Ah yes folks, it’s election year.
The three-yearly theatrics get under way in earnest on Tuesday with the first Cabinet meeting and then the usual whirlwind of New Year events.
State of the Nation speeches – most significantly a two-step from Labour and the Greens on January 29 and National on February 2 – are interlaced with the Ratana and Waitangi Day celebrations before the House resumes on February 7.
It all seems so low key, so predictable and genteel alongside the massive uncertainty about to be unleashed on the world by the inauguration of United States President Donald Trump this weekend.
Even newly-minted Prime Minister Bill English’s first foray into controversy – by refusing to attend Waitangi on Waitangi Day because of limits on his right to speak on the Te Tii marae the day before – had an element of predictable theatre about it.
In truth, English should be criticised for snubbing the February 6 festivities on the Treaty grounds where he could have spoken (as he could have also at a later stage on Te Tii). By avoiding that, while also evading the tension and insults of the lower marae, he has elevated and empowered the dysfunctional arrangements on the lower marae yet again.
He leaves the best for last when having a go at the Labour and Green parties Read more »