Carmel the Dreadful – our new Deputy Prime Minister


I am conscious of criticising Carmel after the toxic vomit thrown at Jacinda, but her looming appointment as the Deputy after Kiri pulled out (apparently there is a fear some of Kiri’s more rambunctious moments of life and style might come out of the closet) is a terrible decision that demands criticism.

Carmel has been one of the biggest disappointments in Labour.

Totally compromised in Welfare by not rolling out the Welfare recommendations

None of the 42 key recommendations made by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) in February 2019 have been fully implemented, according to a stocktake released today [MONDAY 30 NOV] by the Child Poverty Action Group. Of the 126 detailed recommendations, only 4 (3%) have been found to be fully implemented.

…alongside her terrible decision to remove the Children’s Commissioner from Oranga Tamariki oversight makes her a dreadful candidate.

As TDB has been arguing for sometime, this decision to amputate the Children’s Commissioner from oversight on OT has been driven by a despicable public service desperate to cover up their abuse of children and it should be spat upon with the most toxic venom we have!

Children’s Commissioner Frances Eivers accuses select committee of ignoring advice

Children’s Commissioner Frances Eivers has slammed Parliament’s social services select committee for failing to reverse a bill effectively dismantling the position of Children’s Commissioner.

TDB Recommends

After the horror of the Royal Inquiry into historic state abuse, the Ministry of Social Development removed the Children’s Commissioner as oversight of Oranga Tamariki and instead moved monitoring into the Education Review Office.

In the decades that ERO was monitoring Dilworth, they never picked up that some of the teachers were molesting their students so critics are concerned that a state agency with the power to take children from parents will have less oversight is deeply concerning.

Oranga Tamariki requires more oversight, not less?

MSD in the 2000s oversaw obscene tactics that included hiring private detectives to dig dirt on victims who were complaining about being abused in state care in a Test case that if MSD had lost would have cost the State untold in damages. State Services is now recommending any abuse inside Oranga Tamariki is now monitored out of the Education Review Office who have no skill in this area!

Why is the state allowing itself to cover up ongoing abuse?

Oranga Tamariki is a Frankenstein monster, a neoliberal welfare experiment conjured up by Bill English and big data.

The argument is that children from backgrounds with specific features were the worst in terms of cost to the state, so if the state stepped in and removed the children quickly enough, that cost will fall.

To do this they passed law reducing the legal rights of parents, streamlined their 0800 numbers and weaponised uplifts.

They also ensured that people with children taken from them are ineligible for legal aid so they couldn’t fight back legally.

Oranga Tamariki has always been about saving the State money and the welfare of the child is secondary to that isn’t it?

Carmel Sepuloni has merely rubber stamped all of this to future proof the state from holding abusers to account, and as such has lost the trust of progressive voters.

For her spite in Welfare and removal of oversight of the most vulnerable children, Carmel should be ruled out as the Deputy, but Labour have diversity box ticking to do here and so the Minister who didn’t implement the reforms from the Welfare Advisory Group and who made oversight of vulnerable children more difficult is now getting rewarded with Deputy Prime Minister status.

This is when meritocracy should be rewarded, not the empty gestures of diversity virtue signalling.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media


  1. Good article Martyn. Is this one of these ‘we better appoint one of those’ appointments? Because she is scary.

  2. Labour did the tactically correct thing in the situation with the new PM, and policy change is still possible right up to October with NZ Labour’s absolute MMP majority. As much as it is better imo to involve the wider membership and affiliates, a leadership contest would have been export eye fillet for the pundits to slaver over.

    If there is a Labour led Govt. Greens and TPM will be in a strong position to push a bottom line including say a wealth tax of some description.

    But, Ms Sepuloni is bad news. A good enough campaigner against Paula Bennett in West Auckland, but totally gutless in Govt. The WEAG left to languish, The “E” stands for experts with people like Robert Reid and others with years of experience–all ignored by Carmel in favour of arrogant MSD tops and departmental neo lib officials.

  3. 100% Agree. If the Labour Party is not on a self-destruct mission, then this shocking appointment would not even be considered. It is Carmel who should be abolished, not the Commissioner for Children, followed by the speech censors at Victoria University’s Excellent Extremist Centre, and the SIS advised to desist from trying to getting people spying on the neighbours, but Carmel first. Just because Carmel fits diversity requirements doesn’t mean that she’s any good at anything.

    • She wasn’t even that spectacular at Munster for Kulcha and Heritage even though she apparently likes poetry.

      Chippie, if you must give her deputy dog status – give her some clear guidelines! along with a cattle prod if necessary to get something meaningful done

      • OnceWasTim. Likes poetry my foot. Her’s is the Ministry which tried to cancel Shakespeare and sees culture with a backward ethnocentric focus hellbent on not just trivialising, but destroying the incredible rich diversity of our European culture. They don’t even have the reference points or knowledge or empathy or intellect to appreciate or to “ like poetry.” I blame Kelvin Doggerel Davis for this.

        That Chippie chappie has failed to read the room on this, but no surprise there, he’s just another neo-lib politician. But I am angry, and upset to see a hard heartless female in this job. Peters was once a Labour D-P, and the contrast between the two of them is surreal. This is another kick in the guts from the sociopathic Labour caucus, and Kiwis will suffer because it.

        • “OnceWasTim. Likes poetry my foot.”
          Indeed. I said “apparently”
          If she really did, she’d probably have been a better Kulcha Munster.

          I’m always wary of uber ambitious, uber competitive human beings.
          In my life’s experience, their ego gets the better of their compassion and humility.
          Good she’s ‘smashed the glass ceiling’, really bad she’ll still be an awful specimen as far as child abuse and various other things UNLESS she’s given a few guidelines.
          She’s got until October 14

        • OMG. Carmel bad choice 100% absolutely agree. Tried to cancel Shakespeare… really? Stop funding an event and that’s “cancellation”

          • Wheel It was more than just an event. It was very much an empowering hands- on developmental experience for adolescents. The trashing of Shakespeare by Arts Council hangers-on as an imperialist, and a destructive influence on the early colonisation of New Zealand, verged on insane.

            Interestingly, a French text I’m ploughing through at the moment, identifies literature as the key to French culture, and expounds on why. So even if Shakespeare was the perfidious creep which these ill- educated women asserted, that’s no reason to try and ban him, or any other writer, poet, or dramatist, who sheds some sort of light on why we are the way we are just as much as the myths and legends of Maoridom do.

            With the National library burning books and refusing to keep books published outside of New Zealand in future, we’re regressing culturally, and this can lead to ridiculous outcomes, and losses of literary treasures.

            Aberdeen University has now issued a trigger warning advising students not to read Barrie’s “Peter Pan”, saying that is emotionally challenging, and advising students to seek help if they’re unable to cope with the themes in the book. “ The Railway Children” and “ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” are also on their list of non-advisable reading. This is what happens when the animals are running the farm Do you want to see it happening here ? I don’t.

    • GA, I agree it seems to confirm that LINO will continue down the path of divisive identity politics – never mind about merit, the felt they had to appoint a brown female as a foil to Hipkins’ white male heterosexuality.

      The thing is, Chippy can beat Luxon if he plays his cards right. Luxon was never going to “win” this year’s election, Ardern was going to lose it because (i) people are sick of her performative kindness and addiction to divisive identity politics (ii) the fairy dust has all fallen off, revealing her shallowness, and (iii) she’s made a habit of overpromising and under-delivering.

      Hipkins is down-to-earth and personable. Luxon has all the charisma of a sack of spuds. He talks like a corporate automaton, and seems afraid of saying anything that might offend someone. On the rare occasions he does depart from the woke corporate script, he tends to put his foot in it and then retract his comment.

      Chippy can beat Luxon if he sets his own new policy agenda, moving away from divisive identity politics and embracing a nation-building project with towards policies that are good for the country as a whole. That will mean (amongst other things) reining in the Maaori caucus – does he have the skill and strength for the job?

  4. Despite not really being a Labourite I always thought Kiri Allan looked like a good prospect for the future and usually seemed to come across well in public with her roles so far. I’m not trying to feed any rumour mill but what on earth are the nature’s of these so called wild moments in her life that precluded her advancement?
    It is 2023 after all.

    • Yeah, that confused me too. Kiri Allan is already the Justice Minister, so it can be assumed that she’s never been convicted of a criminal offence. What on earth could she have done that’s going to shock people in this day and age?

    • My take is – she is not ready yet. Doesnt have enough Mana with the Maori Caucus yet (She is up against Mahuta or Jackson perhaps) and is a bit green to risk it. This kind of thing happens sometimes when a great up and coming candidate decides they will fare better by keeping their powder dry.

      i think Sepuloni is a placeholder (has a good multicultural backstory to sell) and we wont see what deals have been done with the Maori Caucus until after the next election if Labour make it back.

  5. I’ve always thought she had a mean streak, as well as the old culture of giving the kids a bit of a biff to show them to respect their elders and show ’em some discipline. That coupled with her ‘education’ background probably drove her decision to make that plainly stupid,fucked up decision with the Children’s Commissioner.
    If Chippy is smart, he’ll review that decision as part of the ‘reset’. It’ll be a game changer for many including me. That along with some sensible Immigration Policy, and real public service reform – not window dressing.
    Unless that happens, the abuse will continue, immigrants will continue to be exploited, as will residents and citizens, and thousands/hundreds of thousands of dollars will be pissed down the drain with often facile, template-driven reports in the name of so-called independent ‘advice’.

    Labour’s traditional base is really sick of overpaid consultants, ticket clippers and PMC greasers.

    Otherwise for me, it’ll either be Party Vote woke Green or Maori Party

    • OnceWasTim Agree about re-establishing the Commissioner for Children, but it could be a mammoth task with Carmel by his side. Also disband the ridiculous speech prefects at VUW; that was Ardern virtue signalling to the UNO as part of her advocacy for global censorship of free speech, and not needed in spite of Kiri Allan’s shooting her mouth off prematurely about hate speech laws.

      Half the consultants are for devious public servants to avoid taking responsibility for anything themselves, that now being globally exemplified by the Prince of woke, Dirty Harry. Had Ardern agreed to some sort of review of Mallard and co’s antics in the Parliamentary precinct, it could have been a significant step forward in teaching and learning that actions have consequences, but they all scurried for cover like cockroaches. Remember, even saintly Bill English trashing all young guys as useless druggies, said that was what employers up and down the country told him, and he lied in the face of MSD stats which showed otherwise.

      I still wouldn’t vote Labour again, and certainly not Act, Nats or crazy racist Greens.

  6. Can’t disagree with this post. What are they thinking?

    I think there is a UN case against the emergency housing people not being able to take businesses to the tenancy tribunal. Who signed off that business owners of motels and social housing providers are above the current laws on tenancy?

  7. She’s from Auckland, she is brown and she is a woman.

    This had nothing to do with her achievements or capabilities. It was all about what she looks like.

    Typical Labour.

      • Yes racist Luxon, where is Shane Reti the most qualified and outstanding National MP?
        Yet they reward Michael( that homeless man) Woodhouse.

        Typical National

        • Bert Michael Woodhouse, the good Catholic boy from Dunedin, is being lined up for National’s Minister of Culture and Misogyny. It was he who had a woman politician’s face emblazoned on a lavatory seat for a titillating National Party raffle. He could replace the incredible shrinking Bennett as their fund raiser too, he’s vulgar enough, crude as they come.

  8. Both appointments are terrible. I can’t imagine any of the left-wing rank-and-file (the few who haven’t yet cancelled their Labour memberships) are at all happy with the new PM/DPM.

    The question is: Why are the (corporate) political donors supporting these two? The members didn’t get a vote, so this wasn’t their choice.

  9. With the latest unemployment stats out Carmel is obviously another star performer:
    353,904 people of working age on a benefit. This is 22% higher than in Dec 2017
    Those on a benefit for more than 12 months up 26% to 257,865
    Maori on welfare up 26%
    Pacific Peoples on welfare up 35%
    Numbers on job seeker who are work ready up 51%!
    Numbers on job seeker for more than 12 months up 49%
    Maori on job seeker up 41%
    Pacific Peoples on job seeker up 67%

    And yet so many businesses cannot employ people.

    • Gosh I hope those statistic are not correct but not a good look if they are!

      Is helping Maori and Pacific People and the unemployed really putting them on a benefit in a crisis of workers?

      BTW many people on the benefits have jobs, just like many of those on DPB have partners – not sure if the ‘relaxation’ is going to be helpful long term because more people on benefits, more people growing up with parents on benefits, more people with a lot of time on their hands while waiting for benefits and less people who seem to be expected to work with a tax paying job.

      The amount of abled bodied, well spoken youth who are appearing in the media complaining about the cost of living, while saying they are unable to work (reason never specified) seems now at an all time high.

  10. Yes Carmel is a diversity and inclusion appointment. Yah, box ticked!

    I cannot think of one single thing she has done that is any good

    • Isn’t that how Labour have been all the way through – diversity, inclusion and box ticking, no real regard to meritocracy

    • The motel owners of Fenton Street in Rotorua will disagree…

      The residents of Rotorua and those staying in the motels may disagree though.

  11. She has not been a ‘failure’, well at least not to the Labour Party. She is doing exactly as the Party tells her to do and voila – promotion. It matters not who the figure head is, the rot is deep in the Labour Party.

  12. ” I am conscious of criticising Carmel after the toxic vomit thrown at Jacinda ”

    Bomber that is how free speech comes under attack. Because Ardern was viciously bullied , threatened with her life and her families and unable to function in her position because they could not keep her safe at public events or the threats were so dangerous that the risk was just to high is a world away from real debate and criticising ineffective members of this government and holding them to account.

    Here we go again , it seems the ” experts ” in the media are pushing her candidacy exactly because she has not implemented the welfare advisory’s recommendations or shown a shred of compassion or understanding for so many of our destitute people including our children.

    Its when you focus on the many working groups failure to convince ministers , the former PM who appointed herself the guardian of child poverty and the LINO caucus that many of the recommendations would have required structural change to some extent and to address the serious imbalances in social and economic policy and taking on the neoliberal empire then this government is not going to do anything meaningful or have the courage to act for many people who will be joining that underclass as the recession begins to bite.

    Its priorities and how you view them. A billion dollars on consultants to tell them what they should already know is frighteningly incompetent.

    And this is where justifiable anger and contempt is warranted ( and I don’t mean the kind of verbal violence meted out to Jacinda Arden ) but when you have the minister of finance saying there is no money to implement reasonable wage increases for teachers and nurses for example and as he says himself

    “There’s always more being bid for then there is money to do ”

    A billion dollars would go a long way to assist in those areas rather than to Ernest Young, Deloitte’s , KPMG and PWC.

    Then there is a wealth tax on large corporates that would assist in providing additional income to address so many of the current crises of unregulated capitalism.

    Possibly appointing Carmel is more than just a token Pacifica appointment it continues to send the message that when LINO talks about transformation its something totally different entirely.

    • Mosa Well said, and thank you. Having Sepuloni as stablemate, Mr Hipkins fails at the first post for his lack of courage and vision, making it a sad Sunday for human dignity and decency and a reasonable cause of anger.

    • Gagarin Wrong. There is no tin hat. This is the person with uber large earrings to block out the voices of people both begging and deserving to be heard, especially the cries of the most vulnerable of all, the children. Remember her for posterity, for when the questions are inevitably being asked.

  13. Got to look at the individual being paid well for her misdeeds – that is deeds that miss the target of providing real social welfare – and judge her a failure. So Labour has so wandered off the path of being for the people, it no longer cares for anything but the right facades to fool the people all the time. And those who aren’t fooled are just shouting into the wind.

    The post is truthful all you wilful non-believers and unconcerned grifters, ie avoiding progressive taxes and regarding avoiding tax as a refined game like chess. Swelling chests, you say we live in a great democracy, not like the people under Putin. If God cared to look down he would think that his designated son Jesus said to care for children, and help others as much as poss. And said some things about rich men that was negative. Bring rich gives you choices you thinjk, but it is hard to make the one to divest yourself of some through assisting the state to have fair taxes, and funding training for those needing a hand up wespecially for the teenagers who are dropping out of school. Now that is ‘Social Investment’, so give them training that will help them all their lives in a healthy way; eg not just to become the go-to team that dismantles asbestos from housing or deals with lead paint on old houses.

    There is sometimes dark thought behind apparent noble gestures. In our present political and social climate one needs to have a trace of cynicism.

  14. Dream a dream and never loose heart comrades, if an angry, severe-looking dole bludger like Sepoluni can make a fortune in a bureaucratic fantasy world then so can you.

  15. The cleverest thing Carmel ever did in politics was to be born and raised for a time in Waitara. As a newly elected list MP she was the stand-in Labour person in New Plymouth for the very busy Andrew Little. She’s ridden with the right team ever since.

  16. Marty, you must be biased. Its not about policy now its electioneering time. Sepuloni has been selected to deal with the weak tory MPs. You watch her run rings around the useless tory team like Upston, Willis and Luxon. This is the weakest tory party I have seen in 60 years. The Tories dont care about the homeless, unemployed, Maori, Indians, PI’s, and others and will help the rich, the Trump supporters, ground swell. Like key, luxon will borrow $2bn and raise GST, give tax cuts to rich, invite property speculators and Aussie banks and make them richer. With Jacinda gone the labour team can throw away te kindness and rip into the Tories – dithering goldsmith, story telling willis and Luxon, and other ignorant MPs. No wonder they wanted Mallard gone – Im sure Rurawhe must be a tory well he acts like one.
    Thank you Jacinda for your world class leadership – we will never see anyone like you again. Other world leaders have acknowledged it.

      • Bert why are you focusing on National members when your party has just had a dramatic change .I do not have any real personnal background knowledge so your opinion as a staunch Labour person interests me .Do you think these 2 are a good choice to get them back in power . Hipkins seemed such an obvious choice but Sepuloni over Allan I wonder why . I still feel her dismissing the children commissioner against the advise of all other interested parties did not look good .

        • Bert2D2 is a Labour robot. He’s in default ‘must find something about National’ mode.
          Now careful Bert before pull the default ‘all Natioanl voters and Kraut are Nazis’ card – I already publicly declared that I like PM Chippy. PM Jacinda…nah. PM Chippy…yep. BTW how come you haven’t resigned since your boss resigned?

      • Michelle Sinclair. And most of all they love themselves, Whittaker’s chocolate, and unicorns which fly them to the moon. No wonder Aberdeen University is banning “ Peter Pan “ as unsuitable for adult consumption. Just wait and see what the crazy sociologists at what was once Victoria University of Wellington produce to bludgeon our insubstantial pageant.

          • Michelle Quick, contact Joanne at VUW and she will sort this, I kid you not. If you’re wearing a frilly frock, whip it off, it could mean mean things; check the name of your cat, or better still, biff it out the window and if it hits a neighbour, deny all responsibility and lay the blame on me. You’ll be fine, but tell her that you dislike old people just to be on the safe side, Ok ?

              • Wonderful! Soon you will become part of the great ether and return as a puffy wee cloud to sprinkle the gentle rains of heaven upon my wilted kale.

                Thanks Michelle. It is a far, far better thing than any pollie do, than any pollie have ever done. Blessings.

                  • Michelle Sinclair You are magnificent ,even as a knight in shining armour.

                    Keep off the kale anyway, it’s the most boring vegetable known to pronouns and I’ll convert mine into vodka.

                    The last femmes I heard complaining about repression were Charlotte Brontë, George Elliott, and Cushla Smith, Birmingham Jelly Wrestling Champion, 1979. You’re in the verge of something big here, so on second thoughts, don’t tell the sociologists, let alone the Arts Council, just go for it, do your own thing any which way you can – try not to get caught.

                    • We did have some homegrown kale for dinner, it was very tasty. We have a lot in the garden at the moment.

  17. Here we go again playing the person not the ball. Lets talk about the earrings, the poetry etc.etc.. misogyny rears its ugly head once again. Are you people wanting a repeat performance of the PM’s predicament both with the hater’s ,the trolls the magnificent tory media. Lets at least give them a chance before anyone feels the need to get personal .

    • Queeny. They’re symbols, and symbols can be mighty powerful. People say they like poetry to try and appear intelligent. Meghan Markle says that she doesn’t read the tabloids, just “ The Economist.” Uber big earrings are also signalling in several different ways, including maybe a flamboyance, and a wealth not entirely appropriate for a politician of the people.

      When Golda Meyer first represented Israel at the UNO, she said that she had one presentable dress and that was faded black and it looked decidedly frumpy. This didn’t detract from her as a politician in incredibly challenging circumstances. PM Ardern accepts freebie designer clothes allegedly to showcase New Zealand talent. Chairman Mao might have had a better idea putting everyone in blue denim uniforms; no tantrums then about having to wear neck ties, or showing off in dumb cowboy hats indoors. To hang with all the party girls and boys, a little gravitas better becomes politicians.

      • Gentle Annie either way misogynistic viewpoints are highly damaging. At the end of the day dislike the person for their politicks, uber earrings just could mean uber earrings should it be sackcloth and ashes for women politicians. Any sort of misogyny needs to be called out and coming from another woman is worse.

        • Queeny Criticism isn’t necessarily misogynism, racism, or any other sort of ism, this is just the typical woke way of trying to silence people.

          Sepuloni chooses to make certain statements about herself in very visible way, in a manner which Chloe Swarbrick, for instance, doesn’t. Ponder it.

          • Gentle Annie, pull the rabbit out of the bag with your woke theory. Its simple really if you don’t like a person and their politics tell it like it is. Criticize away . Carmel Sepuloni is not Chloe Swabrick, she is not Nicola Willis ( who has been mocked for her red lipstick ) . Carmel Sepuloni is herself and if tomorrow she decides to wear studs instead of danglers so be it. With respect her attire has got absolutely nothing to do with her politics even though you obviously think it does. So why don’t you ponder that.?

        • PS. Queeny, I also think that Ardern never pronouncing “ poverty, ” properly, nor Key, “ New Zealand”, could provide a field day for shrinks.

          • Oh Gentle Annie you certainly must have some time on your hands to ponder on these so important thoughts , you could also add Luxon into the mix with his often mispronounced words ( sorry I can’t remember the word I heard him mispronounce today) but i am sure you’ll find out or you can just ponder on it .Maybe its the curse of parliament, you enter in one door speaking plain English and come out the other door speaking rubbish, oh wait a common problem for politicians , no real need for psychiatrists.

  18. Play the ball not the man or woman. Policy decisions are made collectively within a government. No minister is a dictator issuing commands on a whim. After Aderns resignation I’m seriously over the constant personalization of politicians and policy.
    Voters are also responsible for policy and the constraints that limit genuine change but somehow it’s all the fault of a single individual. This is what the media did with Trump. Suddenly all of the long standing ills of the US where solely due to one man and his single term in office.
    The article gives no serious explanation of why the minister made the decisions she did or the horrific of complexities of families in trouble.
    Neither does the article examine the consequences for not acting on children at risk. Nuance and an explanation of how and why OT does what it does and the horrific child abuse stats that is tasked with improving.
    Social work is the toughest job in the world with no perfect solution to highly complex issues. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    • There is no difference between Carmel Sepuloni and Paula Bennet other then the one came clad in the flag of labour and the other is clad in blue for National.
      And fwiw, Martyn on this blog has many times written about the absolute failure that is Oranga Tamariki, the bullshit that is Labour and welfare – too little, too late, and nothing much for people in relationships despite them being charged taxes as a single person, the people warehoused in rundown motels bussed in on a ticket provided by Winz, the failure of the Labour Party to implement the recommendations of the WEAG in 2019.
      Carmel Sepuloni is where she is because she does precisely as she is told. That is what she gets paid for, that is what she always got paid for.
      Please name one one single thing that Carmel Sepuloni has achieved in her time in government.
      Were it not for her ethnicity, and sex i doubt dear Carmel would be were she is, and the same can be said about Paula Bennet at the time.

      • RB I think you will find a big difference between Carmel Sepuloni and Paula Bennett, just ask their parents. Unless of course they were swapped at birth

Comments are closed.