Rodney Hide

Rodney Hide on John Key

Rodney Hide writes about John Key in his NBR column:

Leadership guru Warren Bennis declared, “leadership is like beauty: hard to define but you know it when you see it.” When you see Prime Minister John Key, you see a leader.

He has a perfect blend of charisma and confidence.

People gravitate to him and look to him for direction. He knows what to do without being bossy. He has the honesty and integrity that’s necessary to inspire confidence and trust. He’s warm and believes in people. He’s smart, super smart but, unlike most politicians, has no need to prove it.

He is our most popular prime minister by far and arguably our most successful. He leaves politics just as he entered: on his own terms and on a high.

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Rodney Hide on democracy and the left’s failure to accept it

Rodney Hide comments on the US election and the left’s and Media’s failure to accept it:

The New Zealand Herald’s John Roughan wrote this week: “The amazing thing about democracy, when you stop to think about, is that it makes the right decision far more often than not.”

I pick on Mr Roughan because he is normally so sage and sober. He is not a paid-up member of the screaming lefty, greenie, PC, I’m outraged/offended, how-could-anyone-be-as-stupid-as-you brigade.

No, he is a considered, conservative commentator. But Donald Trump’s candidacy and election has caused even him to unhinge and lose perspective and objectivity.

The absurdity of his comment must completely escape him. I am at a loss to understand how that could possibly be.

There’s no “right” decision for democracy. There’s just a result. It’s a process with an outcome that we broadly sign up to as a mechanism of dumping governments without having to cut throats. It doesn’t prevent the abuse of government power but it does stop it getting too out of line. That’s it.   Read more »

Hide on an off day

We must fervently hope there are no more by-elections. The country simply can’t afford them.

I am not talking about the cost of running the by-election – although they’re not proving cheap. Last year’s Northland by-election cost just under a million dollars. That’s $30 a vote.

But the real expense is they make politicians dig deeper into our pockets.

The Northland by-election spooked National into promising upgrades to 10 bridges. The cost was put between $32 million and $69m.

Labour Leader Andrew Little dismissed National’s announcement as “pork barrel and a desperate bid to win the confidence of the Northland people”. He was quite correct in his assessment.

The disappointing thing is that National has stuck with the bridges despite losing to Winston Peters.

Their message should have been clearer: no votes, no bridges. The pork can’t arrive regardless of how people vote: that undermines the entire rationale of pork barrel politics.

Hide’s political radar must be down.  To deny Northland its pork, National would have all but guaranteed another loss in the general election.  Besides, taking things away isn’t John Key’s thing.   Read more »

The left cares because it is the best job they are ever going to get

Rodney Hide looks at the election results and surmises that the left cares more than the right about politics.

The New Zealand Labour Party and the centre left once again clean up the local body elections. Two ex-Labour ministers run the two largest cities.

The third largest is headed by Labour’s candidate.

Media guru Bill Ralston explains his defeat by long-time local body politician and out-and-out lefty Mike Lee as centre-right voters not engaging in local body elections.

He’s right. The centre right enjoys the best people, the most money and unassailable argument but is hopeless at politics. That’s because we don’t care for it. We can think of 1001 better things to do with our time and our money.

Centre-right people believe the best thing is being productive with the zenith being running your own business. We look down our nose at politicians.

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Random Impertinent Questions for Phil Goff


While the “independent” candidate for Auckland’s mayoralty is busily having the Labour party deliver his leaflets and campaign with him I thought it might be timely to ask Phil Goff a number of impertinent questions.

When Richard Prebble left the leadership of the Act party in 2004 it seems there was a mad scramble to find a replacement.

A very well connected messenger was dispatched to Wellington to meet with a certain Labour party MP to consider taking over the leadership of the Act party.

So it seems there are some questions that need asking.  Read more »

Hide on the new religion of the state

Rodney Hide discusses how the state is the new religion:

The state has become New Zealand’s de facto religion with its magical powers and beneficence accepted without question. The state can feed the poor, care for little children, make us rich, cool the earth and direct the oceans.

The state’s unlimited power is the subtext in all news reports, our state education system and daily discourse. It is implicit and unquestioned in editorials and opinion pieces. It’s the metaphysic of political debate.

The state does nothing well except take taxes. In all other respects they just hinder progress or prevent it all together.

The cleaner at my local mall thinks voting John Minto for mayor will boost his wages and make the rivers swimmable. “It needs a shake up,” he tells me. “The ones there don’t care.”

They clearly don’t. They have the state’s awesome power yet don’t use it to any good purpose. But for self-serving politicians and incompetent bureaucrats we would have heaven on earth.

The disillusionment is understandable. We keep voting but our problems don’t go away. We pray every morning and every night and attend church every Sunday but still poor children suffer terribly and die horrible deaths. It shakes belief.

But instead of becoming atheistic or even agnostic, voters shift their faith to the wild outsiders, the true charlatans.

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Rodney Hide on who is reponsible for the so-called homeless

Rodney Hide’s column in NBR is on the so-called homeless and the dodgy and wonky statistics used to support claims of increasing homelessness in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a problem but it isn’t homelessness.

It began with Labour calling on TV to highlight the plight of the homeless and producing a total dud.

Labour promised the cameras 17 poor people, with some living in a tent on a front lawn. Instead, an industrious homeowner was busy renovating and using the tent for furniture and materials. His only upset was the journos arriving to film, gawk and gasp at his promised plight.

Labour have been collecting hard luck stories to pimp to the media and that was one they never did the research on. They are doing the same thing with Police.

Next was the shock-horror headline of one-in-a-hundred homeless Kiwis. This was a University of Otago study produced by running the census data through an algorithm. The results don’t pass the “let’s-think-about-this-for-a-minute” test. One percent of Kiwis homeless. Really?

Turns out the five of us spent 2014 homeless and didn’t even know. That year we were “LAMAH” – meaning we were suffering a “Lack of Access to Minimally Adequate Housing.”

We were in very temporary accommodation (tick), our usual address (tick), our income was below the Jensen Equivalised Annual (gross) Family income (tick), we were severely overcrowded, suffering first a two-bedroom, then a three-bedroom deficit once wee boy was born (tick, tick).    Read more »

Rodney on the Panama Papers…again

Rodney Hide uses his HoS column to deride the left for leaping on the Panama Papers bandwagon.

The Panama Papers big reveal proved better in prospect than reality.

We had the promise of New Zealand as a tax haven, squillionaires hiding their ill-gotten gains, Prime Minister John Key shown to be dodgy, and the rich getting richer through wholesale tax avoidance.

The expectation was political carnage.

Labour Leader Andrew Little looked strong: he promised to ban foreign trusts, overturning law from Roman times.

Sure, it was Nicky Hager who has history of getting to 7 by adding 2 plus 2. But this appeared different. Hager was working with a team of top Television New Zealand and Radio New Zealand journalists .

Maybe, just maybe, they had something.

And then the Big Reveal. The names making the headlines were Alan Hubbard, as a shareholder of some or other company; a Tauranga-based Elvis impersonator, who had his address listed for a Mr Basil Al Jarah registering a company in the British Virgin Islands, and Greenpeace, but it seems Greenpeace was on another leaked database, and that it wasn’t really them.

There was one rich lister and political donor named but his donation was to the Greens, not National.

Oh, and it was explained, just because someone is named doesn’t mean they have done anything wrong or improper.

Turns out fewer than 200 New Zealand trusts have links to Mossack Fonseca, all of which are properly disclosed and subject to information sharing requests from other countries and Inland Revenue.

Confused? Yup. Don’t care? Yup.

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Rodney Hide on Wicked Campers

Rodney Hide adds his comments to the Wicked Campers debate.

Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett is “thrilled” at the ban on three Wicked Camper vans. She thereby proves herself devoid of principle and political nous.

Banning cartoons is not the job of ministers in western democracies.

Not it isn’t. Paula Bennett is showing some Stalinist tendencies.

We should also not be pleased with the Police spending time taking photos of camper vans with naughty cartoons on location such as the public carpark, Te Anau. We would rather they were chasing burglars.

Or people doing 1km over the speed limit?   Read more »

Nippert slammed for tweet in Press Council finding

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Rodney Hide has partially won a Press Council complaint against the NZ Herald and Matt Nippert, one of their more dishonest reporters.

Columnist and former politician Rodney Hide has partially won a Press Council complaint against theNew Zealand Herald in which he took issue with a journalist’s personal tweet.

Mr Hide complained to the Press Council about an article by Herald business journalist Matt Nippert that covered proceedings in the High Court involving David Henderson.

The article referred to earlier proceedings and mentioned the current hearing was “undercutting many of Hide’s claims” he made in previous columns he wrote about the issue.

Mr Hide’s complaint said the article was unfair and inaccurate for a number of reasons but this complaint was not upheld.

Furthermore, Mr Hide filed a secondary complaint about a tweet on Mr Nippert’s personal Twitter account.

“Short write-up of court ruling morphed into 1600-word Greek-style epic featuring crimes, c*nts, lulz and ex-MPs. In @nzheraldbiz Saturday,” the tweet said.

Mr Hide said the tweet lacked accuracy, fairness and balance and was “offensive and displaying a lack of professionalism by a senior journalist.”

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