2020 – Post mortem or Prologue?

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election 2020

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A narcissistic, third-rate, Bond-villain code-named “Trump” takes control of the United States; a global pandemic brings human civilisation to a near stand-still; Whakaari/White Island erupts creating a hellish tragedy; Level 4 and 3 Lockdowns result in deserted streets straight out of The Quiet Earth; a new “Fortress New Zealand” is erected in a valiant struggle to keep a deadly virus from our shores, and an election result no one could ever have predicted… No “reality TV” could possibly hope to match 2020 (or the last twelve months).

This will be one for the history books.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

And folks, we had front row seats…

National

A series of political polls on both major TV networks had Labour consistently ahead of National. Despite three leaders in as many years, the “natural party of governance”  was failing to govern itself. More critically, it was failing to connect with most New Zealanders.

A series of “mis-steps” – too   numerous   to   mention – cemented public impressions that National was in dis-array; rudderless; riven with leaks, in-fighting, and intrigue. Worse still, their Finance Spokesperson – Paul Goldsmith – demonstrated his own incredible incompetence with a series of arithmetical blunders in the party’s economic plan.

The errors quickly mounted, passing eight billion dollars, mocking National’s so-called reputation for being “sound managers of the economy”.

Judith Collin’s antagonistic leadership – a stark contrast to Prime Minister Ardern’s more inclusive, up-beat style – appealed to the National base but failed to gain traction with the rest of Aotearoa  New Zealand.

Her carping criticism often made little sense when one looked deeper into her utterances. Child poverty was a classic example of Ms Collins’ contradictory position.

On the one hand, she criticised the Labour-led coalition for not addressing child poverty in the last three years;

“It is correct, and if you look at kids living in material hardship, which means they can’t get to a doctor and things like that, are 4100 more than when she took office.

If you talk to the food banks they will tell you things have got worse, they haven’t got better. So when you’re talking about transformational change, it has just got worse.”

But then, Ms Collins also inadvertently confirmed that child poverty simply could not be solved in a single three year term,

“We would love to do that too, actually.”

She was agreeing Labour’s goal of halving child poverty rates by 2030 – a decade away. In effect confirming the magnitude of the problem.

It was this kind of kneejerk “I-can-do-better-than-you” that added to uncertainties around Judith Collins’ credibility

Added to that was National’s promise of a tax cut. The ill-considered policy has been well-traversed, but the most salient points were;

    1. The proposed tax cuts would be funded through the $14 billion Covid recovery fund set aside to pay for another outbreak and possible lockdown
    2. The tax cuts would cost $4.7 billion
    3. The Covid Recovery fund is borrowed money
    4. The tax cuts would benefit high income earners the most; someone on $70,000 would gain $3226 – $45.50 per week; someone on minimum wage would gain $560 – or $8.10 per week.

The tax cuts were “temporary”, according to National’s Finance spokesperson, Paul Goldsmith – from 1 December this year and expiring 31 March 2022.  Though it is difficult to see Mr Goldsmith (or his successor) raising taxes back to pre-election levels after the expiry date.

National’s tax-cut would be nothing less than a bribe to high-income Middle Class. Those on low incomes would receive very little – less than the cost of a 1KG block of cheese.

When challenged by Jack Tame on TVNZ’s Q+A why the proposed tax cuts were not directed more at lower-income earners who would spend it, thereby stimulating the economy, Mr Goldsmith showed how out-of-touch he really was with the “Ordinary Kiwi Battler”;

“It’s their [high income earners] own money that we’re going to be returning to them.

Yeah, they’ll get some extra money, and we want to put some extra money into the hands of people who are working hard.”

Firstly, it’s not “their money”. It is borrowed money. Borrowed money which Judith Collins has been at pains to remind us will have to be re-paid by our children (and grand-children!). This was the same rationale  used by National to demand that borrowed money not be re-invested in Aotearoa’s superannuation fund;

“An obvious place to start is suspending new payments to the New Zealand Super Fund for the next four years. That alone would reduce core crown debt by $9 billion over four years.

[…]

The actions we will take today could leave a legacy of debt for future generations. We are making choices that will impact them tomorrow.

Such levels of debt would leave our children and grandchildren – and also ourselves – profoundly vulnerable to the inevitable next shock.”

In effect, Mr Goldsmith was willing to use borrowed money to spray around well paid, upper middle class for a tax-cut bribe – but not to invest in the super fund which actually creates wealth. This is not what one would expect from a supposedly “responsible manager of the economy”.

Secondly; Mr Goldsmith’s suggestion that cutting taxes for higher income earners rather than those on minimum wage because they are “people who are working hard” was an insult to those supermarket workers; truck drivers; warehouse staff, pharmacy staff, et al, who carried on working during the covid lockdown so we could be fed and our medication regimes maintained.

Any low-paid worker listening to Mr Goldsmith would have understood the signal they had just been sent: two raised fingers.

Three televised debates on TV1 and TV3 were lauded by National apparatchiks as “victories” for Ms Collins. But the rest of the country seemed not to share that conclusion. National continued to languish in low 30s in one political poll after another.

The more rabid Ms Collins became, the less appealing to voters.

Just how unappealing her leadership was to the great majority quickly became apparent on Election Night.

Almost immediately, Labour’s Party vote rocketed to 51%, and National plumetted to between 26 and 27%.

Something preternatural was taking place before our eyes.

An hour after polls had closed, my sense that something unimaginable was taking place led me to post this prediction on Twitter;

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The second and third predictions are yet to become reality – more on that shortly.

Today (20 October), National will hold it’s Party Caucus of what remains of it’s Parliamentary team. There will be many empty seats in the room. But all eyes will be on Judith Collins, who once stated that 35% was the tipping point for failure for a Party Leader.

On election night, National sank like a stone to 26.8% – 8.2 percentage points below her own standard for failure;

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election 2020 nz

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Judith Collins has steadfastly rejected calls to honour her commitment to resign despite Saturday’s election results being the worst since 2002.  In that year National’s vote collapsed to a disastrous 20.93%.

Instead, she resorted to a shot-gun of blames, pointing her finger at the second lock-down; at her own MPs;  other people; and especially the fault of covid19;

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When pointedly asked if she took any responsibility for National’s loss, she replied;

“I take absolute responsibility for working every single day and night for the campaign and also making sure that wherever we were asked to we were always there, but that’s what I’ve done, I’ve actually worked my little socks off.”

Which was hilariously ironic. Only five days earlier, she had demanded others take responsibility for their “personal choices”;

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Judith Collins says obesity is a weakness

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By contrast, former Prime Minister Helen Clark resigned as Leader of the Labour on election night in 2008.

For the public, this was another un-subtle sign that Judith Collins was not fit to be Prime Minister. Her lack of empathy; questionable judgement; and “Muldoonish” malice was in polar opposite to the empathetic and positive Jacinda Ardern who had led us through terrorist attack, natural disaster, and an ongoing pandemic.

National MP – and one-time contender for Party leadership – Mark Mitchell, was having none of Ms Collins’ judgementalistic rubbish, and called her out on it;

“Some obesity is related to medical conditions, even psychological conditions that need treating, so it’s a more complex issue.”

This was yet another public spat between National figures.

Furthermore, Mr Mitchell’s appearance on TVNZ’s Q+A on 18 October – the day after the election – was a stand-out performance. His measured, calm demeanour was pretty much what New Zealanders expect from their political leaders.

If Judith Collins is “Muldoonish”, then Mark Mitchell was more “Jim Bolger”.

But more curiously, why was Mark Mitchell appearing on Q+A, to represent the National Party? Where was Party Leader, Judith Collins? Why was she not fronting to answer Jack “James” Tame’s questions?

I was reminded of Q+A on 12 July, when National’s then-Deputy Leader, Nikki Kaye, fronted for an interview instead of then-Leader, Todd Muller. Two days later, we understood why: Mr Muller had stepped down as Party Leader as he faced a personal health crisis.

The next Leader of the National Party will most likely be Mark Mitchell and it will happen sometime next year.

The public must have looked aghast at National lack of self-discipline and its apparent determination to self-destruct at every opportunity.

Destabilising leadership changes; on-going shambles within National; an incoherent economic message;  were but a few reasons why voters deserted that Party.

More simply, New Zealanders did not trust National to keep them safe from covid.

National is a Party that has consistently branded itself as the Party for private enterprise; pro-business; and Economic Managers. It has been the political DNA of that party since it’s inception.

And business interests – led by vociferous agitators such as Universities; tourist industry; and especially Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett  – have been demanding that the economy be kept open so their capitalist enterprises can continue to make a profit.

New Zealanders have eyes and we have seen what happens overseas when “wealth takes priority over health”: people get sick and people die.

How long before National caved to business calls to further open up the economy, despite the risks of reintroducing covid19? I would give it less than six months.

New Zealanders trusted Prime Minister Ardern to stand up to the business community. They had no such trust in Judith Collins.

In final analysis, National had nothing of substance to offer voters. It had “answers” – but not answers to the questions now confronting us as a nation. They were answers that may have been valid for the Global Financial Crisis (and even that is highly questionable) – but not for a virus.

Labour was fighting a 2020 election.

National was still in 2017.

Green Party

Unlike several political pundits and media commentators, I had little doubt the Greens would be back in Parliament. In fact, once Special Votes are counted, they may pick up one or two extra MPs. After “Specials” were counted in 2017, Labour and the Greens each gained an extra MP, with National losing two (Nicola Willis and Maureen Pugh).

National’s hurt may yet get worse.

Chlöe  Swarbrick’s election may yet be a sign of things to come as younger generations of New Zealanders learn to flex their electoral “muscle” and finally take on the Baby Boomers and their housing empire. Ms Swarbrick is one to watch. She is not just charismatic a-la Jacinda Ardern, but has the Leadership “X” Factor.

Contrast Ms Swarbrick to Labour’s Helen White. Ms White did herself no favours on TVNZ’s Q+A on 4 October, when she patronisingly demanded Ms Swarbrick to stand aside in Auckland so she wouldn’t split the Left vote (thereby allowing National’s Emma Mellow to win the electorate).

Bad form, Ms White. Entitlement is best left to National – they excel at the practice.

As to whether or not the Greens should (or could) become part of this government is largely academic. Labour’s majority means just that – it’s a majority.

But does Labour really want a Leftwing Opposition as well as two Rightwing oppositions?

If Ms Ardern is smart, she’ll pull the Greens into the Parliamentary “tent”. It’ll be much cosier. And the Greens can be valuable allies, especially when it comes to National’s appalling track record on the environment.

Labour

If there is one single masterful move National made during this election, it was to box L:abour into a corner by making Jacinda Ardern promise, with hand-on-heart: no new taxes. This will stymie the incoming government unless (a) the economy suddenly revives and the tax-take increases or (b) the government borrows more money.

Either way, this may prove to be the only “handbrake” to the incoming government – but a major one at that.

Otherwise, Labour has no other excuses anymore. It has the majority and it has the mandate.

Get on with it.

Because if the next three years are squandered by “playing it safe”, then the inevitable question will be asked by Team Five Million: what use are you?

The four top priorities for this government must be (in purely alphabetical order);

    1. Child poverty
    2. Climate change
    3. Housing
    4. Jobs

You kept Aotearoa safe these last eight months, Prime Minister Ardern. Now do those four.

New Conservatives and Advance NZ

Conspiracy fantasists have usually been little more than mildly amusing discussion topics at dinner parties. But with the advent of a global pandemic, their jaw-droppingly childish ideas about covid19 could affect all of us. Suddenly, they were not so amusing and we were not smiling.

Their ignorance was a potential threat to our well-being. Luckily, Prime Minister Ardern’s actions to contain and eradicate the virus in Aotearoa meant that the mass gatherings of New Conservatives and Advance NZ supporters would not turn into a super-spreader event – like this one;

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Trump super spreader

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We were lucky indeed.

Otherwise they would be the death of us.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

NZ First

New Zealand voters finally “got it”.

By voting for a political party that refused to disclose who they would coalesce with, in essence they were taking people’s votes and turning them into a “blank cheque”.

When NZ First coalesced with Labour in 2017, it annoyed those NZF supporters who leaned toward National.

When NZ First acted as a “handbrake” to Labour and Green initiatives, it annoyed those NZF supporters who leaned to the left.

Result? 2.7% on election night – down from 7.2% in 2017. That’s a lot of people who were annoyed for one reason or another.

The biggest loss with the demise of New Zealand First was Tracey Martin – one of NZ First’s best and most capable ministers. A suggestion to Prime Minister-elect Ardern – pull Ms Martin into the Labour Party fold. This woman has too much political talent to allow to go to waste.

As for Winston Peters – despite evidence obtained by RNZ’s Guyon Espiner that Winston Peters was “neck deep” in the secretive “NZ First Foundation” – Aotearoa owes much to this veteran politician.

Had he chosen a different path; had Mr Peters opted for a National-NZ First coalition (as many of his supporters expected), history would have been vastly different.

As pointed out above, National would have acquiesced to business calls to keep the economy open. It is doubtful if Simon Bridges would have closed our borders to tourism; or locked down for over a month; or re-locked Auckland in August.

It may not be to overly dramatic to suggest that, by choosing Labour, Winston Peters gave this country the right Leader at the right time, and saved lives.

As former NZ Listener editor, Finlay Macdonald said on Twitter;

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Findlay Twitter

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Former member of Parliament for NZ First and then National, Tau Henare, told this blogger he fully agreed with Mr Macdonald’s observation.

Winston Peters’ legacy? He gave us Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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References

NZ Film Commission: The Quiet Earth

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand: The National Party – Leaders

Stuff media: Election 2020 – National’s fiscal hole appears to double to $8 billion as Paul Goldsmith denies double count mistake

TVNZ:  ‘That’s factually incorrect’ – Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins trade blows over child poverty

TVNZ: Recap – Collins, Ardern give final pitch to voters in TVNZ’s leaders’ debate

RNZ: National promises $4.7bn in tax cuts in economic and tax policy

Otago Daily Times: Watch – National promises ‘massive’ tax cuts

TVNZ: Q+A – National defends targeting middle-income earners with 16-month tax relief

Newshub:  Judith Collins defends National’s idea to spend COVID-19 fund, laughs at typo in Labour’s financial plan

Newshub: NZ Election 2020 – National wants to suspend new Super Fund contributions

Twitter: @nznationalparty – 8.09PM – Oct 15 2020

RNZ: National’s Gerry Brownlee admits he made a ‘huge mistake’ during electioneering

Stuff media: Woodhouse’s isolation homeless mystery man claim debunked

RNZ: National MP Hamish Walker admits leaking Covid-19 patient details

TVNZ: National MP says Judith Collins ‘bullied’ another MP in her party

Twitter: @fmacskasy – 8.01 PM – Oct 17, 2020

NZ Herald:  Judith Collins sets her own sacking point: 35 per cent in the polls

Stuff media: Election 2020 Results

Wikipedia: 2002 New Zealand general election

Newshub: Judith Collins opens up on internal polling, blames leaked email from Denise Lee for drop in numbers

Newsroom:  Collins clinging on after National’s heavy defeat

Twitter: @fmacskasy – 9.02 AM – Oct 18, 2020

TVNZ: Judith Collins says obesity is ‘generally’ a weakness, urges personal responsibility over blaming the ‘system’

NZ Herald: Helen Clark steps down after Labour’s loss in NZ election

Newshub:  Mark Mitchell distances himself from Judith Collins’ obesity comments, Gerry Brownlee says his weight is his responsibility

TVNZ: Q+A – Mark Mitchell – 18 October 2020

NZ Herald:  Todd Muller quits as National Party leader for health reasons

TVNZ: All businesses should be allowed to stay open if NZ moves to Level 4 – Auckland business leader

Stuff media: Election Results – Labour and Greens take two seats from National

TVNZ: Q+A – Helen White – Emma Mellow – Chlöe Swarbrick – 4 October 2020

The Atlantic:  The Virus Is Coming From Inside the White House

Wikipedia: 2017 General Election

RNZ: Exclusive – The secret case of the NZ First Foundation

Stuff media: NZ First voters preferred National to Labour at 2017 election by wide margin

Twitter: @MacFinlay – 9.33 PM – Oct 17, 2020

Additional

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Greens Shouldn’t Join The Government

Previous related blogposts

Life in level 1: Newshub Nation, Q + A, and the end of Todd Muller’s leadership

Life in Level 1: The Doom of National

Life in Level 2: National’s Barely Secret Agenda

Life in Level 2: Two Tier Welfare; A Green School; Right Rage,

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election 2020 nz

Acknowledgement: Rod Emmerson

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This blogpost will be re-published in five days on “Frankly Speaking“. Reader’s comments may be left here (The Daily Blog) or there (Frankly Speaking).

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52 COMMENTS

  1. Good work Frank.

    National have zero hope of confirming how, when, and why things went so badly wrong for them, as long as Collins remains their leader and the elephant in the room is not being addressed.

    Judith Collins is a bully and that’s the biggest problem. The next biggest problem is that the majority of New Zealand don’t like her, don’t respect her and don’t trust her. Her shameful and disgraceful history with the reprehensible Cameron Slater should have prevented her from ever being a candidate to be our Prime Minister. Her personality is more likely to see people recoiling rather than gravitating toward her. She’s been divisive at the exact time Ardern was being inclusive. She’s been incredibly negative at the exact time Ardern was being positive and inspiring. Scaremongering and undermining public confidence was never going to succeed under the circumstances. Ardern was respectful. Collins was disrespectful.

    Clarke Gayford nailed it on election night when he said you don’t have to get in the gutter to give people your message.

    Every tactic Collins adopted during the election campaign was wrong. Even now she’s blaming the leak for why National’s campaign failed so badly. She is also spouting off about the hospital pass she received to become National’s leader. She had 12 weeks to win over NZ. Instead, she turned them cold. Ardern had 7 weeks in 2017. Labour had no hope of victory and was going up against the well oiled National Party machine desperate to retain power. Only desperate fearmongering and the Steven Joyce 11 billion dollar fiscal hole stopped Ardern from achieving victory on election day. What Ardern received from Andrew Little was a genuine hospital pass.

    National’s biggest blunder was allowing a few panicked MP’s to have Bridges rolled. That set up the disastrous chain reaction that eventually saw the diabolical Judith Collins take over as party leader.

    Here are a few epic Collins blunders.

    Her husband David Wong-Tung “contributes” regularly on line. Much of it is diabolical, divisive and abusive. What country on this planet wants the partner of their PM spouting Wong-Tung toxic type shit online?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/judith-collins-husband-david-wong-tung-criticised-for-sharing-anti-jacinda-ardern-memes/EIGJ33E7PWHOLN4CA4KER6QRQ4/

    Collins had repeated opportunities to condemn her husband’s actions but just came up with limp noodle responses because she agreed with his toxic attacks on Ardern.

    The Taxcuts she announced were a cynical attempt at buying the votes of those leaving the National Party sinking ship for the ACT Party. It also highlighted more class warfare. Where was the money going to come from to pay for these gifts to wealthy ACT supporters? From the emergency Covid-19 fund there for all of us. Unbelievable.

    The open contempt and disrespect Collins displayed toward the well-liked and well respected Ardern during the leader’s debates caused many Kiwi’s to recoil further. Raw meat eating National Party supporters loved it but their support alone was never going to be anywhere near enough.

    The farcical and contrived praying in a church scene turned many people cold. Collins minders set that up as it was in keeping with the Collins plan to regain votes being lost to the New Conservative Party. She could have asked the journalists for privacy but didn’t because the photos she was 100% aware of being taken were exactly the scene she wanted to portray. Using Religion in that manner was yet another epic fail.

    The Ponsonby walkabout fiasco was another epic fail that highlighted how untrustworthy Collins and National are. When you have to plant people like Hamish Price on your walkabout so it didn’t look like a level 4 lockdown scene, you know you’re desperate and gone. At least we didn’t see Merv on that walkabout.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/123011800/election-2020-a-terrible-day-on-the-campaign-trail-for-judith-collins

    The making up of policy on the fly that led to yet another leak reflected badly on Collins. If you have a “strong team” shouldn’t you consult with them? Collins justified her actions by saying she was the leader and was doing what leaders do. Yea right. The other one plays Jingle Bells.

    Holding up a M.A.G. A sign late in the campaign was designed to do what exactly? Repulse even more people? Job well done then.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/election-2020-judith-collins-unveils-nationals-seniors-policy-in-hamilton/CHDTZGKJZGWSNWRVD7DW63JQTM/

    Her totally outdated and simplistic statements about obesity were yet another fail. She’d run out of policy announcements but wanted media attention so she chose that. It was an epic miscalculation that was only ever going to alienate huge numbers of Kiwis and did so.

    No wonder Collins is asking her MP’s look forward now. If they have an authentic look behind they will see the carnage caused by her.

    It’s all very well now having contrived scenes of National Party MP’s supporting Collins as leader in front of the cameras. They are utterly worthless. NZ knows that the moment Christopher Luxon puts his hand up for the top job, Collins is gone and will retire from politics immediately after. Virtually every statement Collins has made since the final week of the election campaign and the days since have been all about her ambition of retaining the leadership role and justifying her own failings.

    It’s difficult to imagine how she could have run a worse campaign than she did. Collins is not fit to be the leader of a coffee group let alone our country.

    Even if there was a tiny bit of truth in National Party MP’s wanting her as their leader at this time, surely it’s what NZ wants that should matter most? Kiwi’s recoil at Collins and always will. If she represents the brand National want to rebuild, they should also attempt to convince Kiwi’s that it’s a great idea to build new homes out of soiled nappies.

    Not my circus. Not my monkey.

    • She could have asked the journalists for privacy

      The opposite happened. The church minister said he had been approached by her party/ group for permission to do exactly what they did. (Stage a photo op, in effect.) I have seen the link to that and can go search it out if necessary.

  2. To point as usual Frank.
    Bridges looks almost humble compared to Collins archaic ways. Sadly one cannot change a person’s DNA and a reminder to National, if you continue with the same, expect the same results.

    • Spot on summary Mr Macskasy, and great comments Jacindafan and Bert.
      The Nats utter refusal to acknowledge their internal rotten culture will only drive them deeper into political irrelevancy. And once people wake up to ACT’s lunatic failed Rogernomics – well, the right is in trouble.

      Anyway, enough about them. There is a ton of work to do for this government.
      The devastating effects of Climate change are unstoppable now, but we can at least attempt a “softish” landing rather than a tailspinning crash and burn. Maybe.

  3. ‘the super fund which actually creates wealth.’

    Please explain, Frank, because some of money taken from New Zealanders gets siphoned into management fees, and then whatever is left get ‘invested’ into Ponzi schemes that may or may not increase in notional value, but always return less than the rate at which the cost of living rises. And there is a serious risk (greater than at any previous time) of all so-called savings being decimated, if not entirely wiped out, as corporation after corporation goes bust, or staggers on on the back of government handouts that must end soon.

      • Actually it’s developing world immigration into the developed world. Take a good hard look at economic growth then normalise it by taking out population-related growth. A rockstar economy is suddenly a rock economy.

        When covid is over get ready for Jacinda and Grant to turn the tap on. The realpolitik of centre politics.

  4. Can someone please explain whist we live on an island in the middle of the pacific we need to bring in diseased FISHERMEN from Russia and Ukraine to put all of our health at risk. Seriously, importing people with a deadly disease to fish, and claim Kiwis do not know how to fish? WHAT? What a CIRCUS.

    • Because the Govt & (largely Iwi) owners of fishing quota know that the able unemployed are too useless & lazy to turn up, work, train & stay off drugs to become competent enough to run a NZ fishing boat. That’s why they usually outsource the catching to foreign vessels & crew.

        • Actually Greenbus and Bozo.

          He is partly right.
          The fishing industry has been screaming for NZ fishing crew for decades and can never get enough.

          Sealord in Nelson is screaming for 40 more crew ( On Stuff ) and on top of the Russian crew being flown in and they can’t get kiwi’s to apply for the jobs because they have to spend up to 4 months or more at sea before a crew change.

          Many young family men are not interested for that reason along the days of the inshore fishermen 3 days out 3 days onshore are long gone.

          • Geoff Lye,

            Is “partly right” now a euphemism for “misrepresenting the facts to justify a cowardly attack?”

            You describe kiwi fisherman not wanting to be at sea for four months at a time due to family commitments.

            RobbieWgtn says it’s because NZ fishermen are too useless & lazy to turn up, work, train & stay off drugs to become competent enough to run a NZ fishing boat.

            Spot the difference.

      • Whoa …a bit of a generalization Robbie of Wgtn. Outsourcing crew is simply economics. Like all outsourcing: cost savings. I am not certain if the boats themselves are foreign. In my understanding foreign boats were banned some time ago, but I am willing to stand corrected. I suspect that they are all Sealord boats. Why don’t Kiwis put their hand up? Well, it could well be that the pay is a pittance when compared to the work – not at all easy I suspect and potentially dangerous. Foreign workers will do the work and be thankful of it. I don’t think the sort of Kiws who would be interested is not tough enough for the job (but may have lost some skills due to outsourcing over the years) but I suspect if it was made attractive as a career, regulated for conditions, and well–rewarded those who surely must work hard, it might have a little more uptake.

      • RobbieWgtn,

        Your input on the blog invariably hails from another planet but your “contribution” today is toxic diarrhea from another planet.

        It’s my understanding that the vessels involved are not just your usual coastal fishing boats where you’d have zero problem having a crew of kiwis lining up and available. Your very personal attack on NZ fisherman is 100% wrong and cowardly. I’m sure if you attacked them like that offline you’d become part of the industry….as lobster pot bait.

        These are deep sea vessels and required a highly trained crew. Part of the deal put forward by the fishing companies involved is that kiwis will now be trained for the roles in future.

        Having said that, it’s unfortunate that many of the fisherman arriving are from Covid-19 hotspots and don’t speak English.

      • RobbieWgtn, the fact you resort to cliched generalisations rooted more in prejudice than any deeper thought just makes it easier to dismiss your views as, well, generalisations rooted more in prejudice than any deeper thought.

        In fact, it’s so shallow, that you’ve essentially brought a letter-opener to a gunfight.

        But carry on if you like. You reaffirm our views that right-wingers are noddies.

    • NZ fishing companies have had to bring overseas crew in for decades for the simple reason the inshore fishing 3 days out 3 days onshore are long over most fishing ships are 4 months or more at sea before coming back inshore to unload.

  5. I just want to know in what circus world does New Zealand not have people that know how to fish? No, instead put the entire island population at risk by importing deadly diseased labor from Russia and Ukraine? Apparently, Kiwis are the monkeys who have no clue how to farm, use farm equipment or fish. Go figure.

    • The subject was on the rtadio today. Nobody from NZ wants the jobs. Sealords have das out for 30 jobs – not one reply.
      Go figure? Well I have – the dole is way too easy to get and pays too much for people that are perfectly capable of working!

      • “Nobody from NZ wants the jobs. Sealords have das out for 30 jobs – not one reply”.

        Well, what do you expect the chief executive of Sealord, Doug Paulin, to say? Anything to create a smoke screen.

        • Then Sealord should go to jail for paying slave wage. It is not ok to fish our oceans on slave wage do the billionaires can get rich- or is it? But we do not have a voice for our own country.

      • I have applied for these jobs in the past. You go to the interview, do the drug tests, and then… Nothing. you never hear back from them, and then they employ Filipinos or Russians.

        • WOW- my Hubby worked for them years ago, but I did not realize then that they would rather import cheap labor – rather then paying in their own country a living wage. WHAT SCUM. THIS COUNTRY SHOULD BAN THEM. If men had BALLS, they would.

      • Question are you prepared to spend 4 to 6 months at sea without hitting Land ?
        Because that is a fishing trip these days .
        Gone are the days of the inshore fish boats 3 days out and 3 days onshore .

        You people are all quick to fire the abuse but how many of you men and woman are prepare to put your money where your mouth is I bet none of you are.

  6. Jacindafan, Collins “could not have run a worse campaign ”

    In a nutshell!
    Not Covids, Denise Lee, Jamie Lee Ross, the Media , the Greens, ACT”s nor Jacindas fault but her own. Evidence of that is that Brownlee and Smith have been kept on, even after the country has spoken.

    • Well put Bert. Collins and National and all their self-centred, self-entitled supporters are now into the blame game – blame, blame, blame everything and everyone else for her and her party’s absolutely diabolical campaign and for the drubbing their party got on election night. It seemed like Collins made policy on the hoof if you could call it that but in the main attacked Jacinda Ardern about everything including calling her a liar over her position on the “wealth tax” issue. My wonderful father once told me that when someone cannot equal you and cannot compete with you, they will end up telling lies about you for no other reason than they just want to be nasty and bring you down to their level. Well, Collins did that to Jacinda but it didn’t work.

      Like I have been saying, National is all about fear politics (not to mention dirty politics) – identify an issue which creates fear in the community and then blame someone for it. In Collins case it is blame with a sneer.

      Collins also has the audacity to demand loyalty from her MPs – reference the e-mail leak – but over the years she has consistently shown how disloyal and nasty towards her own she is. How could anyone trust that sort of behaviour and that sort of politics?

      The simple thing though is that the country has given Jacinda the mandate to govern alone. National is not wanted. Collins says she will lead a very strong opposition. How can she do that when the election result, which is etched in stone albeit without the special votes counted, makes it blatantly obvious that the party is in disarray and is hemorrhaging internally. The cartoons showing a silver platter of knives reminds me of the saying – “live by the sword, die by the sword”. Collins has been brutal towards her own in her quest for power and I predict her demise as leader will be equally as brutal…..when it happens.

    • bert,

      Old school personal integrity and respect for voters would have seen the likes of Brownlee and Smith take the result on the chin and retire.

      Contempt for those voters and pure self interest has seen them stay in parliament. All the trappings and perks clearly outweigh all other factors.

      It should also be said that both men were in safe seats they held for many years so it would have required a significant change to unseat them. That change comes big time and they say fark you to it. They are like toxic weeds that are almost impossible to get rid of.

      The signs for the desperately needed rebranding of National……..are all bad.

  7. Labour was fighting a 2020 election.

    Yes, for sure.

    National was still in 2017.

    They’ve yet to move out of the last millennium, afaict.

  8. Frank
    People here are already babbling off on other tangents, like fishermen and superfunds.
    All I want to say is:
    BLOODY GOOD SUMMARY MATE! REALLY ENJOY YOUR WRITINGS.
    Now that it’s all over I am quite comfortable with how it all turned out.
    I’m shovel ready for the next three years.

  9. It’s hardly surprising that some on the left want Mark “The merc with no mouth” Mitchell to take control. Would be Muller Mark 2 and would mean Paula and the ‘Boag’ remain in the background stinking up the party. Into the medium term there really is only uncle Fester to take control and he’s at least a term off.

    3 years is a long time. A lot can happen between now and then. There are no excuses now – no Winston, No 9 years of neglect, no pandering to the Greens. Enjoy it while it lasts – nothing lasts forever.

    • Frank the Tank,

      Mark Mitchell seems a logical choice for the leadership role. He put his hand up for the spot three times already. Thinking he was a logical choice had nothing whatsoever to do with him being a good man. I have contempt for him. The only positive thing I can say about him is that he’s no wimp and had the gonads to challenge Chucky.

      It’s an absolute certainty that at some point in the future Ardern will either retire or lose her shine. She’s a human being and a politician. Shit happens. National will also rebrand at some point and be a serious contender again. The only question is when. Based on a range of things, the status quo looks like being retained for many years to come. I confidently predict Ardern will be a 4 term PM.

    • Frank the Tank, RYCTMe; “It’s hardly surprising that some on the left want Mark “The merc with no mouth” Mitchell to take control”

      Actually, Mr Mitchell is not any “preference” of mine. If I did, Dr Reti and Nikki Kaye would be closer.

      I’m simply trying to see it through the lens of the National caucus and National party base.

      PS: Luv the “Deadpool” reference!

  10. Collins will probably be lucky to retain the leadership for a few months; consistently low polling over that time will eventually initiate a move against her.

    Their behaviour is reminiscent of the claptrap seen in the US, if anything her only usefulness is reminding the public here of what to avoid so as not to emulate the basket case situation there.

    Particularly irksome are empty statements by them of being “the best”–by what measure?

  11. “How long before National caved to business calls to further open up the economy, despite the risks of reintroducing covid19? I would give it less than six months.”

    That’s optimistic, I would’ve said six weeks.

  12. What happened to national was Jacinda. She has excelled in responding as leader to a series of crises that were an unfair assault on an inexperienced leader. But she performed exceptionally. I fear it may have taken more out of her than anyone realises, but National was placed in a completely impossible position to seem relevant .Any criticism of Jacinda reflects far more negatively on the person making the criticism than it does on Jacinda. How can you present yourself or your party as an alternative when that is the case?
    So they became desperate , and every improvement they have made has made matters worse. Simon Bridges has always seemed disappointing considering his background qualifications; but compared with what they have turned to he seems by far the best choice they had . They were never going to be in government again while Jacinda wants to hang around, and there never was anything they could or can do about that.
    D J S

  13. Yeah Nat’s tax cut was risible going to those already rolling in extra money from the decline in their mortgage costs. Whereas their block of MW increases would impact on those struggling to pay the rent.

    The relative amounts of the tax cut did serve to highlight how the median was a lot lower than the average wage – because of all those around the MW and a few earning a lot more. Which is why higher MW, living wage, fair work contracts and industry awards and the higher income level new tax rate look timely.

    All in all, National showed that child poverty was beast dealt with by them remaining in opposition.

  14. Frank Macskasy,

    I had another read of your input this morning. It’s even better than I allowed for the first time I read it.

    Magnificent piece.

    Respect.

    ps. The only aspect I disagree with concerns Mark Mitchell becoming the new National Party leader. I thought that seemed logical for the reasons you quoted plus the fact he’d already put his hand up for the role at every opportunity over the last three years. The odds on him shortened even further when Christopher Luxon ruled out challenging Collins on election night.

    That all changed during the Jack Tame interview with Mitchell on Q & A Sunday morning. The same link you put up at 4.15 on the link and again at 5.10. Not only was he measured etc but he twice adamantly ruled out challenging Collins at any time. That only leaves Luxon who will have to 100% contradict his election night adamant claim in the Jesse Mulligan interview that Collins had done a great job, he was not interested in challenging her for the leadership role and was looking forward to working under her. We all know there are no other potential candidates so that only leaves the following question.

    How big of an untrustworthy liar and total hypocrite is Christopher Luxon? That will be answered the moment he puts his hand up to roll Collins, if he indeed does that.

    • Yeah and Collins is a Saint compared to war killer Luxon- Who already consigned all POC in NZ to investigative vaccines. Don’t believe me? his Pop worked for JJ – He said no jab no benefit. Sorry but my body my mind.

    • Thanks, Jacindafan…

      RYCTMe: “Not only was he measured etc but he twice adamantly ruled out challenging Collins at any time. ”

      Yes, I noticed that as well. He did rule out “challenging Collins”.

      However, this being politics, it’s what is UNSAID rather than said that is suggestive. Unfortunately, the much-talented Jack Tame didn’t ask the standard follow-up question;

      “If Ms Collins’ leadership is up for a caucus vote, *then* will you put your name in the hat?”

      It’s a standard tactic to get a henchperson to challenge the sitting Leader, then when nominations are called, all contenders put their names up.

      So technically, Mr Mitchell wouldn’t *directly* challenge Ms Collins; someone else would. Then he’d join in.

      Mr Luxon will probably follow Mr Mitchell, at National’s next defeat in 2023 (barring any jawdropping stuff up at the Border).

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