The media continue to brutalise the government

The government are really copping a flogging at the moment.

They deserve everything that is being sent their way as the wounds are self-inflicted.

Tracy Watkins joins in the kicking with her article about Labour’s new strategy of burying bad news with more bad news:

It’s a sign of how much pressure this Government is under that instead of quietly rolling out bad news as everyone headed off on their Easter break it waited till the holiday was over for maximum impact.

The proposed 9-12c a litre rise in fuel tax – a double whammy for Auckland to 20c a litre – will go down like a cup of the proverbial in parts of New Zealand where the Government’s draft 10-year transport plan proposes a big shift in funding away from roads to public transport.

Other changes – like more median strips, passing lanes and rumble lanes to improve road safety – will be more popular, especially after a horror Easter weekend on the roads.

Less popular may be a separate proposal for a 70kmh speed limit on some rural roads, though it is not part of the Government’s clutch of announcements and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has mostly poured cold water on it.

But that could easily be lost in translation, and the Government could wear the backlash from provincial and rural New Zealand.

End of quote.

Whacking Aucklanders with a 20c-a-litre fuel tax will create a backlash in Auckland as well.

That’s probably not what Labour had in mind for its rolling maul of initiatives between now and the May Budget to wrest back the political initiative.

But at this stage it would take any headline that shows it’s getting on with the job, over the distractions of recent weeks.

Ardern headed into this week desperately needing to regain her footing a string of disasters involving Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran, NZ First MPs running amok, and the party’s abysmal handling of Labour youth camp allegations.

But no sooner had Parliament resumed than Curran had her neck stretched on the chopping block again, this time for unwisely phoning Radio NZ chair Richard Griffin over his appearance in front of a select committee to talk about a meeting between the minister and a former manager at the state broadcaster, Carol Hirschfeld.

Hirschfeld resigned for misleading her RNZ bosses about the nature of that meeting.

Curran left a message on Griffin’s phone suggesting he send a letter to the select committee, rather than answer its recall in person.

It would suit Curran and the Government not to have Griffin front in person to answer questions – which is why Curran should never have made the call.

If the voicemail contradicts her version of events Ardern will have an excuse to sack her.

Quietly cheering her on will probably be Curran’s own colleagues, who might be happy to see Curran sacrificed – if not over Hirschfeld then for throwing Ardern under the bus, yet again, just as the Government was hoping to bury the story.

End of quote.

You maybe sure an OIA for the voicemail will have already been sent, and I can imagine RNZ not waiting the full 20 days before releasing it.

John Key sacked Richard Worth within six months of gaining power. I really don’t understand why Jacinda Ardern clings to this inept minister, unless it is to entertain the opposition.

Right now the government look hapless, and Jacinda Ardern looks to be well out her depth.


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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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