No Minister


DPF over at Kiwiblog ran an interesting post asking readers to nominate an MP from the other side of the divide that they genuinely respected. I would be interested to see the response here. Suggest you refrain from the ‘none of them’ type comment. That’s not what I’m looking for. Heaven forbid that we get to the stage you see in US politics where the inter-tribal conflict is so toxic that cross party dialogue and respect is viewed as something akin to treason.

Anyway, to start the ball rolling I will nominate two Labour Party politicians. One long gone and the other still serving. Bearing ones soul. Very early on in my service career I was appointed as the military aide to Arthur Faulkner, Minister of Defence and one-time President of the Labour Party. I travelled extensively with him in SE Asia. He was an ex-fighter pilot in WW2 (I think he was the first to land an aircraft at Anzio, Italy, when the allied forces made their landing there). Faulkner was a mans man and genuinely cared about his portfolio and people. Told me he was totally bemused when he made his first visit to Waiouru as Minister. Asked the then Commandant what was needed to make Waiouru a better place. Expected to be told things like a decent gymnasium and swimming pool and improvements to defence housing. Was taken aback when the response was zip, zero, nothing. That the Army had it all under control. As it was and following a meeting within the business owners inhabiting the Waiouru shopping centre he authorised an extension to that facility. Huge opportunity missed … the gymnasim and pool came years later and only after much heartache. Was fascinated that he used me, as a junior officer, to bounce ideas off. I know the then CDF (Webb) was not amused. He told me so.

And the current MP … Damien O’Connor.

Written by The Veteran

October 27, 2021 at 11:15 am

Posted in NZ Politics

23 Responses

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  1. Pointless exercise Veteran, there is only one side made up of political grifters who only choose which brand they represent

    They do not represent New Zealanders though, they are just a bunch of self serving BS artists who are in the process of turning this country into a totalitarian hell, give them five more years and North Korea will look Liberal compared to what these evil bastards are creating


    October 27, 2021 at 11:30 am

    • Andrei … well, I did ask but clearly you chose to ignore my plea.

      The Veteran

      October 27, 2021 at 11:44 am

    • A bit extreme, Andrei. But let’s hope we never find out. However, five more years is only one more term, so that’s quite possible. But there will not be concentration camps along NK lines. So no nominations from you?


      October 27, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    • Paul … your comment deleted as adding zip, zero, nothing to the debate. I can live with Andrei because at least he’s consistent. But your comment was nothing but an attack on dpf and, by extension, myself.

      The Veteran

      October 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm

  2. I was in Waiouru 1972 – 1974. I don’t recall any extension to the shopping centre at that time. I am familiar with the process re the pool, AFCC supermarket etc. For a nomination (apart from the obvious of Douglas, Bassett, Prebble), mine is Tizard and Mark, both for forcing through much-needed Defence capital equipment (frigates, maritime and transport aircraft) programmes.


    October 27, 2021 at 11:31 am

    • Cassandra … the extensions to the shopping area complex comprised extending the building footprint to create much needed storage space for the business owners. It was work carried out essentially under the radar.

      There was no love lost between Tizard and Faulkner. Faulkner was in line to be Deputy Labour leader but a cabal comprising Freer, Tizard and Barclay (Chief Whip) engineered a vote splitting exercise which saw Tizard defeat Faulkner on the fourth ballot 28 vs 26.

      The Veteran

      October 27, 2021 at 11:56 am

    • Mike Moore by from here to the post office as the old saying went. A real good bugger as far as I could see.

      Vet I played Badminton Taupo v Waiouru at Waiouru in August or September 1967. We played in the camp and they seemed to have a decent hall – definitely played in a lot worse.


      October 27, 2021 at 4:29 pm

  3. Did that really take the Ministers’s action? Extraordinary how centralized NZ was in those days.


    October 27, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    • Well, it was Defence land. The business owners had been arguing for the extensions for some time but the military hierarchy was tone deaf.

      The Veteran

      October 27, 2021 at 12:33 pm

  4. Chloe Swarbrick. I detest her misguided politics but admire her energy and youthful enthusiasm. She put together a very capable campaign team and did the hard work to win Auckland Central in 2020. Got to give her credit for that.


    October 27, 2021 at 12:10 pm

  5. My stand out favorite is, son of Ngati Porou, the quiet, dignified and effective, pipe smoking Dr Peter Tapsell.


    October 27, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    • Adolf … I could endorse that too. Got to know Peter when I was a Member of the Lottery Grants Board and he was the Opposition’s appointee to the Board. He either preceded or succeeded Trevor Mallard in that role. Later when he became Speaker and I was involved in establishing a Trust to assist the children & grandchildren of Kiwi Vietnam veterans I approached him and suggested that he might organise a whip round of MPs to gather donations. His response was along the lines of … the Speaker has never done this before but I’ll give it a go but you need to be aware that MPs are besieged with requests for donations, particularly from worthy organisations in their electorates, and they quickly become immune to such requests … so don’t hold out any great hope.

      About a month later I was called up to his chambers where he handed me a letter and a cheque. It was a BIG cheque. I still have the letter which detailed the contribution from every MP bar one (which I decline to name). A MP later told me in words to the effect … ‘When Peter asks you nicely you don’t say no’.

      The Veteran

      October 27, 2021 at 1:28 pm

  6. It’s notable that only one current politician is listed in this thread. I’m afraid I’m the same way, given that I don’t pay much attention to the current lot, or even those in recent years. Given that I also emphasise ideas over partisanship it’s probably not a reasonable answer to say Roger Douglas or the rest of his group.

    I could admire the brains of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen, plus the latter’s wit, and although I did not agree with the Cullen Fund as I did not think future governments could be trusted not to screw with it, I did appreciate the pragmatism. Mike Moore was the last truly decent working class Labour person I can think of, even if he was a bit off-the-wall sometimes.

    Tom Hunter

    October 27, 2021 at 3:10 pm

  7. Trevor Mallard:

    He’s tough, resilient, a fighter, and although he has all the morality of a praying mantis, has no sense of shame, he will always circle the wagons around his “fellows in need” to protect the ideology.

    I wish our pathetic lot had some of his “qualities”.

    Porky Roebuck

    October 27, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    • Heh. I saw some Rightie writer in the US saying the same thing about Nancy Pelosi the other day. The things she’s managed to embed over the years is impressive – and over more than a few dead bodies on her own side as well.

      Tom Hunter

      October 27, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    • Mallard is one of the most despicable men to have graced the Parliamentary Precincts. Accusing a staff member under his control of being a rapist is the lowest of all acts.


      October 27, 2021 at 4:23 pm

  8. I always think these sorts of tests work best if they stipulate current members of Parliament rather than those of decades ago. It requires a genuine leap past partisanship. Though I understand why The Veteran nominated Arthur Faulkner since he worked him. He is also a relative of mine.

    Anyway, to the present. I nominate Chris Hipkins. He has a huge workload which he carries with a certain cheerfulness. He always makes a genuine attempt to answer questions. Could he be a future PM? Possibly, though he would have to get past Grant Robertson. That will be no easy task. Robertson has probably arranged a similar deal to Bill English. The last year or so of a third term, assuming Labour gets it.


    October 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm

  9. Alamein Kopu. Just sensational.

    Nick K

    October 27, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    • Great answer Nick


      October 27, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    • Over the last decade I’ve established a tradition in our family that after every US and NZ election we sit down and watch Dish and Dishonesty, the first episode of the third series of Blackadder.

      I swear it gets more accurate with every passing year.

      Tom Hunter

      October 27, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    • Reading her bio, she reminds me of a certain Nats Wanganui list MP and her furniture stealing wqys (allegedly) LOLs.


      October 27, 2021 at 6:37 pm

  10. fredonas … your comment adds nothing to the debate which was about which MP from the other side of political divide impresses you. Suggest you access remedial reading for beginners.

    The Veteran

    October 27, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    • Naaaaah. He needs the advanced version. The one with two-syllable words.

      Adolf Fiinkensein

      October 27, 2021 at 7:13 pm

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