Genter, Little & Twyford follow Jacinda’s leadership – so why am I still nervous about new Government?


Julie Anne Genter, Andrew Little and Phil Twyford have followed Jacinda’s political leadership over Manus Island and have each challenged the status quo and demanded more.

Andrew Little’s symbolic handing over of keys to the Pike River Families demanding justice for their dead was as moving as this photo…

…that was followed up by Phil Twyford’s decision to lift 1000 new state houses a year to 2000 and Julie Anne Genter injecting some actual intelligence into our motorway fetish debate by demanding safety over pointless road building.

On every front, this new Government are boldly striking out with real compassion and understanding.

TDB Recommends

So why am I nervous about the new Government?

Talking with many behind the scenes, there is still an enormous confusion over the messaging that is getting out to the public.

  • The Paid Parental Leave issue was poorly handled. If National had seized onto Duncan Garner’s lethal narrative that Labour hates Dads but loves Mums, that would become an unstoppable momentum towards winning back the wounded and angry male vote that already feels intimidated and defensive. Give those men a righteous grievance and they will become a whirlwind of vengeance.
  • The new Government haven’t communicated the CPTPP at all well and face an immense backlash if the process domestically within our own system doesn’t allow for anything more than rubber stamping.
  • The longer the Government don’t pass a Hobbit Law, the longer the right will manipulate it into another manufactured crisis.
  • The less said about the Greens deeply flawed and juvenile response to the Waka jumping legislation and what that spells for the longevity of the Government the better.
  • Social services that have been obscenely underfunded over the last 9 years are on their last legs and in desperate need of extra resources now or else they will start becoming evidence of the new Government’s impotence.
  • The fuck up on the first day of Parliament which handed back to National huge gains in the select committee process will be incredibly damaging and National will use that power to slow down and manufacture outrage every step of the way.

The new Government has to stop handing National the rods with which they are going to beat them with for the next 3 years, and that only happens when they get a much sharper team together that can articulate with far more clarity the direction and purpose of new policy.

Winning the election and negotiating the new Government was the easy bit. Governing is the real battle.



  1. Right again!

    You’re on a roll today Martyn

    Your fears are well founded. It’s all very well making gestures like handing keys to the Pike River families, but this is a political time bomb which will ultimately inflict wounds on the government:

    23 million bucks! That’s a lot of money which the opposition can call them out on. Given the choice, would the families prefer to accept a million dollars each and avoid the risk of re-entry?

    3 years of talking and Andrew Little walking back on the promise to enter the mine. Trust me on this: After three years of BS and millions of dollars spent it is highly unlikely there will be a re-entry. This chicken will come home to roost just in time for the next election and Labour will be beaten around the head with it.

    • There was an interview this morning on Morning Report (RNZ) with a past Inspector of Coal Mines.

      He said that in 2013-4, before Solid Energy departed, the equipment was there eg power cables for running the fans, which has now been taken away.

      Back then the cost was around, I think, $6m. It will cost more now because of the need to re-establish basic structures.

      If a million each was what the fighting families wanted then National was undoubtedly the party of ‘pay to go away’. That they have hung on to fight for re-entry, to find out what did go wrong, to perhaps recover remains, indicates that perhaps another scenario is being played through.

      I’m hoping that this will be the start of a major clean-up of workplace safety and inspection. We’ve gone downhill on safety for ‘nine long years’ – and there’s a roll call of dead in many high risk industries to prove that.

      I think Andrew Little is the right person, with his background in a union that represents many of these workers.

      We’d spend $23m on some miserable stretch of roading to let people get somewhere a few minutes quicker – temporarily. Let’s spend it instead on gaining knowledge, techniques, and the raising of standards throughout the mining industry. We might be phasing out coal but we still have quarries and gold mines where people do risky work.

      Time for a long-overdue tune-up.

  2. Yes, but…

    I do share your concerns, Bombarino (at least SOME of them) but you do need to be mindful of the Chicken Licken Syndrome. The old Scottish character in Dad’s Army: “We’re all DOOMED! DOOMED I tell ye…”

    Read more John Minto and less Chris Trotter and stay true to your own beliefs!

  3. Maybe a bit of it has to do with money. National can afford to hire the best talent for its PR. Labour, the Greens and NZ First have to do with enthusiastic amateurs

  4. May I suggest the glass is over half full but you seem to be treating it as half empty. Enjoy the positivism of the new govt vs the boring negativity of National and get behind them instead of nitpicking. The only thing I object to so far is the TPPA backdown.

  5. Same here. Mark Richard’s initial insolence may have helped set a tacky destructive tone here; Adern is young and attractive which some NZ’ers simply can’t handle; having to be away overseas so early in the piece has not helped domestically, and nose-to-the-grindstone could be a good option now when the ramifications of that are hitting the ‘Guardian’; Shaw being away at the same time has not helped either, especially when the Greens are now so unpredictable, and when National, the MSM’s mate, has made it clear that it is determined to be obstructive, and when they are the undisputed masters and mistresses of dirty politics – already distorting Pike River, where Andrew Little’s consensus approach is exactly what National should have done in the first place instead of causing pain and anguish to the bereaved families.

  6. Martyn cleaning up the mess is going to take a lot of time its nine years of accumulated mess. Just look at the rot at the Waikato DHB a health boss (Murray) spending up large our tax payers dollars while patients are denied life saving services. And in the mean time our welfare state was being squeezed to death with more people tossed out of state housing and the land sold to all sorts of developers including foreign. And all this rot was done by a government that promised us all a brighter future.

  7. The TPPA or whatever the fuck they want to call it these days is the potentially the biggest stick Labour have given the opposition to beat them to death with. No wonder National jumped so enthusiastically out with their total support for Labour on it.
    That action on its own is enough to tell you that signing this is a fatal mistake. I can’t believe Labour are falling for it.

Comments are closed.