Yesterday’s foray into parliament didn’t go so well for the opposition.
Labour were cock-a-hoop, emboldened by the living embodiment of the new Christ figure who leads them. They were helped by an inept performance by Eric Roy.
However their much vaunted insurance policy got panned and then destroyed.
Audrey Young at the NZ Herald reports:
David Cunliffe called John Key’s question stupid, Bill English called David Cunliffe’s new state insurance company idea dumb, and Winston Peters called himself brilliant.
They couldn’t all be right.
With the Speaker away running the New York marathon, Cunliffe still fizzing from his strident speech at the annual conference, and National anxious to puncture Labour’s mood, there had to be a stoush in Parliament’s Question Time yesterday.
Cunliffe started off well but came away with a bloody nose – the answer he gave to what he called Key’s “stupid question” turned out to be wrong itself.
They were arguing about Labour’s new policy to set up a state-owned insurance company, KiwiAssure, as a sister operation to Kiwibank within NZ Post.
Labour says it will reduce the dominance of overseas-owned insurers, keep profits in New Zealand, and bring competition, flexibility and choice to New Zealanders.
Cunliffe implied that National’s opposition to the policy is because it received big donations from the insurance industry in 2005 and attempted to table the Hollow Men documentary on the Nicky Hager book. Read more »
Shane Jones stands to lose big time as Labour has voted to introduce their man ban.
Audrey Young writes at the NZ Herald:
Labour leader David Cunliffe says it won’t be very hard for Labour to reach its newly adopted target of at least 45 per cent women MPs after next year’s election and at least 50 per cent women after the 2017 election.
“I don’t think it’s going to be too difficult knowing the calibre of the women candidates and nominees that we have around and the fact that our vote share is likely to be significantly higher this time than it was last time,” he said today.
“There won’t be difficulty at all for us to reach 45 this time and I’m confident we’ll reach 50 next time – I will be personally backing it.”
The constitutional motion adopting the targets was passed in a closed session debate today at the party’s annual conference at Wigram.
It has become the party’s main vehicle for achieving gender equality in representation after a controversial remit allowing some regions to have women-only selections for candidates was withdrawn by the New Zealand Council at the request of former leader David Shearer.
Party president Moira Coatsworth told reporters the way the party would try to achieve the targets was through the list ranking process of the moderating committee, after it had made an assessment of which electorate seats it thought it could win. Read more »
My good friend Brian Edwards was quick to tweet his displeasure at John Campbell’s efforts the other night in interviewing John Key.
When he wrote that tweet I thought to myself, I bet he writes a blog post…and so he has.
Firstly a summary:
I don’t intend to delve into the rights and wrongs of what Campbell asserted during the interview and Key countered or denied. You can take your pick from a range of blogs on the topic.
Instead I want to summarise how I perceived the demeanour of the two protagonists.
Key: critical of the programme, but patient, considered, quiet, reasonable, polite, helpful, good-humoured.
Campbell: patient and agreeable to begin with, but increasingly impatient, interruptive, petulant, hostile, overbearing, accusatory, rude. Having accused Key of playing the man not the ball, he launches into a very personal attack on the Prime Minister’s previous handling of the GCSB debate and sarcastically dismisses one of Key’s replies with: ‘Prime Minister, you are a brilliant politician.’ Read more »
Audrey Young outlines Labour dreadful choices…they all know David Shearer is hopeless and essentially a political corpse. Almost every political journalist and most commentators except the rabid mouth breathers of the left know that he is a goner.
When rumours of a leadership coup in Labour broke on Tuesday night, I bumped into a Green MP as I was racing back to the office.
The first question we asked ourselves is “who is it?”
We speculated about David Cunliffe and deputy Grant Robertson.
Grant’s not ready, I said. Grant is definitely ready, the MP said.
I also thought about Andrew Little. He had a boost from the last Herald-DigiPoll survey which had him almost matching Grant Robertson in terms of a suitable replacement for Shearer were he to suddenly depart politics.
It was the same poll that began this round of jitters because Shearer’s popularity fell six points and the party’s by almost the same amount to 30.9 per cent.
Anyway, by the end of Tuesday night, it was clear there was no coup under way by Robertson or anyone else. But Shearer’s chances of being replaced before the next election had increased. Read more »
Far be it for me to argue with a “decent journalist, trained and skilled” but it looks like the 1996 and 1999 elections were all part of some sort of conspiracy to hide reality from the whole of New Zealand.
Now I know Wikipedia isn’t acceptable as a source, Bryce Johns said so. However Wikipedia shows the results of both the 1996 and 1999 elections. It is clear there that Helen Clark didn’t become the Prime Minister until 1999. Read more »
When Hekia Parata was promoted to the education portfolio, she was pegged by some as a future leader, ruffling a few feathers among her colleagues.
All the ingredients were there – a rags to riches back story, professional success and powerful mentors, including Finance Minister Bill English and Prime Minister John Key, who saw in her an echo of his own rise to the top.
But she also had the all important X-factor – supreme self-assurance, an engaging personality and a guffawing laugh that could fill a room.
As blunders mounted one on top of the other in the education portfolio, however, Ms Parata’s poise deserted her. Hard questions were met with obfuscation and, when under stress, she reached for the bureaucrat’s trick of papering over the cracks with jargon.
The pressure began to tell in other, more personal, ways. Beehive insiders talk about a tense and poisonous atmosphere within her ministerial office, brought on by an increasingly demanding minister, who was out of her depth and casting around for others to blame.
The only part Tracy Watkins left out was that Hekia lobbied hard for the Education portfolio, she elbowed Tolley out of the way believing and selling the PM that she could do a better a job.
Why Hekia being a total disaster as Education Minister surprises anyone is a shock. She is an arrogant, unpleasant bully, and was called out by this blog on November 14th 2010 when Audrey Young, who should know better, wrote a hagiographic article about Hekia.
Fairfax and APN editors should start asking a few questions of their political journalists. They have really dropped the ball on this one. They should ask the following questions:
After losing five parliamentary Executive Assistants in the first two years in parliament, do they think Hekia will front the next CTU anti 90 day advertisement?
Are they aware that if you lose four EAs in around a year Parliamentary Services remove your right to recruit your own office staff?
Do they know why the Maori Affairs select committee had a change of personnel? And was it because Hekia was publicly yelling at Tau Henare, who was actually in the same party as her, for those press gallery reporters who were in some doubt?
Have they scrutinised her employment record in her career before she entered parliament?
Are they confident she would be able to run a ministerial office, and work with departmental chief executives and staff, or would they need a special golden handshake fund for her department?
Hekia Parata might make a good person to be the MP for Mana, but being one of Bill English’s acolytes and having a rotating door on staff at a rate equal to or better than McCully doesn’t make her a good prospect for cabinet.
There are better choices and ones who would be more effective.
The omnishambles that has been Hekia’s tenure as minister of education was clearly predictable. The questions above should have alerted enough the most bovine journalistic intellect to the problems Hekia would face.
The only real question for John Key is will he let someone he would have instantly fired at Merrill Lynch continue to pull him down in the polls?
“During that time representing Lindy Chamberlain, I used to think ‘this wouldn’t happen if I was in New Zealand’ but … in the Bain case I think he has been subjected to actually worse injustices than the Chamberlains.”
He claimed that Collins’ actions were “basically painting a picture that she believes he’s guilty”.
“That’s how she’s viewing the Binnie report. She’s actually not accepting the jury verdict – which is: You are not guilty David Bain, you are innocent.
“It’s so inappropriate for a Minister of Justice. She should be accepting that the jury’s verdict as binding.
“I just find her conduct on the whole matter appalling and I’m ashamed. Deeply ashamed.”
Australian-based New Zealander Stuart Tipple said he’d followed the Bain case closely. He’d been aghast at Ms Collins’ criticism of the independent report written by Justice Binnie while she’d kept it confidential for months without handing a copy to Bain’s lawyers. Those actions were a bad enough breach of natural justice but her continued attacks against the judge this week continued the vein where Ms Collins was acting as judge and jury, he said.
“I’m really disturbed there’s not more legal people in New Zealand that are standing up and saying this is just not good enough.
“I used to think … during that time representing Lindy Chamberlain, I used to think ‘this wouldn’t happen if I was in New Zealand’ but having seen what happened in the Bain case I think he has been subjected to actually worse injustices than the Chamberlains.
“I just find her conduct on the whole matter appalling and I’m ashamed. Deeply ashamed,” he said.
Yvonne Tahana has interviewed her typewriter and her colleague, must be a slow news week. This ambulance-chaser clearly raised the average IQ of both countries when he went to Australia – yet another lawyer that doesn’t know the difference between “not guilty” and “innocent”.
Jane Clifton gives us a fascinating insight into what the Press Gallery girls gossiped about at the water coolers photocopier in the “old days”.
The new member for Te Tai Tokerau was slim and fit, had a full head of wavy hair, and was generally agreed to be the most attractive male specimen to hit the lobbies in a long time.
How does Tau rate now? May we ask?
It is pretty damn hard for a proud Maori to go red but Tau may be blushing the next time he comes into contact with the Cougars of the Gallery – Jane, Audrey and Fran knowing they once had a giggle the same way the Gen Y’s now do for Simon Bridges, Gareth Hughes and Chris Hipkins.
I don’t know what Tau has done to offend a lady but Clifton has now publicly shanked him as her “wild card” choice and bet heavily for Maurice as the next Speaker.