Bill English

What is a “strong budget”?

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski – an earlier budget


Prime Minister John Key is signalling an ongoing enthusiasm for the job and is promising a strong government Budget this month.

He’s been leader of the National Party for ten years and Prime Minister of the country for eight.

“I am just as excited about the year ahead as I have ever been,” he said in a speech to National’s central North Island regional conference in Waikato.

The next step is setting out the Government’s future plans in the Budget on May 26. Read more »

He should stick to fostering relations with stenographers

Iain Lees-Galloway deployed an interesting trick in parliament yesterday as he used Grant Robertson to cover his tracks in the primary question then followed up with supplementary questions attacking Bill English.

Bill English refused to back down and painted an altogether different picture than the grandstanding of Iain Lees-Galloway.

You could tell it was a planned hit job because the Media party dutifully climbed in straight away.    Read more »

Sledge of the Day

Only a special kind of retard would ask a question of the Prime Minister when the the PM is out of the country.

And a special kind of retard to ask a  question about the flag referendum when he tweeted this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 4.15.08 PM Read more »

Little’s latest dumb idea

Andrew Little has now decided he wants to interfere in the banking system and set interest rates.

We haven’t seen this sort of meddling since the days of Muldoon.

The Labour leader’s suggestion to force banks to pass on Official Cash Rate (OCR) cuts is a ‘pretty dumb idea’, the finance minister says.

Andrew Little says the government should pressure the major banks to reduce their mortgage interest rates, and if he was prime minister he could go as far as legislating to make them do so.

Last week the Reserve Bank cut the OCR from 2.5 percent to a new record low of 2.25 percent, but the major banks did not lower their mortgage interest rates by an equivalent amount.

Mr Little said he would not rule out legislating to make banks pass on the rate cuts.

Read more »

Sorry farmers, Bill says no


Finance Minister Bill English is ruling out a Government bailout for struggling farmers to prevent widespread foreclosures.

Opposition leaders have called on the Government to offer a relief package to farmers, hit hard by low dairy prices and current dairy debt of $38 billion.

However, Mr English told TVNZ’s Q&A programme today that a bailout was out of the question. Read more »


Intensification of higher rates says Bill English to Auckland

Finance Minister Bill English is warning Auckland that if it doesn’t intensify its housing it could face higher costs and rates because of the need to build infrastructure for its outer suburbs.

Mr English says the city faces a deficit of 3800 building consents a year at present even taking into account last year’s record number of 9200 consents.

But he is stressing it will the role of the Auckland Council to make the decisions on where the houses go.

One reason he’s standing back may be the strong opposition among many National MPs s in Auckland to the Council’s published intensification plans.

That opposition is believed to extend to the party organisation in Auckland also.

Is this the same Natonal Party that doesn’t want to be seen to be doing anything officially at local body level?  Read more »

Another Mediaworks’ graceless hit job on ministers who have clearly been prudent

Mediaworks continue their graceless attacks against the government. The only thing they could find in the lastest release of expenditure is some expensive wine, which McCully paid back when he realised how much he’d been ripped off.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully decided an exorbitant wine bill in a Papua New Guinea hotel was too much for the taxpayers stomach so he dipped into his own pocket, records show.

The four bottles of Cloudy Bay chardonnay cost more than $700 when the minister hosted a working lunch for 10 people, including local high commission staff, in Port Moresby last year.

His unfortunate experience is recorded in the latest ministerial credit card expenses, released on Thursday.

“Note: reimbursement of $733 by Hon Murray McCully for alcohol costs,” the record reads.

The minister paid the bill for the meal and the wine, but decided the astronomical wine mark up would be too much for the taxpayers’ tab.

The Marlborough wine can be bought here for around $40 a bottle.

Read more »

Will John Oliver take the piss out of this too?

John Oliver likes taking the piss out of New Zealand, but then whinging Poms always like doing that.

Perhaps he might like to take the piss out of this.

Invercargill man Jade Gillies knows a thing or two about event management, but dealing with 4500 sheep at Stadium Southland is going to be a whole new ball game.

“It’s a bit of work to do just to make that happen,” he said.

Gillies has been hired as event manager for the Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships, which will be held from February 9 to 11, 2017 at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill.

Gillies, who for the past six years has been event manager for the Burt Munro Challenge and handled the Taste of Southland during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, said the sheep shearing champs would be unlike any event he’s worked on before.

“The main focus right now is to get as many countries registered [to take part] as we can,” he said.   Read more »

So I guess it is working


Police are being accused of revenue gathering as figures show the site of New Zealand’s most-profitable speed camera has not had a serious crash in years.

The last fatal accident on Whitford Brown Ave, Porirua was in 2008. Police installed a speed camera there in 2014 and in its first year of operation it gathered more than $1 million.

Before the speed camera was installed, but since the last death, the road had already been made safer with a lowered speed limit and barriers separating oncoming traffic, crash records reveal.

But police have defended the speed camera’s position, saying they look at long-term trends and Whitford Brown Ave remains a danger spot. Read more »

Can Grant Robertson shear sheep, and why this is an important question?

There are some skills you just never lose.

Bill English demonstrated superb shearing skills with a sheep in front of a large crowd at Southern Field Days in Waimumu on Friday.

Video posted to the Facebook page of New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young shows the Deputy Prime Minister, who grew up in Southland, engaging in a race with another man to shear a sheep.

“Bill English at Southern Field Days,” Young said in a video post to Facebook. “And not one cut.”

Though the Finance Minister didn’t win what the MC called a “close race”, English’s job was not baa’d and was met with a round of applause.

There is actually an underlying truth to this that escapes most people. New Zealand has been going through a change, and it’s coming out the other end of it.

Some decades ago, we were all real men and women. People of the land. People of work.

Our All Blacks were farmers. Certainly, our provincial competitions were dominated by people who had been milking that morning, or would be mustering the next day.  Read more »