No Minister


Welcome to the big league Todd.    Not sure you needed telling but the MAGA hat issue (and we won’t talk about the Michelle Obama flag) sez more about the sad state of media journalism than anything else.   You have attracted some criticism for not saying FU to the media.   On balance I think you were right in your observation that it was an unnecessary distraction.   You pick the fights that you can win.   This was not one of those … it has become an article of faith for many in the media that Trump is the devil incarnate.   You can’t win against that. 

On a much more positive note and I applaud your firm commitment to overturn Jacinda’s ban on oil and gas extraction/exploration.   Her announcement was policy on the hoof bereft of any analysis designed solely to burnish her climate change credentials among the unthinking and gullable  … virtue signalling at its worst.   It mattered not that the ban does nothing to reduce our Co2 emissions and costs jobs.   Our oil and gas requirements are what they are and will remain so.   What we can’t produce locally will have to be imported from overseas at a cost.    I’m sure you’re aware that the exploration companies will require some assurance that a future Labour/Greens administration won’t just reinstate the ban before they commit to reinvesting in the industry.   That can be achieved by structuring permits that indemnify the holder against such action.

And kudos too for restating National’s commitment to progressively raise the age of entitlement to NZ Superannuation.   This is being honest with the country in contrast to the ostrich like approach of the  CoL that we can carry on with NZS as is with no change.    If it were a moot before Covid-19 it certainly isn’t now with the country in about to go into recession and the government having to borrow to fund operating costs.   Superannuates are one of the few cohorts to come through the pandemic relatively unscathed.  Many of us own are own homes, many of those homes are mortgage free, many of us still work, many of us have other income streams.    Put simply we are a protected species.   NZL can’t stand aloof from what is happening around the world in respect of old age pension entitlements and pretend that NZS, as it is presently structured, is sustainable.  With people living and working longer it make sense to push out the retirement age in graduated steps well signaled in advance.    Others might argue for the imposition of means testing but that is political suicide on steroids.

You have announced help for small and medium size business to expand and take on new staff and that is entirely in accord with National Party philosophy of hand-ups over hand-outs.    Of course there are the purist Actoids who will cry foul … their catch cry ‘let them eat cake’.    They of course enjoy the advantage of being able to talk in slogans.    National has the responsibility to articulate detailed policy.   My attitude to ACT is probably akin to the RC view of other christian faiths … described as ‘separated brethren’ with their hearts in the right place.

And good too your announcement that adjustments to the minimum wage will be put on hold as long as the country remains in recession.    That is being responsible.    You could actually make a case for pension/benefit payments to be frozen across the board as long as the country experiences minimal inflation but that might just be a bridge too far.   Nevertheless you can argue there should be no sacred cows as you work to get the books back into surplus and that has to be the focus.   We owe it to our future generations that they are not saddled with crippling debt.

And finally, forget any thought of a dalliance with a WRP led NZF Party.   Doing that you are playing his game and breathing oxygen into a corpse.   Post WRP and with a new leader in place some sort of accommodation might be possible but not now and certainly not for the September election.


Written by The Veteran

June 1, 2020 at 1:24 am

Posted in New Zealand

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  1. Please rule out working with Winston.Please roll back the Free Tertiary Fees bribe that wastes billions.Please remove some unnecessary ministries, departments, consultants, working groups.Please instigate a Royal Commission to inquire what we can learn from the pandemic for next time.Please stop the country's slide into separate rules depending on your ancestry.


    June 1, 2020 at 1:35 am

  2. Ditto WWallace.

    Adolf Fiinkensein

    June 1, 2020 at 1:56 am

  3. @ WWallace and AdolfWould be interesting to see what would happen if National went all-in ran again the divisive high risk/high reward Kiwi-Iwi strategy from the Orewa speech until the 2005 election – a defeat that the political klutz Don Brash managed to pull from the jaws of victory. And in Helen Clark he was up against a tougher all-round opponent than Ardern. But maybe the make-up of the country has moved on too much, and it would be as relevant as Muldoon marching up and down the hustings in 1975 with his charts and graphs. Then again, I have a feeling as economic woes begin to bite deep over the next few years, faux-crises like climate change (or at least the nonsense stuff the radials are demanding, usually at cost to the livelihoods of others, but never them( will be shelved for a season as stark reality strip away emotional fluff. \”Nothing concentrates a man's mind like the thought he is to be hanged in the morning\”. But September may be too soon for that realisation to have matured sufficiently with the electorate.


    June 1, 2020 at 2:16 am

  4. WWallace – bang on.Vet – I agree 100% re oil and gas reinstatement and same applies equally to mining our quality coal resources on the West Coast. Go for it Todd – you might tip O'Connor out if you provide jobs down there.


    June 1, 2020 at 2:37 am

  5. Irrespective of Muller reiterating Bridges’ prior commitment to rescind the ban on new oil and gas exploration, the industry here is effectively dead. It is a risky enough industry without adding in the political uncertainty that a future Labour-Green government will ban it yet again. So like with those girls who seemingly can’t make up their minds and are just a tease, smart guys know move on to where it is easier to score. So this will be one “captain’s call” by Ardern that will have a lasting legacy.


    June 1, 2020 at 2:41 am

  6. +1If Muller allows NZF as an option it will be two ticks ACT for me. NZF is a cancer in NZ politics.


    June 1, 2020 at 3:18 am

  7. Todd had a good launch and made a great first impression, that matters. Nikki was a bit low energy but I am sure will pick up the pace. He showed that he has good instincts, something that Bridges never had. He neatly sidestepped the hat thing and has the good sense never to attack Jacinda. Rather the line “ the have two or three competent people but we have talent to burn” will take them to within striking distance come September. Ian


    June 1, 2020 at 3:49 am

  8. Kimbo … you can edit out any uncertainty by structuring the license so as to make it impossible of any government to reinstate the ban without inuring substantial punitive damages.

    The Veteran

    June 1, 2020 at 3:54 am

  9. At $30 a barrel no one is going to drill.Ian


    June 1, 2020 at 4:07 am

  10. @ The VeteranOh, yeah I can just anticipate where that would go. As with Helen Clark when she promised if elected to can the private competition to ACC that National had just introduced, ..lor refusals by Labour to be swayed by potential financial consequences when over-riding via plain packaging the IP rights of cigarette companies…and Winston Peters darkly muttered via intimation that John Key’s partial asset sales would be reversed by compulsory government buy-back…that will just give them an even bigger bully-pulpit on which to claim, for the sake of our “national sovereignty”, they will refuse to honour any punitive damages to “polluting big oil”. . And given it is Labour, the Greens and NZ First, some or even all of them my be reckless enough to follow through on it!


    June 1, 2020 at 4:08 am

  11. It is a risky enough industry without adding in the political uncertainty that a future Labour-Green government will ban it yet again. (Kimbo)I don't believe there's any uncertainty about that, so yeah, oil and gas are effectively legacy industries here and good so. … you can edit out any uncertainty by structuring the license so as to make it impossible of any government to reinstate the ban without inuring substantial punitive damages. (The Veteran)Yeah, good luck trying to bind future parliaments. Who's going to be mug enough to sign up if the Opposition's saying it won't be bound by the terms?

    Psycho Milt

    June 1, 2020 at 4:08 am

  12. W Wallace, Adolf, pdm: National's a centre-right party. You seem to be confusing it with the New Conservative Party, maybe your votes would be better directed that way?

    Psycho Milt

    June 1, 2020 at 4:09 am

  13. Milt … well lotsa people signed up to the assets sales programme despite you and yours undermining the share issue price at every opportunity promising compulsory repurchase at cost …. waiting, waiting. Of course it can be done and should be done because its the right thing to do. All you need to do is to so structure the license so that any government would be foolish to try to overturn it.Ian … we're probably talking five years out. Care to predict the price of oil then.

    The Veteran

    June 1, 2020 at 4:21 am

  14. Milt … your 4.09 … cente-right broad church Party dear boy if you please. Just why anyone would vote New Conservative (or Green or NZF) to have their vote consigned to the 'wasted' pile quite beats me but in your case I'll applaud and encourage it. Joy is the Greens at 4.9999%

    The Veteran

    June 1, 2020 at 4:30 am

  15. The extraction activity that can be ramped up quickly and would make a difference to the economy is gold. Plenty of sites on the coast where a few guys with diggers can get rich quick. Just need to remove the roadblocks.Ian


    June 1, 2020 at 4:40 am

  16. Oceania Gold is a big player in New Zealand with 3 mines.They have expansion plans at all 3 sites and are big employers at places like Waihi. Of course they have been hindered at every turn by use of the Resource Management Act.I suspect times are changing and the current mis-managers of the economy would love to see them take on more staff.As the price of Gold reflects the current and expected world turmoil and will only go higher then there should be plenty of upside for investment.You could of course open up the West Coast to selective logging as well but that would be heresy to the current mob.


    June 1, 2020 at 6:19 am

  17. I guess my initial reaction with Muller was one of disappointment. National Party social media units promoted him as the new Messiah who would take us all to the promised land of electoral victory. His CV was touted as businessman and farmer.Clearly Simon had made a number of missteps and change was required. His deputy I think lacked electoral appeal as well.But surely Todd's blunders could have been forseen by the media handlers, or even by the his support and promotion team.Their or his business promotion package leaves me cold, $10k for taking on a new staff member. What…when economic winter is coming. The last thing I want is another staff member. The only thing I react to as a businessman is demand. Demand for products and services. The Act Party recognised that and beat National to the draw, one of Simons failings.So perhaps like Stuff claim Todd is a middle manager promoted beyond his abilities.? He was suddenly at the top with no vision of where to go from there.Unless Todd can adlib better, skills that Judith clearly has, and articulate what he believes in then I remain sceptical.


    June 1, 2020 at 6:34 am

  18. Yup Ross, gold is our biggest export to Australia by far and a big expansion is “shovel ready.” As far as oil and gas go the ban exempted Taranaki and those areas covered with existing agreements. Having a policy to repeal the act would have no practical effect given the state of the industry. Neither would it pull any voters across the Center line. Rather it would expose Todd to taunts of being yesterday’s party. As Todd doesn’t need more headwinds he won’t be following Vets advice.Ian


    June 1, 2020 at 6:47 am

  19. Todd Muller is the man who cost National the next election and ensured another term for Jacinda Ardern.An unknown who singularly failed to impress, in fact showed his total unsuitability fr the job within hour of him acheiving it.Whatj a sad party National really is, for the most part MPs without honour or spine but people more or less interchangeable with Labour MPsA plague on them


    June 1, 2020 at 6:50 am

  20. Veteran said \”….it has become an article of faith for many in the media that Trump is the devil incarnate. You can't win against that.\”You can by joining the condemnation coming from the rest of the world and not trying to defend the indefensible.In pointing out time and time again of his unsuitability to hold office the media are just doing their jobs and when they hold PM Ardern's feet to the fire as they will eventually they will do so with your full support.Petrie Dish


    June 1, 2020 at 6:52 am

  21. Fuck Off Petrie Mop. Your post on Trump in this thread has nothing to do with Muller's performance.


    June 1, 2020 at 6:59 am

  22. Andrei, great to have you back, can we pick up where we left off…out of the 200 governments in the world which one would you like to replace our present administration, you know the one you hate so much.Petrie Dish


    June 1, 2020 at 6:59 am

  23. Ian , good point on Gold exports. Oceania Gold is a big player, ex New Zealand based company with assets in the Philippines and the USA.I would agree with you on Oil and Gas, I would just ignore the issue and if they win bring it straight back in. Labour could be dead for 9 years after what they have done to the economy.


    June 1, 2020 at 7:01 am

  24. Tim wig….Then Veteran should not mention him in his posts…simples.


    June 1, 2020 at 7:03 am

  25. Andrei I'm not quite as extreme in my view of Muller as you but you could be right.He impressed initially and then the wheels came off, badly. What a whimp. Clearly had no idea how to handle the media in that situation… says a lot.No I cant agree with you, man for man (and there aren't many men in the Labour Party, just pussy whipped guys wearing panties under their suits) The National Party is way superior. Even the outgoing team of Simon and whats her name we extremely good.Its a question of leadership to direct that talent.


    June 1, 2020 at 7:05 am

  26. At 29% Bridges had to go, simple as that. Would have preferred him to see that himself like Little did, but that’s the way it is. It’s Ardern or Muller. TINA. At least wait until the 1st polls come in. You guys aren’t that great at getting the feelz. I think the Nats will be high 30s, Ardern back into the 40s. Yes Bridges would have come up a bit via a dead cat bounce but not much. Enjoying Dolly on tv,Ian


    June 1, 2020 at 7:24 am

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