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Out of the Goodness of the Employers’ Big, Generous Hearts

By   /  March 6, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  17 Comments

To anyone not already sold on neoliberalism, the answers to those questions are blindingly obvious. Gouwland’s indignation is, however, a useful pointer to just how much reliance employers now place on the agencies of the state to defend the “reforms” of the 1980s and 90s from any attempt to roll them back.

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“A Giant Beast Called The Government”

By   /  March 2, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  5 Comments

SOMETIMES the mask of politics-as-it-is-officially-presented slips and the true face of the political class is revealed. A particularly serious slippage occurred quite recently in a Spinoff feature  about “partisan lobbyists”.

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MUST READ: The Making Of A National Party Leader

By   /  March 1, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  14 Comments

That Bridges was willing, coolly and efficiently, to curtail New Zealanders’ protest rights, would not have gone unnoticed by his political patrons (among whom were John Key and Steven Joyce). They had set him a test – and he had passed it with flying colours. In order for Bridges to become a successful statesman, his political peers needed to be convinced he had it in him to put his most cherished ideals to the sword without flinching.

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Note To National MPs: Pick Judith, Or The Members Will Pick Her For You

By   /  February 27, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  13 Comments

THE NATIONAL PARTY CAUCUS should make Judith Collins Leader of the Opposition. They should, but they won’t.

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Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord!

By   /  February 23, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

WHOEVER EMERGES VICTORIOUS from National’s leadership contest will face the challenge of re-defining their party’s core political mission.

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Too Little, Too Late: The Opportunity To Stop the CPTPP Has Passed

By   /  February 22, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  4 Comments

“TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE.” That’s what I would say to David Parker on the day he released the text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). With the signing ceremony due to take place in the Chilean capital, Santiago, on 8 March – a mere fortnight from the document’s release – the time available for thorough public scrutiny and debate is simply too short.

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National’s Moderates May Win This Leadership Battle – But Can They Win The War?

By   /  February 20, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  12 Comments

With the serried ranks of the now largely unified National Caucus arrayed against her, Collins could elect to either fight it out to the bitter end, or, to lower her banners and join in Adams’ victory feast.

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EXCLUSIVE: “The data is simply not available, Minister.”

By   /  February 16, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  37 Comments

IS LABOUR getting Sir-Humphreyfied on housing?

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MUST READ: The Second Coming of National’s Rough Beasts

By   /  February 15, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  23 Comments

WHAT ROUGH BEAST SLOUCHES towards Wellington to be born? What sort of National Party are the people who brought down Bill English trying to establish? And will there be enough reasonable men and women in National’s caucus on Tuesday, 27 February to stop them?

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Taking Stock: Is the Government Doing Enough to End the Housing Crisis?

By   /  February 13, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  11 Comments

The policies advanced by the Labour-NZF-Green government in response to New Zealand’s housing crisis – most particularly Labour’s KiwiBuild initiative – no longer impress informed observers as either bold or comprehensive enough to bring about a speedy resolution of the crisis. On the contrary, they seem doomed to fail: there being neither the material, nor the human, resources required to make them succeed.

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Hard Choices: Genter’s Candidacy Lights-Up The Greens’ Internal Divisions

By   /  February 9, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  23 Comments

Assuming the fight remains a straight-forward contest between Davidson’s symbolism and Genter’s pragmatism, the pragmatist will, almost certainly, join Shaw at the top of her party’s greasy pole.

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Blowing Smoke: Why Jacinda needs to talk less and do more.

By   /  February 8, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  44 Comments

The “other half” of New Zealand is crying out to this government for brave deeds – not fine words. The last thing Jacinda needs to be remembered for is substituting stardust for substantive action.

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Can Sovereignty Be Shared?

By   /  February 6, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  31 Comments

Jacinda’s intentions and those of her Maori caucus colleagues are unquestionably benign. But in political circumstances as fraught as these, good intentions are seldom enough. If, as the revisionist historians insist, Maori sovereignty was never ceded to the Crown, then the descendants of the Waitangi signatories’ determination to reclaim it; to exercise it; is entirely reasonable.

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Hypothetical Questions

By   /  February 2, 2018  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  19 Comments

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP and his White House staff are convinced America’s “Deep State” is out to get them. They’re probably right.

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Long Live The Sun Queen!

By   /  December 19, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  16 Comments

I have participated in, and written about, politics for close to 40 years, but in all that time I can honestly say I have never witnessed anything like Jacinda Ardern’s first media conference as Labour Leader.

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Governing For The “Other Half” Of New Zealand

By   /  December 16, 2017  /  Chris Trotter, Most Recent Blogs, Setting The Agenda  /  26 Comments

THE LABOUR PARTY has never been very tolerant of dissenters. It is, therefore, unsurprising that very few within its ranks have reacted positively to my recent posting on The Daily Blog. No matter how many private reservations Labour supporters may be harbouring about Grant Robertson’s “fiscally responsible” economic policies, they would rather his critics refrained from giving public voice to their concerns.

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