So much for positive news over Jacinda’s ‘nuclear free moment’

Labour and Jacinda Ardern haven’t had any positive press from their economic sabotage announcement on Thursday.

Jo Moir joins the columnists bad mouthing the government: Quote.

Nobody can say the Prime Minister isn’t serious about clean energy – she’s driving an electric car around Auckland – but yet again her Government is fighting fires in regional New Zealand because it got its delivery all wrong. End quote.

A $100,000 heavily subsidised mobile lithium bomb that not many could afford to buy, let alone maintain. Quote:

That expression “too many cooks spoil the broth” seems to be increasingly more fitting when it comes to the Labour/NZ First/Greens government, as all three parties continually butt heads over the best recipe for running the country.

NZ First voters will be starting to wonder what they signed up to after three recently announced policies resulted in a fairly sizeable kicking for regional Kiwis.

First it was taking money out of state highway construction in the regions to pay for rapid rail in Auckland.

Then it was winding down taxpayer subsidies for irrigation schemes and on Thursday Taranaki woke up wondering what it had done so wrong that meant future offshore oil and gas exploration permits were on the scrap heap.

Full disclaimer here: I’m a born and bred ‘Naki girl (my parents were in the white gold business) but living in Opunake you come pretty familiar with the darkest of nights being constantly lit up by the flames at Maui burning off gas 24/7.

That black and white gold is all that keeps Taranaki going and when there’s a drop in price or supply in one or the other the whole region suffers together.

There’s no argument that oil and gas exploration isn’t the answer to a sustainable future and transitioning to renewable energy is a given, but if you decide to mess around with one, you sure as hell need a good plan for the other. End quote.

Think Big was one of the things that Robert Muldoon actually got right, even if he was castigated for it at the time. Ironically, those dams built under Muldoon, which now provide the renewable energy these muppets rely upon, were opposed by the predecessor of the Green party. You won’t hear them praising up Muldoon. Yet it was his projects in Taranaki that gave us energy security, which the Greens and Labour want to now take away. Quote:

And that’s where the Government got it wrong this week – the messaging about why New Zealand needs to do its bit domestically by moving away from oil and gas exploration was fine, but the explanation of what it was being replaced with was non-existent.

Business and local government leaders in Taranaki want to lead the way on renewable energy when the time comes, but there’s a reason why New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom said the Government’s announcement was a “kick in the guts”.

Wanting to lead the way on the next big technology is one thing, but having a plan is another, and Holdom found himself in a situation not too dissimilar to being told we’re moving you out of your house but we don’t have another one for you to move into.

Yes the Government probably has about 30 years to work that out, but that’s not actually the point. End quote.

No, it’s not the point. When you look at our energy usage and supply you can see there is a massive shortage of what can be delivered with renewables. Inconvenient facts like precious little wind power (which can’t be delivered if there is no wind AND when there is too much wind), inefficient solar delivery in New Zealand, especially in winter, and a Cook Strait cable that can’t even remotely deliver enough power to where the population actually lives. Quote:

Taking a significant step like this requires a game plan and that’s something Jacinda Ardern has up until this point been very good at.

She understands optics and messaging and did a pretty decent job of both during their first 100 days.

But now that she’s announcing policies where she’s had to sit around the negotiating table with NZ First leader Winston Peters and Greens co-leader James Shaw both fighting to keep their own party relevant, the wheels are starting to fall off.

It’s understood the initial plan was to deliver Thursday’s announcement in Taranaki – that’s a smart play because what better way to fight fires than to be right there on the ground with a hose?

For whatever reason that plan went out the back window and Ardern, along with Shaw, Energy Minister Megan Woods and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, fronted media at Parliament on Thursday with the news.

For about five seconds it looked like Jones wasn’t going to front (I mean who would blame him) until he wandered into the press conference a few steps behind the other three.

Jones may have been saying what needed to be said as he fielded the bulk of the questions, but he managed to completely lose control of his facial expressions for a good half an hour as he rolled through very visible emotions ranging from ambivalent to exasperated.

This is the self-professed “Champion” and “First Citizen” of the regions who is pro-industry and only a few years ago was quoted saying: “Protesters need to bear in mind we are buying oil out of the Gulf of Mexico and other far-flung places when we should be focusing on making an industry in our own country”.

That’s some big dead rats being swallowed.

Jones then went with his colleagues up to Victoria University where the announcement was delivered to students lined up to get their selfie with Ardern. End quote.

Word from my sources is that Ardern and Shaw wanted to go much further, but Winston fought it at cabinet, necessitating some emergency negotiations Tuesday and Wednesday. Even so, NZ First are not happy, and neither are some in Labour. Jones was acting under instructions to ham it up at the press conference to make it clear NZ First weren’t happy. NZ First are waiting a few more weeks until Jacinda goes on leave, then, after the secret agreement kicks in, expect some changes… maybe not to this policy but certainly to how the government operate. Quote:

And where was National Party leader Simon Bridges? In New Plymouth of course for a pre-planned speech at a business conference. The timing couldn’t have been better.

Ardern and Jones were at a university with a bunch of students not too directly affected by the policy, while Bridges was visiting Fitzroy Engineering in New Plymouth and talking to industry leaders livid they hadn’t been consulted.

Cries from the industry that they didn’t know it was coming are a bit of a laugh after the whole announcement was made earlier than anticipated because of how many people it had leaked to.

The point oil and gas leaders are trying to make is they weren’t officially consulted.

That’s when the scrambling kicked in and Ardern got on the phone to her trusted senior Minister Andrew Little and presumably said something along the lines of, “mate, we’ve got a problem and I’m leaving the country for a couple of weeks and Jones doesn’t want to go to New Plymouth, so do you think you could pop up there? Thanks”.

Talk about drawing the short straw.

Little, who has failed twice to win the New Plymouth seat off National, had to suck it up and drive to Taranaki to face the music. Too little too late. End quote.

Good luck getting too many party votes for Labour and Greens in Taranaki come the next election. The fact that Jacinda Ardern thinks hobnobbing with Justin Trudeau, Jeremy Corbyn and the little French socialist is more important than visiting Taranaki says it all really.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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