Tony Ryall

National’s renewal continues as Tau Henare says E noho rā

Tau Henare has announced his  retirement from politics.

And Stuff reports:

Henare was first elected to Parliament in 1993 elections for New Zealand First in the former Northern Maori electorate.

He is currently chair of the Maori Affairs select committee and a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee.

This morning, Henare did not deny suggestions his hand was forced by the likelihood of him receiving a low list ranking going into the September election.

He told RadioLive he expected his list ranking in a National Party reshuffle would be “more than 100″.

Henare said it was his own decision and he was happy about it.

“Most probably, it doesn’t really matter. To me the decisions been made and I’m very very comfortable and relaxed about it,” he said.  Read more »

Vernon Small on Labour’s “issues”

Yesterday Vernon Small wrote about the biggest issue facing Labour ahead of this year’s election.

Well the biggest problem after the issue with their tits leader….rejuvenation…or rather the lack of it.

 In politics rejuvenation rates alongside succession planning. Both are easy catchcries and generally seen as “a good thing”.

In reality they are a type of parliamentary Nimby-ism – nice to have if it is someone else who is vacating a seat, and fine as long as you are not the leader whose replacement is being groomed.

On the National side of the aisle rejuvenation is in full swing. At last count 14 MPs have either gone or are going out of a caucus of 59. It is generally accepted as a worthwhile and necessary refreshment of the party. Certainly it is being handled well and without any overt bloodletting. No dummies have been spat in the remaking of the National caucus.

Of course if the polls were different it would be a different story. Shave a theoretical five points off the Government and give it to the Opposition and the narrative might be akin to the “rats leaving a sinking ship” theme that Labour leader David Cunliffe has tried to get up.

But that just looks lame when the last three polls had National harvesting enough support to govern alone.  Read more »

Ryall Retires

Tony Ryall has announced his retirement from politics.

Ryall is one of the better performers in parliament and in his role as minister.

In particular his job in Health has neutered what is traditionally seen as easy portfolio for the opposition to attack the government. Successive health spokes-people have failed to touch Tony Ryall in that portfolio. Many ministers in the past have failed as Health Minister and so it is a major accomplishment for Tony in that role.

Tony Ryall has confirmed he will retire at the next election, but remain a government minister until he bows out of politics.

“I am looking forward to being part of New Zealand’s dynamic future in the private sector,” Ryall said in an announcement today.  Read more »

This will be happening here for sure

Tony Ryall and Bill English…instead of bathing in their rock star moment should be looking hard at this sort of carry on where charities are spending millions of dollars of taxpayer funding in aiding and abetting left-wing campaigns.

Alternatively the Taxpayers’ Union will just humiliate them.

Charities are using millions of pounds of public money to subsidise fashionable political campaigns, a report warns today.

A study by the Institute for Economic Affairs says many well-known charities are using taxpayers’ cash to push for causes, such as increased foreign aid spending, which ‘are not priorities for the electorate and are often unpopular’.

It comes as MPs condemn the Charity Commission as feeble and ‘not fit for purpose’ as the watchdog refuses to name charities which are under investigation.

Warning that the practice undermines the democratic process, the IEA report calls on ministers to introduce strict curbs.

The report’s author, Christopher Snowden, said: ‘Using taxpayers’ money to fund special interest groups is both immoral and an inefficient use of public money.

‘By crowding out privately-funded voluntary organisations, this taxpayer-funded bloc of charities, quangos and non-government organisations subverts the democratic process.

‘It is vital that measures are introduced to prevent state-funded political activism and make taxpayers aware of how their money is being spent. Charities and NGOs that are dependent on government funding are not independent of government.’

The study examines the activities of 25 charities that receive funding from the taxpayer.   Read more »

Troughers demanding more coin from Ryall

Swinburn et al from the anti-obesity industry tucking into more government coin

Swinburn et al from the anti-obesity industry tucking into more government coin

Sometimes Tony Ryall must really shake his head in despair.  Especially when he sees his Ministry funded troughers bitching that the Government needs to dole out more money to them.

Yesterday I posted about Obesity ‘Experts’ Ignore Simple Truths, showing trougher Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu tucking into a $5 million handout to justify her calls for fat taxes, bans and labelling changes.

2013 Trougher of the Year Boyd Swinburn must have spat out his Kellogg’s Nutri- Grain when he saw Cliona Ni Mhurchu getting a big spread in yesterday’s Horrid, talking up her efforts.  Read more »

2013 Trougher of the Year

This category is a tough one. The trough is awash with do-gooders, fake charities, Maori trusts, and even Green Taliban supporting hippy groups.

There’s also troughers like scumbag unions that tuck their members for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year so union bosses can traipse around the country looking as though they’re doing something.

But there was one candidate that gained some attention on the blog this year that did stand out as a leading example of tucking into the public trough at a rate that would leave JT’s Waipareira Trust looking on in awe.

The 2013 WO Trougher of the Year therefore goes to none other than… Boyd Swinburn, Professor of Population Nutrition & Global Health at the University of Auckland.

Read more »

We need a fat bastard tax not fat tax

Travel blogger David Farrar congratulates Tony Ryall for not pursuing fat taxes.

He is commenting on The Herald report:

New Zealand is getting fatter – with three in every 10 adults now regarded as obese.

A leading diabetes researcher has called the new figures alarming and has accused the Government of failing to take the problem seriously.

However, Health Minister Tony Ryall has rejected “nanny state” measures, instead arguing that providing information and support to people is enough.   Read more »

The Troughers Very Merry Christmas

Doug Sellman, Janet Hoek, Shane Bradbrook, Boyd Swinburn from the troughers dance troupe enjoying a Christmas knees up with Tony Ryall.

Leaked docs show MOH woefully unprepared for Botulism outbreak

via the tipline

Oh dear oh dear. Leaked documents showing Ministry of Health advice to Tony Ryall and Jo Goodhew over the Fonterra botulism scare point to the MOH being woefully underprepared for an outbreak.

Remember just a few months ago, Botulism Siouxie – recent recipient of the $100,000 Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize, caused widespread angst by saying “Botulinum toxin A is one of the most toxic substance known to man. One kilogram of it would be enough to kill the entire human population”.

You’d hope the MOH would be able to cope, but documents show an alarming admission.

In an August 2013 MOH Situation Report, the Acting Director of Public Health, Dr Fran McGrath provided an update on the MOH’s actions in response to Fonterra’s contaminated Whey Protein Concentrate and Nutricia Karicare Recall.

McGrath must have been desperate to give Ministers confidence that the MOH was all over the issue like a rash, especially just in case botulism started spreading like wildfire among the population.

At the start of the SitRep, McGrath states “There have been no cases of infant botulism reported in New Zealand in the last 20 years”. From that you’d expect a sigh of relief from Ministers.   Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan on Labour and Air New Zealand

Fran O’Sullivan holds Labour and David Cunliffe to account over their silly scare-mongering over Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand has frequently been a political football for politicians of all stripes who have wanted to calibrate its operations towards spurious “national interest” grounds which owe more to politics than this country’s future.

So it was no surprise that this week Labour politicians claimed all sorts of calamities potentially face the airline – including another financial disaster on the scale of the 2001 bankruptcy (yes, I’m thinking of you, David Cunliffe) – simply because the Government has reduced its stake. It is an absurdity.

It sure was.

There has been a lot of political hogwash about the sell-down by the National-led Government and the underlying philosophy of the mixed-ownership model.

But in essence, Labour invented the mixed-ownership model with its 1980s privatisation of the Bank of New Zealand and its later recapitalisation of the airline in 2001 which put it in the box seat with an 82 per cent stake (later reduced to 76 per cent after a rights issue).

It’s also worth recalling that the Clark Government wanted Air NZ to form an alliance with Qantas a decade ago, which would have resulted in the Government’s stake being reduced to 64 per cent. No Labour politician – including Cunliffe – raised a squawk then about how allowing another player onto the Air NZ share registry would result in the airline heading towards the knacker’s yard, though arguably (and in hindsight) given Qantas’ subsequent fortunes that prospect would have held more water than the subjects of this week’s politicking.    Read more »