National Party

Greens want to work together with National

I don’t think they really do.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei acknowledged in notes for a speech to Parliament today that many of the party’s supporters – and even those who did not vote for the Greens – would like them to have more influence at the table.

“Since the election I’ve received a number of letters, even from National Party members, pleading with us to from some kind of arrangement with National because they feel guilty about voting for a party with such a poor record on the environment.

“The idea apparently is that the Greens could act as some kind of foil to National’s anti-environmental agenda if only we just focused on environmental issues.”

But Turei said the Greens were a movement based not just on environmental principles but on the principles of social justice and democracy.

“This is who we are. We couldn’t stop caring about our environment, or our people, or our economic direction for that matter because it might be politically expedient to do so. It’s not our job to move to the centre; it’s to move the centre.” Read more »

“National might think it is all over. It might be just the beginning”

The NZ Herald are sitting on a pile of unused (and still stolen) Dirty Politics information, mostly the stuff that came from my emails. ¬†When it became clear that they weren’t destroying Whaleoil, nor National, it was as if a switch was thrown – overnight, all leaks and coverage stopped.

Now that the election is over, the conundrum of how to deal with me still sits up. ¬†They don’t just need a Cameron Slater Killer Whaleoil Killer, they need a Freed Killer as well.

But there is a much more personal reason for many Herald journos.

A number of NZ Herald journos have fallen silent after trying to frame their involvement¬†with Dirty Politics¬†from their perspective. ¬†I’ve not responded to these in public in any detail – instead I’ll present the Inquiry with the evidence instead. ¬†They can sort out the wheat from the chaff.

In the mean time, the NZ Herald have run out of people who can publicly attack me that aren’t already compromised by having¬†been part of Dirty Politics.

It seems John Armstrong has drawn the short straw now.

National is hardly keen to resurrect the matter. The Prime Minister’s success in shooting the messenger to kill the message, National’s subsequent stunning victory at the ballot box, and the thrashing handed to Labour and that party’s post-election meltdown have pushed the contents of Dirty Politics well out of the political limelight.

The rotten smell lingers, however. And National should think seriously about acknowledging it is badly tainted and do something which shows it is genuinely cleaning up its act.

No doubt many in the party are instead quietly revelling in what comes close to state persecution of Hager for the trumped-up crime of exposing the ugly truth about the true level of National’s adherence to New Zealand’s fundamental democratic and constitutional principles. No doubt many think the party has got off relatively scot-free despite indulging in some pretty abominable behaviour.

Keep in mind that the NZ Herald are¬†donkey deep in this as well. ¬†They are trying their hardest to frame the issue so Dirty Politics might just, finally, take out yours truly as well as become the constant irritant for National during this term. Read more »

Armstrong: John Key’s hidden objective

There is some life in John left – he’s seen right through John Key’s plan

Today’s Speech from the Throne outlining the new National minority Government’s legislative and policy programme is unusually non-contentious. So non-contentious that it seems rather bland.

And that is just the way the Prime Minister would like the speech to be viewed – solid, if unspectacular.

You had to wait until the Governor-General had read the last paragraph of the speech for a definitive statement on John Key’s real agenda behind his Government’s agenda.

That final sentence notes that National is “privileged” to have won the trust and goodwill of New Zealand voters for a third time and will seek to re-earn that trust and goodwill “every day” over the next three years.

In other words, Key’s mind is already intently focussed on how his Government avoids the third-term blues and matches Sir Keith Holyoake’s 1960s achievement of winning four straight elections – something which is even more difficult under a proportional electoral system like MMP compared to the previous first-past-the-post system which had a built-in bias favouring National. Read more »

Will National privatise the RMA process?

Nick-Smith_0

Somehow this slipped past the radar because most journos seems to be calling it in at the moment, but it just popped back on.  Corin Dann reports

The government wants to let other providers compete with local councils for the issuing of property consents.

The government blames council red tape for a lack of housing development. Read more »

Our ISIS problem solved: Iraqi PM doesn’t want our help

Sending the SAS or not to send the SAS?   Key vs the left and the media?   All of this is no longer a problem.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi [yesterday]ruled out any foreign ground intervention to assist government forces in retaking territory lost to jihadists and urged Sunnis to give up such hopes.

Abadi was speaking in the city of Najaf after a rare meeting with the most revered figure among Iraqi Shiites, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and before a trip to neighbouring Iran.

“No ground forces from any superpower, international coalition or regional power will fight here,” Abadi told reporters, reiterating previous remarks on the issue.

“This is my decision, it is the decision of the Iraqi government.”

Some officials and Sunni tribal leaders in areas most affected by the unrest have argued the world should step up its involvement from air strikes to a ground intervention against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

Ignoring the fact that ISIS are quite happy to have foreign boots on the ground, the fears of the Iraqi PM seems to be more about being invaded by stealth: ¬† Read more »

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National all rhetoric on housing, but little is delivered

How the government got through the election without this particular policy failure biting them in the bum is beyond me.

It’s been revealed the Government’s flagship housing policy has delivered just five homes in its first year.

And in a week where Auckland’s house prices reached a record high, the Government’s strategy has been labelled an utter failure by the Opposition.

The Government last year promised to get on top of Auckland’s housing crisis by building new subdivisions. Tens of thousands of homes would be built in fast-tracked zones called special housing areas.

“We know this has been a problem that’s been around for 30 to 40 years, it’s not going to develop overnight and it’s not going to be fixed overnight,” says Prime Minister John Key.

Granted, Len Brown and his band of merry troughers have a large part to play.  But five houses?  The private sector could have put up 5 houses.  It is a terrible result, and one that needs turning around.

Read more »

HoS Editorial: “Judith Collins expects to be exonerated, and probably will be”

Yeah, funny that. ¬†That’s the result of doing nothing wrong but being at the receiving end of an 8 month smear campaign that started with Oravida and ended with Dirty Politics. ¬†The ‘where there is smoke there must be fire’ effect works just as well on National as it does on Labour.

But the overzealous people that decided to call for inquiries (oh how they love to do that) never expected the result to be that nothing was actually done improperly.

When the Prime Minister left Judith Collins off a list of departing ministers who can wear the title Honourable for life, he may have made trouble for himself this term. It suggested he does not intend to bring her back into his Cabinet if she is exonerated by the inquiry into whether she was “gunning” for the head of the former Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley, when Justice Minister.

She expects to be exonerated, and probably will be. She has denied the remark attributed to her by her friend, the blogger Cameron Slater, and she would not be the first to be embarrassed by his phraseology, as John Key well knows.

My phraseology is just fine thanks Jono. ¬†It’s just that some people are trying to make something out of nothing.

Fine, the inquiry will reveal all.

If she is cleared the title will be restored to her, a spokesman for the Prime Minister says. She must fear that is all that will be restored to her. Otherwise, she would not have stamped her feet so publicly this week over being left off the list. For the first time in the life of this Government there is a crack in its ranks.

Indeed.  The powers that decide who is in government and who gets to run it have called time on John Key.  The Collins/Hon situation just is an event that focuses on this earlier than it needed to be brought out.  And ironically, only because Key did the dirty work personally and in public.  For once.

Key’s actually in quite a bit of uncertain waters inside his own caucus. ¬†Other MPs can see how spiteful and easily Collins was thrown under the bus at the behest of Bill and Steve. ¬† Read more »

From the passenger seat: Long term strategies

Lots has happened over the last few months.  Some of it needs looking back on from the perspective of a close observer and an insider.  Hope you enjoy these little insights as I get them out of my system.

One of the reasons Cameron Slater is so effective is that he doesn’t care about your opinion. ¬†And frequently he appears to go down a very unpopular path, months, sometimes even years ahead of the general population catching up with him.

Take Kim Dotcom.

Cameron Slater took the position very early on that the man was no good. ¬†This was at the time when New Zealand had fallen in love with the naughty big teddy bear from Coatesville. ¬†The way his house was raided, apparently at the behest of private companies in the USA, wasn’t the way us Kiwis do things.

He was everywhere.  On TV, in the papers, and making personal appearances at a multitude of events around the country.  He was idolised.  It was like we had our own German royal family for a while.

Against this backdrop, Slater ran a sustained campaign making fun of the media cuddling up to a convicted fraudster. ¬†At the time, he didn’t know about Mein Kampf. ¬†He didn’t know about Dotcom’s general fascination with Hitler’s Germany. ¬†He didn’t know about Dotcom’s more sinister methods and other failures – yet.

The backlash from our own readers was predictable. ¬†Cameron was told to lay off Dotcom. ¬†Why was he so obsessed with tearing at this man’s life? ¬†Why couldn’t he just leave Kim alone?

Wind the clock almost two years forward, and suddenly it is hard to find anyone that will disagree with Cameron Slater on Dotcom. ¬†Many things have been discovered and made public since, in spite of a fawning¬†media that kept pushing Dotcom’s case right up to the last few months of this election.

Cameron Slater has been consistent. ¬†He’s been factual. ¬†And he’s been telling you things for a long time you never wanted to hear about your (then) favourite jolly German.

Which brings us to today. ¬† Read more »

Ede gets a soft place to land

I’m not sure why this is even a story, but Vernon Small is trying to make something out of the fact that Jason Ede now has a job in the private sector with people that are pro-National and have direct National party links.

This is illegal?  No.

Is it immoral?  No.

Is it a ‘bad look’? ¬†No.

So what the hell is Small’s point here?

National’s former “black ops” specialist Jason Ede has resurfaced working for a listed telecommunications company with strong personal links to senior National Party figures.

Teamtalk managing director David Ware confirmed Ede, a central figure in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, had been hired as a contractor, but denied any political influence in the move.

“We don’t do politics. We sell telecommunications services,” Ware said. “I am perfectly comfortable using him. I think he’s a great guy.”

Ware’s wife Belinda Milnes is an adviser to Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett, having quit this week as Families Commissioner, and her sister is Communications Minister Amy Adams. Read more »

Beware the cult of personality, and the legacy they leave

Over the past few days I have received more than a few random emails about a couple of posts where I dared to criticise John Key. I have also had some personal approaches.

Apparently my audience will be affected negatively by criticising John Key. He also is the saviour of the National party and without him National would be stuffed.

Ignore the fact that he shamelessly used one of my private emails to conduct a personal hit on a friend, and ignore the fact that he thinks I should just accept it as “mo hard hard feelings”. I say ignore those because they have absolutely no bearing on my criticism of John Key.

I criticise him because I am alarmed that National is falling into the same traps that Helen Clark fell into.

The trap of creating a cult of personality.

Let me explain.

Labour’s current predicament has come about as a result of 15 years of a cult of personality in Helen Clark. Where she was the labour party and the Labour party was her. She purged the party¬†of those who thought even a little differently. She populated caucus with sycophants, and she sacked good honest brokers in her office and replaced them with forelock tugging apparatchiks. She created the party in her image, the photoshopped one not the real you can break bottles on her face image.

When the public saw behind the photoshop they they recoiled. The party was destroyed in the 2008 election and she promptly departed for greener pastures.

But her legacy remains. Decidedly average MPs, middle manager types who were already promoted beyond their abilities. She left a caucus highly factionalised so there was no dominant faction unable to topple her. But the worst aspect was she left the party in the hands of hard left organisers who bizarrely think that the path to salvation is to be more hard left.

The funniest thing of all is there is still no one inside Labour who will ever hear a bad word said about Helen Clark.¬† Read more »