Is Matthew Hooton Out of Touch?

In an otherwise good article explaining why Nick Smith won more Politician of the Week awards than anyone else based on his principles and willingness to have a dust up with anyone over ideology, Matthew Hooton has a shocker when describing potential replacements.

The tragedy of his departure is that, like too many of the appointments after the 2011 election, he is likely to be replaced with a below-average-intelligence, grey, provincial yes-man, unwilling to challenge the status quo and valued simply as a safe pair of hands.

Hooton seems to think that the provinces are inhabited with troglodytes who haven’t succeeded in the real world based on intellectual rigor and their own hard work.

In Tauranga Simon Bridges is Oxford Educated, which not many westies are, and he is far to refined to have leopard skin on his car. In Rotorua Todd McClay build a substantial lobbying business in Brussels, which is arguably not the real world but it was bloody successful, created links with many New Zealand businesses and did a lot of diplomatic work for Pacific nations. And succeeding in lobbying at one of the biggest parliaments in the world may not be my idea of success but it is better than being a successful unionist in a backwater like the New Zealand union movement.

Louise Upston’s mastery of policy details and background in leadership training means she is a safe pair of hands and has the potential to lead, not to just to administer.

From Hawkes Bay Chris Tremain turned a moderately successful family business in to a highly successful one, at the same time as making huge contributions to sports in HB. He is not in parliament “safe pair of hands”, going on record to upset the small minded in Napier, challenging the status quo on amalgamation. Craig Foss may have a gay ute but he was as successful in banking on an international scale as John Key before entering parliament.

Chester Borrows is a bit too wet on law and order, when he could man up and back the prevailing wisdom which is working world wide. His willingness to take a stand that is unpopular in National show he is not “unwilling to challenge the status quo”.

In the Wairarapa highly intelligent former diplomat John Hayes has well over 40 years of standing up for what he believes in, and not being afraid of a turn up for a good cause. At Lincoln he tried to remove the students association from the New Zealand students association, allegedly because they were a pack of communists, radicals, pooftas and other misfits. John can rest easy at night knowing he fights the good fight and is not one of Hooton’s “below average intelligence”.

Further South Amy Adams has shown herself to be willing to take on difficult issues, and no one has ever accused her of being a “yes-man”. Jo Goodhew is hugely popular in her electorate, and it is a travesty for Hooton to describe her as grey.

Michael Woodhouse may not be favored by the voters in Dunedin but he came to parliament with a track record of success in a difficult industry, where challenging the the status quo is an important part of success. Anyone that knows Michael knows he has a fine intellect, and is definitely not “below-average-intelligence”.


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  • Mike Smith

    “In the Wairarapa highly intelligent former diplomat John Hayes has well
    over 40 years of standing up for what he believes in, and not being
    afraid of a turn up for a good cause.”

    LOL!!   Turn up? TURN UP? Tried to meet him at the local electorate meetings on the way to the election. He failed to! Worse he even fibbed about where he was!!!

    • Did you stand in the way of the car James?

  • Whafe

    Hooton is so out of touch he wouldn’t know shit from clay.

    Cam the synopsis of National candidates you just wrote, can you imagine how that would have read re Labour… Most have never had a job in the commercial world… Need we say more

    • Mike Smith

       Is the “commercial world” the sole market for ability?

      • Whafe

        M Smith, you tell me. A career poly in my book has no place to be making commercial decisions about running a country, which in some respects is like running a business.

        You clearly come across as a watermelon, expects the world owes you.

      • Adolf Fiinkesein

         It’s about the only one where ability can be accurately measured.

      • Dion

        It produces higher caliber people than the union movement – which you seem to be throwing yourself headliong into for some reason.

    • Mr_Blobby

      What about Jamie-Lee Ross

      • Career politician, yes. But respect to him for getting elected to a City Council aged 18 – that says a lot about where his talents lie.

  • Mike Smith

    World owes me? Not when I last checked.

    We let John Key make decisions on running NZ on what basis? The myth is that he was in business. He wasn’t. He was a high level functionary within a banking institution. He has LESS experience of the ‘commercial world’ than the person running your local dairy.
    Some of the people that Slater mentions above have real skills but don’t be fooled that skills are confined to the ‘commercial world’ alone.

    Further, running a country is not like running a business.

    • Pete George

      John Key’s first job was as an auditor, then he was a project manager working for a clothing manufacturer, so he does have direct business experience.

      But you’re right, dealing with a country’s finances is closer to working in the banking industry than running a dairy.

      • Mike Smith

        Having worked in banking industry from 87 to 07 (Merrill Lynch concurrent with Key)   I am not all that sure I’d agree….     ;)

  • Penny Bright

    Where do YOU stand on this issue Cameron? Do you agree that if it’s good enough forformer  National Party  Minister Nick Smith to have to resign over his ‘perceived’ conflict of interest as former ACC Minister, that Prime Minister John Key should equally have to resign over an arguably far worse conflict of interest involving opencast coal minng company – Bathurst Resources Ltd?

    Bathurst Resources Ltd, at whose Wellington office opening. NZ   Prime Minister John Key ‘officiated’?

    To whom is the NZ Prime Minister (and Leader of the NZ National Party) accountable for his arguably corrupt ‘conflict of interest’?

    Who will SACK the NZ Prime Minister John Key?

    24 March 2012

    When it comes to corrupt ‘conflicts of interests’ – what’s your view (Mathew Hooton) on NZ Prime Minister John Key’s ‘perceived’ pecuniary interest in open-cast coal mining on the conservation estate – given that he is a shareholder in the Bank of America, and the Bank of America is a significant shareholder in Bathurst Resources Ltd?

    (As of 24 February 2012, the Bank of America was a substantial holder of shares in Bathurst Resources Ltd:

    “Class of Securities (4) – Ordinary

    Present Notice “Person’s Votes 72,302,308   Voting Power (5) 10.44%

    NZ Prime Minister John Key is a shareholder in the Bank Of America.   )

    Bathurst Resources Ltd being the Australian mining company, at whose Wellington office opening NZ Prime Minister John Key officiated on 21 March 2012?

    If Nick Smith was forced to resign over his ACC ‘conflict of interest’ – why should John Key not have to resign over an arguably FAR more serious CORRUPT (?)  ‘conflict of interest’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    [email protected]

    • ConwayCaptain

      Ibeleve that his shares etc are in a blind trust and all he did was open an office.

      What would happen if say Carnival Cruises opned an office in NZ and the Minister of Tourism (John Key) opened it and then they wanted to build a termin al in Akl and JK had to make the decision, would that be a conflict of interest.  Teh he found that his BLIND Trust had shares but he wouldnt know that would he as the trust is BLIND

      • Mike Smith

         A PM opening an office is never just ‘opening an office’….

    • Fuck off Penny…opening an office is not a conflict of interest.

      • Mike Smith

         It can clearly be so.

    • Fozzie

      Hey Penny it used to be standard practice that ministers not be seen at such specific company events.
      I organised several events in the life of the previous Labour and National govts where it was clearly  pointed out to me that our invitation for a minister to speak or attend would only be for the organisation involved, not for the companies sponsoring it !
      This Govt ignores all such conventions – you just have to watch the footage of the Ch Ch earthquake to see Key with hard hats and jackets with logos all over them – while all those about him wear plain unmarked gear.
      Gee a PM has to look after his corporate sponsors doesn’t he – how else to fund the next re election ‘ cos the party president sure doesn’t know how !
      NZ gets closer to the crazy US style of campaigning every day – truly scary!

    • Pennyisafuckwit

      Penny – a failed candidate on a local and national level and a laughing stock to all.

      • jay cee

        just ignore them penny. you’ll find a lot of ad hominum comments being passed of as mature debate  around here.

  • Mike Smith

    Adolf wrote – “It’s about the only one where ability can be accurately measured.”

    That is not the case. You can set targets in any setting be that commercial or non-commercial.

    • Fergus

      including teaching mike ..just to jump at a tangent, to the other thread for a second!!!

  • Apolonia

    Provincial they may be, but yes-men they are. When was the last time one of them crossed the floor.

    • Crossing the floor is a last resort, it is something you only generally do once…very few have done it ever…so not sure what your point is.

    • guest

      It will be a great day to see any member cross the floor , now with the number of list half wits wasting space. Just one to do it, is all I ask ,anytime over next three years. I dont believe there is anyone with the balls to do it, no matter how important the issue.!!! 

  • the last free-thinking natty was marilyn waring…

    ..but labour aren’t much different…

    ..nor the greens..

    ..most political parties are fascist in nature/the running/control of them…

    ..none of them handle dissenting-from-the-current-group-think that well.. wouldn’t believe the hilarity/total-disbelief when i first pointed out to the greens that bbq-ing the limbs/bits of dismembered animals at party functions maybe wasn’t the greenest thing to do..

    [email protected]


  • Boatie45

    You don’t sound very ‘in touch’ calling Tauranga a provincial electorate.

    • Vikingonmars

       Won’t be for long if the POAL stays shut down.  No room to move on the wharf because of all the containers but more  space on the way.

      Interesting that whale spruks simple Simon that he recently described in an assesment as lazy, doesn’t do his work.

      Another with clean hands and a silver spoon growing up. No idea at all about how people survive actually working.

  • MarcWills

    “he is likely to be replaced with a below-average-intelligence, grey,
    provincial yes-man, unwilling to challenge the status quo and valued
    simply as a safe pair of hands.”

    Matthew Hooten can rest easy – there’s no-one from the Greens or Labour or any of Helen Kelly’s mob that are eligible to apply. Pheewwww!

    • Mike Smith

       Bit of a generalisation.

  • Mike Smith

    It’s clear that there are plenty of able people about in the National Party. Sadly though most , if not all, seem to be confirmed neoliberals blindly trying to ruin NZ for tthe sake of ideology.

    • Pete George

      Yeah, the great neo-liberal conspiracy. That’s the left’s version of Redbaiter’s “everyone but me’s a communist”.

      And like RB they want to go back to the good old days. Wasn’t pre-‘neo-liberalism’ Muldoonism?

      Like Colonial Viper just saying:
      “I mean WTF, “Labor”. Just another political vehicle for the neolibs now.”

      • Mike Smith

         It’s not a conspiracy. It is a matter of fact. NZ since 1984 has been one large neoliberal experiment. It has failed but because for so long it has been the prevailing idelology NZ can’t seem find a way top change direction.

    • Peter WIlson

      In any case, what choice is there? It’s not like the National Party can condone Smith’s disgraceful conduct.

  • Tim

    I’m sick of Hooton being spokesman for me as a National Party member. Out here in the provinces we work bloody hard for the Party and are getting sick of out of touch organised who are “experts” in their own imaginations.

  • Tim

    oorganised = urbanites
    Bloody predictive txt

  • Matthew Hooton

    Whale – I’m not sure why you think my phrase “below-average-intelligence, grey, provincial yes-man, unwilling to challenge the status quo and valued simply as a safe pair of hands” applies to all those above. It doesn’t. 

    It seems you thought that I was saying all provincial MPs are “below-average-intelligence, grey.”  I’m not saying that at all.  My point is simply that the person who will be appointed, if Steven Joyce has his way, is likely to be a “below-average-intelligence, grey, provincial yes-man, unwilling to challenge the status quo and valued simply as a safe pair of hands.”

    I hope John Key proves me wrong.

    • Can you offer an example from the national caucus of a ”
      below-average-intelligence, grey, provincial yes-man” who might be promoted to a ministerial position? I’m just wondering because I’m struggling to think of anyone that fits that description. 

      Colin King? Shane Ardern? I don’t think these are candidates for promotion.

      • Matthew Hooton

        I could but I’m not going to.

      • Well, that’s big of you.

  • Fozzie

    Steven Joyce List Candidate. MP for nowhere except when you a re doin’ deals with Sky City. What great wealth and wondrous benefits will be fall us when they increase their pool of ‘one arm bandits’ ! A great way of growing the economy.
    List MPs are Scumref your post 6 March …….. I agree wa’il !

  • Bunswalla

    Just out of interest WO, is the Stranded closed for maintenance this weekend? Or is that nobody pays them any attention there so they’ve decided to follow the audience?