Judith Collins

Roy Morgan delivers a nice easter present for National

After yesterday’s Roy Morgan poll perhaps Labour might just start realising that no one cares about their silly pursuit of Judith Collins and voters simply believe that they are unfit to govern.

The poll delivers a shock for Labour, this is their favoured indicator, and proves the lie that Labour’s own internal polling is showing them at 34%.

Playing the nasty and not focussing on policies that matter to Kiwi voters is really starting to hurt them. But they are now past the point of no return for David Cunliffe and have to stick it out with a naff leader that no one likes or no one believes.

When you add on these results to the dramatic boundary changes you are going to see Labour MPs disappear back to their electorates in an attempt to shore up their own support. Watch as Ruth Dyson, Clayton Cosgrove and a number of other MPs spend considerably more time in their electorates than in Wellington.

Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a large jump in support for National (48.5%, up 5.5%) now with its largest lead over a potential Labour/Greens alliance (40%, down 5%) since July 2013 as New Zealanders celebrated the visit of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Support for Key’s Coalition partners is little changed with the Maori Party 1% (down 0.5%), ACT NZ (0.5%, unchanged) and United Future 0% (down 0.5%).  Read more »

Looks like Winston’s, David’s and Grant’s nasty smears have backfired

Yesterday Winston Peters, Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe all accused Judith Collins of corruption without a shred of evidence to support their claims.

Now someone who was at the dinner has confirmed the minister’s account and their smears are in tatters.

A senior Beehive adviser has taken the unusual step of going public to back her minister, Judith Collins, over what took place at a dinner with Oravida executives and a senior Chinese Government official.

Margaret Malcolm was one of five guests at the dinner in Beijing which has embroiled Collins in allegations of corruption.

Malcolm, who travelled with Collins to China as her senior adviser, backed the minister’s claim that they did not discuss Oravida’s business over the dinner and that they talked mostly tourism.

“The dinner was very short and discussion was restricted due to some participants having limited English. The conversation centred around New Zealand as a tourist destination.”

She had not taken any notes in her capacity as adviser.

Like Collins, Malcolm also refused to name the Chinese official who Opposition MPs claim was in a position to help milk exporter Oravida overcome export issues following the botulism scare.

Collins has been under fire over allegations she used her ministerial position to benefit her husband’s business interests, though she told The Dominion Post last night that this was not true.

“[NZ First leader] Winston Peters . . . misled the media, he misled the public and actually there is no evidence of it and it’s utterly untrue.”

She had no influence over the $6000 received by Oravida from a pool of government funding for businesses which had been affected by the botulism scare, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Forty-one exporters had received advice and help from the Government relating to the incident and 39 of them received some form of payment, she said.  Read more »

Stephen Franks on the outrageous claims of corruption by the opposition and media

Stephen Franks provides a thoughtful response to the outrageous claims of opposition MPs under parliamentary privilege of corruption by Judith Collins.

I note that they dare not repeat those claims outside of the protection of parliamentary privilege.

Political journalists continue to give credibility to the Oravida beat-up. I’ve not heard anyone I know, outside the ‘beltway’ set, who share their faux indignation. Perhaps aspects yet to be revealed will vindicate the accusers. But on what has been disclosed so far, those alleging corruption disgrace themselves.

We come from an era, widely regarded as our most incorruptible, when all manner of goods were marked with the Royal crest, and the words “By appointment to HM the Queen”. Approval as suppliers to the Crown was overtly advertised, for the benefit of the supplier. I recall no concern that it was a corrupt practice.

Nor is there any objective argument that Ms Collins advocacy for any dairy interests in China or elsewhere, has been inimical to the interests of New Zealand. The allegations of corruption are the single element most likely to reduce the barriers to corruption. When it is acceptable to equate such innocuous behaviour with corruption, we lose the capacity to distinguish, and ‘everybody does it’ becomes a more likely excuse for genuine corruption at other levels

If there was some indication of covert payments then it might run. But most of us know that there is implicit personal endorsement, even if it is unwanted, in most engagements of powerful people.  Read more »

Jones continues his jihad against Lotto, still conflicted, Cunliffe says nothing

Shane Jones continues his conflicted jihad against Lotto this morning, though he is veiling it as an attack on Countdown.

He is seriously conflicted out in this matter though with his missus working for SkyCity and SkyCity providing his week day accommodation.

If a glass of milk and a photo opportunity was grounds for resignation because one’s spouse is a director of a company then how much more inappropriate is it for someone to be lobbying against a director competitor of the employer of your spouse?

Labour MP Shane Jones is calling for an end to big Lotto jackpots after attacking supermarket giant Countdown for selling tickets at the checkout counter.

Jones said selling Lotto tickets at the checkout was like putting a poker machine at every counter but worse, because people could pay for the tickets with their credit cards.

“What do you buy? Weetbix, orange or a big fat Wednesday?” he asked.

He believed there should be an immediate review of the Gambling Act that should include a look at the size of the Lotto jackpot, because a $30 million or $40m jackpot was too high.   Read more »

Hosking editorial on polls

Mike Hosking says Labour has no chance unless they change their game plan.

So with two weekend polls to deal with, the common theme is how close they are.

When polls vary you can dismiss them, especially if you’re the one that hasn’t polled so well. But these two polls are remarkably close: National on 47 and 46, Labour on 31 and 31, and the Greens on 11 and 11.

Given that, there is no escaping the fact Labour has major trouble. Although it’s six months to the election and although there is policy to come, and you can probably argue the bulk of us aren’t really tuned into the fine detail of how we’re going to vote and who stands for who, as each of these polls passes and each week ticks by the intensity and pressure on the party intensifies. In this case it’s Labour.

They pressured David Shearer into quitting with numbers that were better than those David Cunliffe has right now. The pressure is enormous in Labour. Plus there is the added pressure of a potential traitor in their midst.

The Greens at 11 are about where the Greens always are and have been. New Zealand First may or may not be there. In one poll they have 7 and in the other they don’t cross the 5 per cent threshold. My guess is they’ll make it and line up with the left, and in doing so will probably line up behind the left to at least give them a shot at forming a government. But that’s a punt, and if you’re Labour you’re not relying on it to save you.  Read more »

Change of heart from Business NZ – promises to stop troughing

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Business New Zealand Chief Executive, Phil O’Rielly, announced this morning that Business NZ will no longer accept government funding.

The change of stance comes after the Taxpayers’ Union exposed what Judith Collins labelled a ‘cozy deal’ between ACC, the Council of Trade Unions and Business NZ earlier in the year.

The Taxpayers’ Union has welcomed the new stance.    Read more »

It really is all about trust/s

in big twubble

David Cunliffe claimed at the time that his caucus leak about his dodgy laundering of donations via a secret trust operated by a blogger at The Standrd was a smear campaign…and it was a beltway issue.

At the same time they invested themselves in Winston peters own smear against Judith Collins. Labour jumped on that bandwagon and spent a huge amount of political capital bashing away fruitlessly.

I said at the time that they had everything bass akwards, that the secret laundering of donations and trusts was key and a glass of milk was beltway.

3News has now proved that point.

David Cunliffe’s problems with the trust he used to hide donations has turned off voters.

In the latest 3 News-Reid Research poll, when asked if his actions were worthy of a Prime Minister, 65 percent of voters, almost two-thirds, said “no”, while only 27 percent said “yes”.

The opposition is still happy to push the issue.

“We still don’t know who is behind that secret trust, and for a lot of New Zealanders we are saying that doesn’t cut the mustard when you want to be Prime Minister,” says Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Key sits on 42.6 percent as preferred Prime Minister, while Mr Cunliffe has dropped to 9 percent.  Read more »

Two bad polls for Labour, Cunliffe has zero traction

insignificant

One News and 3 News both had polls tonight. Both polls show that David Cunliffe is failing as Labour leader and is now plumbing the depths that Bill English charted when he was leader of National.

English debuted as leader around 14% and slowly slid into insignificance. David Cunliffe is the same. He must now be under real pressure both from his caucus and his members. It is telling that like his caucus, just one third of Labour voters prefer him as PM. In the OneNews/Colmar Brunton he is on 8% and in the 3News/Reid Research he is on 9%, well below the worst results David Shearer ever produced.

Labour’s smear campaign against Judith Collins and Hekia Parata have failed demonstrably along with their stupid crony capitalism campaign.They should give it up, it hasn’t worked at all.

As for their vaunted forestry policy, that has gone down with voters like a cup of cold sick. Instead of launching a policy for a few elite forest owners they should have been talking policy idea that resonate with middle NZ but they haven’t, instead talking over their heads.

All the game changers they’ve announced have indeed changed the game…in favour of John Key and the National party.  Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan on China, National and Labour nasty tactics

Fran O’Sullivan writes about John Key’s China triumph:

John Key has firmly put his personal stamp on the New Zealand-China relationship by forging a “trusted partner” status with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi heralded the co-operation between China and New Zealand as “pioneering and exemplary”, saying he believed Key’s tour would instil new vitality into the bilateral relationship.

The Chinese President not only made sure New Zealand media were present for all of his reassuring opening remarks at the onset of the two leaders’ bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People, but he also welcomed Key and his officials “as family” to a rare private dinner.

This is no mean feat, given Beijing’s barely disguised anger over the Fonterra botulism scare that last year resulted in scathing editorials in official news organs over the New Zealand Government’s perceived failure to rigorously police food safety standards.

Chinese consumers were justifiably angry over the Fonterra fiasco. It not only diminished their confidence in the safety of New Zealand infant formula but resulted in significant collateral damage to the smaller Kiwi exporters that had the foresight and wit (which Fonterra at that stage lacked) to manufacture New Zealand-branded infant formula for the Chinese market.

Key’s visit has drawn a line under that episode.

Which is why Labour and their flunkies in MFaT wanted to rain on the parade.

But the Opposition has been determined to try to ensure Key does not get to politically bank the positives from the deepening bilateral relationship.

This is a mistake, especially given Labour’s own groundbreaking role in forging bilateral ties with China.    Read more »

Armstrong on Labour’s appalling strategy

John Armstrong provides some strategy advice for Labour.

It is sound but because Armstrong writes for the NZ Herald I suspect that Labour will have cloth ears to the message and instead label him a shill for corporate tory media interests, an accusation that is as daft as it sounds.

As the countdown to September’s general election becomes ever more frenetic, one thing is becoming increasingly obvious: those parties that stick to their knitting and produce fresh, even visionary, ideas and viable policies stand to be the big winners.

Voters are not of such a negative mood as to tolerate endless whining, cheap hits on opponents and petty point-scoring generally.

National worked this out long ago. The Greens have since worked it out and are now refocusing on fundamentals. Labour has had the most difficulty in shedding opposition for the sake of opposition, but is coming to the same realisation, with David Cunliffe now thrusting himself forward as the Apostle of Economic Intervention. And not before time – in a strategic sense, at least.

The exception to this requirement to accentuate the positive is New Zealand First whose function in domestic politics is to stress the negative and thus offer refuge to the angry and the alienated.

But even a politician of Winston Peters’ calibre is finding the going tough and – to borrow David Lange’s famous observation of Jim Bolger – succeeding in only stirring up apathy.

Outside of Wellington or political tragics all of the so-called scandals that Labour is investing enormous time and energy into have fallen flat with not a single dent in the polls for National’s constantly high ratings.   Read more »