NZ First

Vernon Small gets it, why can’t Bill?

Vernon Small can see smoke signals…shame Bill English can’t.

Prime Minister Bill English may make a decent fist of shearing, but when it comes to kicking for touch his style is more hack-it-and-see.

Faced with queries about the impact of the Maori-Mana non-aggression pact, announced on Monday, he punted them all into the distant future.

Would National continue its long-standing policy of not fielding candidates in the Maori seats?

“There is likely to be some discussion about that. We haven’t come to a conclusion but we didn’t stand last time.”

Every election was a bit different. He hadn’t thought about it in great detail.

Well then, what about abolishing the Maori seats?   Read more »

Why National are in trouble

Guest post

Several commentators and other bloggers are saying the latest Colmar Brunton poll is great for National and the Key/English/McCully effect has made no difference. History tells us otherwise, they are in trouble.

Back in February 2008, National was polling at 54%, in the election they won with 45% of the vote.

In February 2011 and February 2014, National was polling at 51%, in the election they won 47% of the vote.

Every time National has polled high in February but dropped 4% or more each time in the elections.

Read more »

After the election, will ACT be the tail that wags the National dog?

David Seymour

ACT will push the Government hard to follow through on tax cuts and road pricing, says party leader David Seymour.

“Steven Joyce made all the right noises on tax cuts anda demand-based road pricing in his speech today. This comes after constant pressure from ACT to adopt these ideas.

“Unfortunately, National has a depressing record of campaigning from the right but governing from the left. They talk about respecting taxpayers and then introduce new taxes. They talk about cutting red tape but then introduce new flawed regulations. Read more »

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Is Winston Peters NZ’s Donald Trump?

Chris Trotter writes:

So completely does Trump dominate the global news cycle that, even here, at the bottom of the world, political experts have begun speculating as to whether New Zealanders might be in line for an Antipodean version of “The Donald”.

Others object that the Americans have, as usual, come late to the party. New Zealanders, they insist, have had their very own populist political leader for nigh-on a quarter-century. His name? Winston Peters.

But identifying Peters as the New Zealand Trump merely pushes the question back one space. Instead of asking: Does NZ have its own Donald Trump? The question now becomes: Can Peters replicate Trump’s extraordinary success?

The short answer is: No. Trumpism could only be established in New Zealand by a politician drawn from the ranks of one of the major parties. Such a person would then have to take his or her party by storm: over-ruling and over-powering its existing power structures with the assistance of fanatical supporters drawn from both within and without the party.

Read more »

Good News for Winston

John Key doesn’t get his numbers wrong very often, and he has made this prediction for the post election negotiations.

Key told Roughan quitting was the hardest decision of his life but he remained convinced it was the right call. Read more »

Uh oh. The wanker is back

Former Labour MP Shane Jones has again sparked talk of a return to politics, hosting a community meeting for NZ First leader Winston Peters.

Mr Jones, who was an immigration and building and construction minister under Labour’s Helen Clark, has been rumoured as a potential candidate for NZ First, and a possible successor to Mr Peters as leader.

The pair came together for a community discussion on pre and post Treaty of Waitangi relations at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Paihia on Friday night ahead of a busy weekend at Waitangi.

Mr Peters says it was in that capacity that Mr Jones hosted the event. Read more »

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Sorry Winston. Kumara Bill will only deal with you if the voters force him into it

Prime Minister Bill English has today outlined the parties National will consider working with following this year’s General Election.

“Under MMP elections are always close so we will be taking nothing for granted as we campaign for the right to lead New Zealand for another term,” says Mr English.

“We will be fighting hard to win every party vote to ensure we are in the best possible position to form a strong and stable Government that continues to deliver for all New Zealanders. Read more »

But, can Bill work with Winston?

Richard Harman from Politik reports:

Former Labour Minister and current Special Ambassador to the Pacific for Economic Development, Shane Jones, is now believed to have agreed to stand for NZ First in Whangarei at this year’s election.

Close friends of Jones say he has made his mind up to re-enter politics.

He would have an uphill struggle winning the Whangarei seat held by Naitonal’s Shane Reti with a 13,169 vote majority, but Jones’ importance would be to give real political heft to New Zealand First.

57-year-old Jones was a Minister in the Clark Government, and after unsuccessfully contesting the Labour leadership in 2011 he left Parliament and was appointed by Foreign Minister, Murray McCully to his current role.

Jones was on the right of the Labour caucus and was closely associated with MPs like Stuart Nash and David Shearer.   Read more »

Winston reminds ACT they aren’t true to party principles

New Zealand First is calling on the MP, David Seymour, to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to tobacco excise taxes given he voted with the government to increase them.

“Mr Seymour has been caught blowing his puppy whistle again,” says the New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“While Mr Seymour rails against the tobacco excise tax in public, designed to curry favour with the working man and women in the street, he voted with this National government to increase them. Read more »

Winston on Labour and the Greens

Winston Peters has given an interview to Jo Moir from Fairfax and it is very interesting indeed.

He has started signalling where his preferences lie…and they aren’t where the left-wing thinks they are:

According to Peters, Labour were on the right track last year with their controversial Chinese-sounding surnames story, which revealed Chinese buyers accounted for 39.5 per cent of buyers compared to the 9 per cent of Auckland’s population recorded as being ethnically Chinese in the last census.

Where they went wrong is that “they lost their nerve”.

That was NZ First’s “missed opportunity”, if Peters had to name one.   Read more »