you) gives you no right to exploit the assault by a racist nutjob to have a personal ‘go’ at Martyn. It’s not your “entitled opinion” I’m revolted by – it’s what you’re saying with it.

              • Patrick says:

                As usual Frank, you get the last word as you get the right of reply but I don’t.
                You don’t want to check the facts do you as it suits your purposes to be able to say things like ” so you say” and “according to you”
                You are not interested in the facts but only “the truth according to Frank.”
                Sad, very sad.

    • Lauano Ati ILAOA says:

      ..Can’t believe that after 21 years of MMP, there’s still a lot of people who don’t seem to accept that this is the electoral system we as a country have,etc…..

    • Jonathan Roe says:

      It’s amazing how many commentators still think in first past the post terms. Especially odious Tories.

  6. Quicksilver says:

    Excellent analysis as usual Frank.
    I too would like to apologise to all NZF-supporting Daily Bloggers.
    You were right.
    The scars of 1996 still hurt, and prevented many like myself from sharing your unshakable faith in the ultimate direction NZF would take.

    But this is Winston’s “Anakin Skywalker moment of redemption” 🙂

    May the Force be with our first genuine MMP-style coalition government!

  7. Ovicula says:

    To plagiarise Sam: reports of the death of neoliberalism have been greatly exaggerated. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  8. Nobody says:

    It’s far too early to be declaring Neo-Liberalism dead Frank… Nazism isn’t dead after 70 years and 60 million corpses. But it may be safe to say that NZ Labour is at least taking the cure.

    This is very much thanks to WP. By themselves, Labour would never have been pushed this far Left.

    We must never forget that while the Nats have been the most enthusiastic disciples of Neo-liberalism, Labour is its Sire and Master.

    I voted NZF because Labour could not be trusted in government by themselves. Their party has justly suffered a long and deep decline for all the insane attacks they’ve made on their base over the past decades.

    This new turn of affairs will either make or break Labour. Either way, they will never be the same again.

    • Sam Sam says:

      The Government of New Zealand is dead for all practical purposes. Take taxes. There is a very good reason for redistributed taxes so every one dosnt kill the one guy hoarding all the resources for fun, food, catharsis. Government wasn’t invented for no reason. Our laws have been built up over time by blood shed. So either respect the living. Or respect the dead.

  9. The Re'al Matthew says:

    [Comment declined for publication. Fake email address. Please provide a bona fide email address as a sign of good faith. – Scarletmod]

  10. Castro says:

    Thank you, Winston.

  11. WILD KATIPO says:

    … ” As Shakespeare might have said, “fuck that shit!” …

    Sheer mastery of poetry in motion , Frank. You’ve hit the nail squarely on the head , my old son.

    ‘ It also accords Winston Peters with the legacy he sought: the Kingmaker who put the sword to thirtythree years of the neo-liberal experiment.

    The nightmare of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson is over. Neo-liberalism is dead.

    Thank you, Winston Peters.’

    Beautiful . And what a wonderful legacy for Winston.

    I’ve always said Peters main problem with govts over the last 33 years is that have basically adhered to neo liberalism and he has not. It plagued him through the Bolger govt and was the main cause of his being sacked there,- the viciousness of Ruth Richardson and then finally Jenny Shipley.

    And Peters has had it in for those individuals and party’s that were sworn neo liberals ever since. Peters is an old time conservative who believed in the old time Keynesian economic model , of the Kiwi can do , a time when talk of giving advantage to foreign interests over New Zealanders was considered treasonous.

    I am so happy for Mr Winston Peters.

    He deserves this . Hes been a tireless campaigner all these years , – and been misunderstood and maligned and set up – usually by the same ugly neo liberals because they feared him .

    This is a sweet victory not just for those of the Left , and triumphing over neo liberalism , but for Peters? … the reward is finally being able to put the boot into neo liberalism from a position of strength after suffering years of abuse in the political arena from its supporters.

    He who laughs last laughs longest.

    Well done , Mr Peters.

    • I concur with your assessment, WK. If we’re right, and if Peters is good to his word, then history will have a place for him. The dismantling and rolling back of neo-liberalism will be his legacy and will earn him a spot alongside Michael Savage.

      Long after Dear Leader Key is forgotten (and his “legacy” was one of growing inequality, homelessness, and learning a new word: trichophilia), Winston Peters will be remembered.

      I really want him to succeed. I really want him to keep to his word. If he does, I believe most of the Left will support him to the hilt.

      We can’t afford not to.

  12. Kim dandy says:

    @CB – you are right about the banks and the recent creation of the farmers being “the bad guys’.
    I do my best to make other people aware of this in conversation. The banks DO own us. How do we change such a scenario?

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Re-nationalize the banks for a start.

      95% of them are foreign owned ie : Australian.

      Here’s a thought , – in that process print our own cash as well. Cut out the greedy middle man creating interest rates at a whim to suit their avarice.

      That might make a few of them sit up and take notice.

      • Quicksilver says:

        Good thought Wild Katipo. After all, the former PM is in favour of “cutting out the middle man” – I recall it was one of planks in his election campaign. 😉

  13. Mike the Lefty says:

    It seems the political right have handled their defeat by convincing themselves that they didn’t actually lose at all, and the state of affairs is because of some dastardly electoral flaw in the system.
    That is typical of National, when their own failings are laid out bare for everyone to see they still won’t admit they made the slightest error.
    It was interesting to see Bill English blab on about how proud he was to have lead the government that left NZ in a much better state than when they took over nine years ago.
    Delusions and lies.
    New Zealand is not a better place than nine years ago, except perhaps for a few at the top of the financial apex and of course the foreign multinationals.
    It is a place of social degradation that we haven’t seen since the mid 20th century. It is a place where rivers continue to be polluted and degraded to prop up unsustainable farming on marginal land. It is a country where the governing party has instituted a system of normalising dirty politics and corruption. It is a country where its MSM have been turned into mouthpieces for the establishment and the political right wing.
    No Mr English.
    National have not left NZ in better shape after nine years. Your government has left it in a f….g shambles. Even with the dirty politics and the personal smear campaigns organised by your media cronies – this time you failed!
    Ever since I was a young boy and first became aware of politics – the failure of the National Party to own up to its own mistakes and continually lie for success has inspired a deep loathing for these people who would sell our souls for their own personal gain.
    We have a chance to redeem ourselves now, I hope it proves fruitful.
    The pained bleatings of the political right who cannot absorb the reality that their gutter politics has inexplicably failed this time absolutely sickens me.
    What a bunch of arrogant tossers!
    Key, English, Bennett, Joyce, Collins, etc. You have done nothing for us in your inglorious political careers and we don’t need you!
    F..o.. all of you!

  14. Kar3n says:

    I to have lived the last 33 years pissed off at neoliberal policies. I am fully hoping this coalition can turn the desperate state of our country around.

  15. NZBC says:

    New Zealand, as a member of the Western imperialist bloc, variously under British or American leadership, and ever since its inception as an outpost of the British empire, benefitted enormously off the imperialist plunder of Asia and Africa.

    Indeed, New Zealand was a proud part of imperialist Britain, not a colony of Britain in any real sense, but a willing and fully participating enforcer and beneficiary of Britains imperial domination over black, brown, and yellow people. Only reluctantly, 25 November 1947, did New Zealand ratify the Statute of Westminster.

    A truly progressive NZ government would put in place a policy of reparations towards the people of the developing world who New Zealand has leeched off for so long.

    “First World and ‘middle class’ workers who receive wages above the abstract value of labor, i.e. above the value of the goods and services exchanged throughout the world-economy in a given period divided be the quantity of labor through which it is produced, are not part of the proletariat because the magnitude of their wages are dependent on imperialist exploitation and could not be maintained without it.”

    https://anti-imperialism.org/2012/11/02/what-is-maoism-third-worldism/

  16. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 20 October […]