No Minister

Author Archive

NZ now looks to join AUKUS!

with 7 comments

Andrew Little says that New Zealand may look to join AUKUS – albeit in a non-nuclear capacity:

“We have been offered the opportunity to talk about whether we could or wish to participate in that pillar two [non-nuclear] aspect of it,” said Andrew Little, the New Zealand defence minister. “I’ve indicated we will be willing to explore it.”

In a welcome move, Gerry Brownlee has also walked back his idiotic comments on Australia joining AUKUS:

Last week, the New Zealand opposition foreign affairs spokesperson, Gerry Brownlee, raised his own concerns about whether Aukus might make it harder for Anzac forces to operate together. On Tuesday, he walked back his comments, saying he was “certainly not” trying to criticise the deal. “Australia will make decisions for Australia,” Brownlee said.

It’s good to see some sense being brought to the table in NZ. Our defence force is already woefully behind our allies in terms of equipment, capability and technology.

Helen Clark is maintaining her out of date criticism of all things military. Good thing she got the boot in 2008 – she has been irrelevant every since.

I’ve been a bit preoccupied with some other matters lately, so I haven’t posted as much as I would like. But I have to give credit where it is due – Air Marshal Short announced last week retention bonuses for all NZDF staff (who are staying in) as a partial rectification of pay and conditions falling so far behind. Army has managed to get some additional targeted payments as well to particular trades, ranks and location. Whilst it is simply reallocating the under-spend of the personnel budget (thanks to record-breaking attrition of over 17%), it is welcome.

The timing of the announcement just so happened to coincide with the new minister touring the camps and bases:

Written by Major Star

March 29, 2023 at 6:30 am

Being Clipped by a Motorbike Causes Temporary Insanity and we Must all Forgive Hon. Marama Davidson

with 9 comments

I thought the injuries from being clipped by a slow-moving motorbike would be something along the lines of sore ribs and a bit of a bruised ego. Boy was I wrong! They also cause the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence to turn completely insane:

She didn’t look terribly shaken up in the video. She had the time to reflect that as the “prevention [of] violence minister, I know who causes violence in the world, and that is cis, white men”.

Some people are posting that the video was taken before she was accidentally knocked by the motorcyclist – if that is true (and that is a big if), surely that will be a sackable offence?

Because apparently it is not a sackable offence to ascribe all violence in the world to white blokes like me. Even white blokes like me who was beaten, strangled and punched for years by my crazy ex-wife.

The minister for the prevention of family violence is a nasty, deluded moron. She is not fit to be a minister. Getting knocked in the ribs does not cause mind-bending stupidity. I think she might have just been this crazy from the start.

Written by Major Star

March 27, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Winston’s ‘State of the Nation’ Speech

with 12 comments

Winston Peters is attempting a come back, and has just delivered a ‘state of the nation’ speech in his old stomping ground of Howick:

Forty five years ago, in Howick, often described as racist, and where few Maori lived because it had been a ‘Fencible’ settlement at the time of the Anglo-Maori wars, this town chose someone with a Maori background to be their MP.

He starts off listing some big things wrong with NZ and NZ politics right now – the faltering economy, growing tribalism in NZ politics, and the indistinguishability between National and Labour:

Today, sadly, too much that is Labour and National is the same.

Remember, there was a housing crisis under the last National government – it’s worse today.

There was an educational crisis under the last National government – it’s worse today.

There was a law-and-order crisis under the last National government – it’s worse today.

There was a cost-of-living crisis under the last National government – it’s worse today.

There are people campaigning for this election with only one naked policy – “it’s our turn now”.

Surely you are asking the question “your turn – to do exactly what?”

It’s hard not to disagree with any of that!

Winston talks about the importance of “conservatism with a human face”. I think he is probably a bit deluded when he says most Kiwis are conservatives – our time has gone, the liberals and Marxists have won. And anyway, what do we actually wish to conserve? Nothing which the elites and the establishment have made the new normal is worth conserving. We need a counter-revolution based on new principles.

He then talks about the cost of living, but gives no policy other than to maintain the single biggest expense facing NZ taxpayers right now – the very generous superannuation scheme which kicks in at 65. Typical Winston – identify the problem correctly, but come up with a solution which only makes it worse.

Regarding education, he nails it:

Our education system has been the victim of numerous virtue signaling tinkerers.

They would now rather teach a young child ‘virtuous self-identity theory’ than basic Maths and English.

Our education system should be fundamentally focused on education – not using our children in some sort of woke social re-engineering programme for vulnerable undeveloped minds.

But he doesn’t give any specific policies about it. At least National has, and it looks like their policy would be easily supported by Winston if he were to make it back in to Parliament.

He then talks about social welfare, he talks about carrot and stick to get uneducated and illiterate ferals off the dole and into a trade, but I think he underestimates just how truly unemployable they are. You can’t teach someone a trade who is the witness of three generations of abuse, drug and alcohol habits, idleness and welfare dependency.

He talks about health and the ridiculous vaccine mandate. More and more kiwis are becoming more and more sympathetic to the ‘conspiracy theorists’ who questioned the efficacy of that vaccine. If we have a health system drowning in demand, why have we shut out doctors and nurses based on their refusal to get an ineffective vaccine?

He then, typically, lists a bunch of populist policies reaching out to the few people who will vote based on headline grabbing policies, not actual reform:

Under New Zealand First, we will meet St John funding demands, we will ensure Plunket is funded to do their job properly, we will fund Mike King’s Gumboot Friday charity. We will ensure Rescue Helicopters and Surf Lifesaving NZ are properly funded. We will ensure Pharmac has more funds to get the medication to the people that need it most – but the first thing we are going to do is sort Pharmac out – they will concentrate on performance not puffery.

He then goes to core NZ First policies – law and order. Note that former MP and party president Darroch Ball (whom I knew when he was in the army) is now in charge of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, and I bet you bottom dollar he will be a big part of any attempted comeback by NZ First:

Under New Zealand First, if you commit a crime and part of a gang it will be law that it is an automatic aggravating factor in your sentencing. In addition, if you assault a First Responder – police officer, paramedic, firefighter or corrections officer in the course of their duty, there will be an automatic six-month minimum mandatory prison sentence.

He waffles on about climate change and importing inferior Indonesian coal, but never actually says he will reopen our coal mines. He does say we need natural gas, a pleasing development from an idiot who stood idly by when Saint Cindy banned it as soon as he put her in charge.

But in the climax of his speech he talks about values, and those who seek to overthrow our culture – newsflash Winnie, they already have!

There is a full-scale attack being waged on New Zealanders’ culture, identity and sense of belonging. And the only way they can achieve this is by attacking the bonds that used to hold our society together and to misrepresent the facts behind our shared history.

This elite, self-appointed, self-opinionated, have as their purpose the destruction of our cultural inheritance.

They want to totally overhaul our system of government and values by a political ‘fait accompli’. That is, by releasing an army of pandoras from their box on the simple basis that ‘it’s out now and you can’t change it back’.

This is peak madness. Today all they speak about is Rights. They never speak about personal responsibility, never.

They’re all into minority rights, teaching children gender identity theory and they’re not interested in debate. Anyone who questions them is gaslit, or culturally cancelled, or shouted down.

He promises that he is the saviour to overthrow the madness. The trouble with that claim is that he is the fool who put the madness in power, and as much as he says things I strongly agree with, I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for that.

Written by Major Star

March 24, 2023 at 3:15 pm

Australian MP Puts Gerry Brownlee ‘Back in his Lane’

with 12 comments

Andrew Hastie, the Australian opposition spokesman on Defence, does not hold back from Gerry Brownlee’s clueless assessment of the AUKUS plan:

The analysis of AUKUS in NZ has been sadly terrible – our politicians and mainstream media making only the most shallow remarks on it. But the NZ Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs (and former Defence Minister) might be expected to understand the nuance or the need to counter China’s huge build up of its blue water navy, especially submarines (many of which will be nuclear powered AND nuclear armed).

Andrew Hastie has never held back on China:

Hastie said he has no intention of scaling back his criticism of Chinese attempts to exert influence in Australia and human rights abuses against Uighurs in Xinjiang province

New Zealand could do with a man of his gumption and clarity. National do not appear to be offering anyone with similar values, preferring instead to be in bed with China as much as possible. It’s sickening:

Former Prime Minister Sir John Key has dolloped praise on China in comments to Chinese state media published as Xi Jinping’s Communist Party holds a historic national congress.

It’s sickening.

Andrew Hastie, a former SAS officer, veteran of Afghanistan and very highly regarded centre-right conviction politician, can see China for what it is. Why can’t any NZ politician?

Written by Major Star

March 24, 2023 at 12:53 pm

What should the Royal NZ Navy do, and With What?

with 15 comments

Andrew Little is the new Minister of Defence, and given the growing tensions and security challenges in the world and NZ’s region, he may wish to actually come up with some defence policy and implement it. Seriously, Labour had ZERO defence policy before the last election. The only thing they have done is kick off the Defence Policy Review, due to report back next year some time. I have some ideas for a range of measures, having already proposed a Royal Military College of NZ and reinvigorating the function of each service chief

Let’s now briefly look at the Royal New Zealand Navy. Let’s start with what should it do before getting on with what it should have. I’ll emphasise that this is a brief look.

First of all, NZ is a trading nation totally reliant on sea lines of communication. Those lines go to Australia, Asia (mainly China), North and South America, Europe and Africa – ie, the whole world. Any adversary who might wish to either disrupt our trade or threaten to disrupt our trade has any number of sea lanes to target, most effectively with submarines. In fact, submarines will reign in any war with China, who already have over 80 submarines – the highest proportion of submarines in relation to surface vessels of any navy in the world. China is embarking on an ambitious plan to expand its nuclear-powered submarine fleet by the mid 2030s. Submarine warfare, either the actual use of it or the ability to threaten it, would be crippling to NZ as a trading nation. The ability to counter submarine warfare is a primary task of the Royal NZ Navy.

Secondly, NZ needs to patrol its large EEZ. In particular, the very rich fisheries of it. China has a massive fishing fleet which it uses all across the Pacific Ocean, and can only be countered with an all-of-government approach, including a Navy. Patrolling not just NZ’s fisheries, but also those of smaller South Pacific Nations is another important task of the Royal NZ Navy.

Unlike Australia, NZ has not had waves of boats of people smugglers reach our shores – yet. But that is not because of lack of effort. People smugglers are actively marketing NZ as a back door to get to Australia – the challenge for them is to get here. They have tried it in the past. The ability to intercept and turn the boats around to a place other than NZ is a vital role for our Navy.

Anti-piracy is another task which our Navy must be able to fulfil. Fortunately, there is not a great deal of piracy in the South West Pacific – but if states fail and become harbours of illegal activity, it is not unforeseeable that it might happen. (Fortunately this risk remains very low). But there are multi-lateral efforts to counter piracy in places like Somalia, which NZ has and could contribute to in the future (as part of our National Interest in maintaining the rules based order around the world). Our Navy, and its people in particular, need skills and aptitude in anti-piracy. This involves patrolling and boarding ships if needed.

Transporting land and air forces is another task which must fall to the NZ Navy. Hercules can only transport one vehicle at a time (not LAV, too heavy), and friendly air forces who have C-17s can only increase that to a couple of vehicles at a time (including LAV). A ship can deploy up to dozens of vehicles at a time, as well as over a hundred soldiers and some helicopters. Ships are far more effective at bulk transport than aircraft. Transporting through and into hostile seas is a vital task for the Royal NZ Navy. Being able to defend against air attack is part of transporting through or into hostile seas, as is naval gunfire support for when the land forces are within range.

Finally, NZ has a commitment to Antarctica. It’s not necessarily to do with security (though it could be if China decide to militarise their suspicious bases there). But the NZDF has a role in sustaining our presence in Antarctica, and helping out our mates. This involves resupply and transport in particular.

So those are a very brief list of the main tasks that NZ should expect its Navy to fulfil. To summarise – sea lanes of communication protection (especially against submarines), patrolling, anti-piracy, transport and logistics.

So what assets should the Navy be equipped with? There has been some discussion in previous posts about corvettes vs Frigates for submarines. I propose the following:

  • A combat force, capable of patrolling, anti-submarine warfare, self-defence against air-attack. It must be capable of traversing the Pacific Ocean. And it must be a minimum force of three ships – one to be deployed, one to get ready to deploy, one to rest having been deployed. The rule of three must be followed – never forget it was NZ First who vetoed the third Anzac frigate. Frigates are the logical choice for this combat force – corvettes are too small, still almost as expensive as a frigate, and not compatible with what our allies need from us. Lots of options exist for which Frigates to choose – Australia’s Hunter Class are the Rolls Royce, very good but very expensive. The UK and the US are building less expensive options.
  • A patrolling force, capable of extending from the Southern Ocean to the tropics to the north. We have two offshore patrol vessels right now – we probably need more than that.
  • A transport and littoral support capability. The HMNZS Canterbury has been a good first effort at a transport ship. But it is essentially nothing more than an inter-islander painted grey. A capability to deploy a reinforced motorised infantry company is the minimum capability, including helicopters, artillery. Air defence on the ship (or else escorted by a capable frigate) is vital.
  • Other supporting ships – refuel, hydrographic and dive support. HMNZS Aotearoa is a very capable refuel asset, so we are good there, but we mustn’t neglect diving and hydrography.

The biggest thing which the new minister needs to do is identify a replacement of three frigates when HMNZS Te Kaha and Te Mana reach end of life. This needs to be done now, and will probably cost around $5 Billion or so. After that, what are we replacing the Canterferry with, and increasing our patrolling force from two to four or five are the next priorities.

On top of that, upgrading the Navy Base at Devonport so that people actually want to work there is a must. NZ First did nobody any favours by trying to move it to Northland, the sole purpose being to buy votes up there. Constant talk of relocating the navy base only results in kicking the can down the road for upgrading the much neglected state of the base.

All up, NZ must no longer be content with a dilapidated, out of date and too-small navy. Two frigates is almost worse than none – we pretend like we have a combat capability, but in fact have nothing especially if both ships are tied up getting upgraded. Of course, we need sailors and officers to run the ships, but that’s a point for another post.

Written by Major Star

March 16, 2023 at 1:59 pm

Radio Hosts Apologise and Attend Diversity Concentration Camp for Stating Biological Fact

with 6 comments

Only women can have babies. Right? WRONG! You bigot!

Two radio hosts have apologised on-air after saying that using the term “pregnant people” was “buying into bullshit”

TodayFM radio hosts Leah Panapa and Miles Davis apologised on Friday on-air for the comments they made around pronouns and inclusive language.

That’s right – Leah Panapa and Miles Davis have been bullied into a grovelling apology by the grifting swindlers who bestow ‘Rainbow Tick’ on subservient compliant organisations, for a fee of course. Their sin was to mock the term ‘pregnant people’, a term so stupid it deserves nothing apart from withering scorn, contempt and constant derision. Their employers only care about looking like they aren’t modern-day heretics, and so they were swiftly thrown under the bus to repent and avoid being burnt at the stake:

Martin King, awards director of the rainbow excellence awards – in which MediaWorks, the owner of TodayFM, has been a finalist in the past – said the comments were “shocking”.

”I’m pretty horrified – I’m glad they apologised, but it should never have got to that point of having this toxic and inappropriate conversation on air.”

Panapa said the comments had been “inexcusable, inappropriate and deeply offensive”, and apologised to the LGBTTQIA+ community for any distress “that may have been caused”.

Davis said the comments came from “a place of ignorance, rather than malice” and the pair were intending to undergo rainbow tick training.

Good grief, they’ve been forced to sign up to rainbow-tick training! A cruel and unusual punishment:

Anyway, where have I heard the name Martin King before? Ah, that’s right:

This is the new normal for New Zealand. I’ve mentioned before that the revolution is over, and ‘we’ have lost. The lunatics are now in charge of the asylum. It doesn’t mean I give in and won’t fight, but it means the fight is no longer about merely resisting, it is now about overthrowing the new normal.

I don’t actaully wish to impose my very conservative beliefs on anyone else – gays and lesbians can marry if that’s what makes them happy, as long as I can quietly stick to my beliefs.

But the transgender nonsense crosses a line – I cannot any longer put up with the lie that a man dressing up like a caricature of a woman actually is a woman, even if he castrates himself and injects artificial hormones. I do not put pronouns in my signature block because it’s bloody obvious I’m a male. When and why was it necessary for transvestites to hijack the gay agenda? If someone feels like they were born in the wrong body, why is castration and mutilation now the only acceptable remedy? Why is therapy to make someone feel comfortable in their own body now against the law? What place is there in NZ society for conservatives like me who don’t agree?

At least we can laugh about it, for now:

Written by Major Star

March 16, 2023 at 8:00 am

Australia’s New $400 Billion Submarines

with 18 comments

Although you’d be hard pressed to see much coverage in NZ media other than brief and superficial outlines, Australia, Britain and the US have now released more deals about AUKUS in San Diego this morning. It is actually Australia’s biggest spend on defence ever. Australia will initially home base, and then procure, five American Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines over the next decade. Australia will then (from the 2040s onwards) take part in a combined Aus – UK – USA production of the new AUKUS SSNs. It will cost AUS $368 Billion over the next three decades.

Geoffrey Miller spoke to Rachel Smalley on the radio about this this morning before the deal was announced. The aim of the deal is very much as a response to growing militarisation of the Indo-Pacific region, all thanks to China flexing its muscles. Retired Australian Major General Mick Ryan analyses the deal here, pointing out that the cost of the submarines is 0.5% of GDP per year alone. That’s an eye-watering amount of money being spent to upgrade the ADF.

Response from NZ’s officials has been muted. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has been silent on the issue, as has Minister of Defence Andrew Little. It seems that the mainstream media in this country doesn’t care about this huge news:

The only peep from NZ’s leaders has been the usual dogma about our nuclear-free status:

Nuclear-powered is not the same as nuclear-armed. It is extraordinary that NZ produced the great Ernest Rutherford, and now we spurn one of the greatest discoveries of humanity – the power of splitting the atom! So our closest (and only formal) ally, Australia, are going to be forbidden from sending their most expensive and capable defence asset to our waters. Just because of its (zero-emissions) powerplant.

NZ does not need to invest in nuclear powered submarines, and would also be unwise to get involved in conventional submarines. But our adversaries and potential adversaries very much are in the game. China is becoming more and more belligerent, and peaceful democracies in the region are all responding by increasing their defence spending.

Except New Zealand. We are alone in terms of developed and peace-loving countries in the Indo-Pacific region not upgrading our defence force. Our allies will soon stop bothering with us, and will not have any reason to share with us any benefits of any peace to be enjoyed after whatever is coming next.

It’s all well and good being physically isolated in the South West Pacific. But the interconnectedness of the world these days means our geographical location is not the blessing it used to be. It’s time for NZ to step up our game and offer something of value to our allies.

We can offer a good idea on what to name them though:

Written by Major Star

March 14, 2023 at 1:24 pm

‘God Defend New Zealand’ – North and South Magazine on the state of the NZDF

with 8 comments

Last month’s issue of North and South had as their cover article a good analysis of the NZDF:

You can read a preview at the link above, or else you can buy an online copy for $5, not sure if hard copies are still in the stores. I recommend purchasing it. I won’t publish much of it here other than to say how refreshing it is to see mainstream media wising up to how dilapidated the state of our NZDF’s most important resource is – the people!

Waiouru’s experience is symbolic of the NZDF’s wider decline. More than one in 10 military personnel have left the organisation in the past year. In an interview with North & South, Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short estimated that the attrition rate for the most skilled personnel was even greater: somewhere between 20 and 30 per cent. It is almost certainly higher now. “We can’t sustain that loss,” says Short. Then- Defence Minister Peeni Henare said last year, “These are some of the worst rates the NZDF has seen in its history.”

The author (who was a Territorial Officer) goes on to find out why people have left in their droves. It isn’t hard – Op Protect, the legally-dubious operation to use highly trained military professionals as glorified receptionists at hotels for three years meant they couldn’t train in their day job. With the cost of living increasing horrifically, but pay remaining stagnant, why would people stay in to not do what they signed up to do?

77 per cent of military personnel are paid between five and 16 per cent less than people in equivalent civilian jobs. As a result, the number of people leaving has skyrocketed: by October last year, the NZDF’s military attrition rate was 15.8 per cent (ranging from 12.1 per cent for the navy, to 17.4 per cent for the army).

In a 2022 ministerial briefing, the NZDF’s chief people officer wrote, “Current attrition and an inability to fill positions are directly attributed to the distance of remuneration from the public-sector median. Fifty-four per cent of civilians and 38 per cent of military cite poor pay relativity as a key factor in leaving.” According to Short, “High attrition has left us with far less people than we expected. We’re pushing towards 1000 people less than we actually planned for.”

There was a paltry pay rise last year after years of stagnation. I did some digging, comparing a major’s salary against inflation (CPI), but more importantly against wage inflation, using public sector equivalents of middle management. Note that the government’s highly publicised pay freeze on salaries over $100K was a sick joke – they may not have increased salaries for those individuals, but they did create thousands of highly paid new jobs which people simply shuffled upwards into, resulting in pay rises for a huge part of the public sector. NZDF did not do this.

The Labour Cost Index (LCI) has shot up under this government. Well paid public sector jobs and other ones in the private sector (not growing in quantity as much) are the ones which officers and SNCOs (and JNCOs) are flocking to. The following graph is instructive for how far behind the public sector and inflation an officer’s pay has been for the last 10 years or so:

Food price inflation is now at 12%. It’s beyond time to fix pay for the NZDF – when the new remuneration system was introduced in 2009 (Dr Mapp was the minister at the time, it was a good decision), the intent was that NZDF pay rates could be easily linked to civilian equivalents. As you can see, this played out with rises to keep pace in 2012 and 2016, but since then bugger-all. It’s almost like the government which has been in power since 2017 has let the ball drop on this one?

Written by Major Star

March 13, 2023 at 9:00 pm

Labour Spurns Capable NZDF Veteran for Douchebag

with 8 comments

Safe Labour Seat Christchurch East has just held its selection. The choice was between Labour List MP (based in Waimakariri) Dan Rosewarne, and perennial loser Reuben Davidson, who most recently lost in Selwyn to Nicola Grigg last election. Davidson was too far down Labour List to become an MP, while Rosewarne is the most recent of the List MPs to get in to parliament.

The party has chosen Davidson over Rosewarne. I happen to know Dan Rosewarne from his time in the army, and came up against Davidson when I was volunteering for National in one of the previous campaigns (which he lost).

Dan Rosewarne was a very highly regarded and popular man in the army. He was a vehicle mechanic initially, before commissioning from the ranks and serving as a very well regarded officer in the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment. He has conducted multiple deployments overseas including to Afghanistan. He has beaten cancer. He is a dedicated family man (faithfully married to a woman, a rare thing for a Labour man these days). He was awarded a Chief of Army’s commendation when he was a JNCO and came to the aid of a police officer on the side of the road who was being viciously attacked by two gang thugs – Dan took them both down on his own.

Dan worked his way up the ranks, learnt a trade, served his country with distinction overseas and domestically, and is a dedicated family man. He has seen and gone through the NZ health system first hand while he beat cancer.

Naturally Labour find it hard to put him in either a winnable seat or else in a good list position. He has slugged it out two or three times against the very popular Matt Doocey in the safe blue seat of Waimakiriri. He should have been given a good list placing last election to reflect his hard work and ability to represent the real world in Parliament – Jacinda made a captain’s call that this straight, white, working-class family man who has served his adulthood in the army would be as low down as she could possiblyt place him.

Reuben Davidson is a media producer with Whitebait Media. That is the company which makes children’s tv shows (such as What Now), and that is the same company which hired a paedophile to work as a cameraman. I have some good friends who also worked (for a short time) for Davidson at that company – they hated him. They said that he couldn’t stop going on about politics at work (remember, his work was producing children’s tv), and that he would go on foul-mouthed rants about National or John Key or the Young Nats or whoever he could. My apolitical friends hated it.

When I was working on the National campaign against him, we received unsolicited phone calls from his other employees about what an inappropriate boss he was, constantly ranting about politics at work and making the whole company very very uncomfortable for his workers.

Davidson is now going to be an MP, and Dan Rosewarne is unlikely to get back in on the list again.

Labour hates the military and anyone associated with it. Labour loves sycophantic party yes-men.

Written by Major Star

March 13, 2023 at 7:00 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

Luxon’s State of the Nation Speech – National is not a Centre-Right Party

with 11 comments

Christopher Luxon delivered his ‘State of the Nation’ speech last week. I have some thoughts – much of it is very run of the mill, a lot of it is mundane, some of it is good but small parts are terrible. Unfortunately the small parts which are terrible are the big ticket items of the speech and the policy announced in it.

First of all, the good:

[There is] a sense that New Zealand has become fragile where it once was sturdy, and is vulnerable when it used to be resilient. Globally, the war in Ukraine, rising geo-political tensions, and the impacts of climate change create more volatility and uncertainty. 

Added to those global events, many Kiwis up and down New Zealand are understandably feeling frustrated and worried about the direction New Zealand is heading.

This is a clear acknowledgement that NZ does not live in a “benign strategic environment” as announced by Helen Clark in 2001, and I hope it is the start of a shift in policy from National to not just carry on foreign and defence policy business-as-usual from Labour as they have for the last three decades.

Also good:

Covid has certainly played a part, exacerbated by the way the Labour Government embraced isolation – cruelly locking out New Zealanders from the only country they call home, even after the virus was well established here. 

No wonder we’ve become more insular. More withdrawn from the world. 

This is hopefully a clear repudiation of Chris Bishop who was urging an even more extreme and isolationist approach to COVID. But I might be reading too much into that…

The mundane:

Added to that, are five and a half years of an under-performing Labour Government that’s taken New Zealand backwards and simply cannot deliver. It’s not good enough to say you’re going to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but not do it. It’s not good enough to say you’re going to build affordable housing, but not actually do it. Talking about it gets you a headline. But only doing it makes a difference. 

This is typical National – portray Labour as incompetent, and that National is the party which get things done. The problem with this is the only things National ever gets done is implementing Labour policy better than Labour!

More mundanity:

Take education. Kiwi kids used to be in the top 10 in the world for reading, maths, and science but over the last 20 years, achievement has slipped so much that there are now many kids leaving school without basic reading, writing and maths skills. 

This is the legacy Chris Hipkins leaves as Education Minister for the last five years. 

As of now, there is no clear National education policy which gives me any hope. Alwyn Poole at Kiwiblog has some good ideas.

Luxon then goes on about his ancestors and some light links to National Party values. He gives five commitments, very light on policy or detail though he promises it will come later:

One – National will curb the rising cost of living.

Two – National will lift incomes for all.

Three – National will deliver resilient infrastructure for the future.

Four – National will restore law and order.

Five – National will provide better health and education services.

He goes on about ‘Youth Military Academies’ as if they are either a silver bullet or a good use of NZDF resources (they are neither…)

Which brings us to the bad:

National’s FamilyBoost childcare tax rebate will help 130,000 low-and-middle-income families keep more of what they earn, with up to $75 more in their after-tax pay each week. That’s $3,900 every year, depending on their income. 

Families will receive a 25 per cent rebate on their early childhood education expenses, up to the maximum of $3,900 per year. 

It is a targeted programme that will be available to families earning up to $180,000, with the full $75 a week rebate available to those families earning up to $140,000. 

This is a bad continuation of bad Labour poilcy that is abhorrent to conservatives like me. It is not the role of the State to take children away from their parents’ home and ‘look after them’ while the parents trudge through low wage jobs. This is straight from the Soviet Union.

A better centre-right wing policy would be to enable all parents to look after their children without government assistance. National should replace FamilyStart and Working for Families with income splitting – allow one parent to go after a higher-wage job, allow the other to stay at home (especially while the children are young) and stop taxing them at 33% or 39%.

Actively discouraging single parents would also be sound centre-right policy.

Even worse is how he thinks National can fund this left-wing largesse:

The good news is that FamilyBoost will be fully funded by cutting Labour’s wasteful spending on contractors and consultants. 

In 2018, Chris Hipkins as State Services Minister promised to reduce spending on contractors and consultants. Instead, the latest data shows the annual spend has skyrocketed to more than $1.7 billion – up from $1.2 billion. 

National will direct public sector agencies to end the culture of relying on contractors at a premium to do the regular job of a public servant. The culture of public servants rebranding as contractors – only to do the same job at twice the hourly rate – is chronic in Wellington. 


If the public sector is spending too much money, it is because the government expects them to do too much. And it’s not just consultants (though they are a problem) – it’s the size of the public sector to begin with! Look at the growth of the public sector under both National and Labour:

Don’t cut one portion of public sector spending – cut the public sector! Cut the interminable growth of communications professionals – both types, external-facing spin doctors and the more numerous type of internal-communications nobodies. Cut ministries based on ethnicity or gender. Cut centralised behemoths who duplicate or complicate work done at the local level (education and health).

All up, National is promising to continue hard-left policies of the state taking over childcare from repsonsible parents, continuing to punish higher-wage earners to pay for it. And Luxon makes no promises to reduce the size or scope of the public sector – he is focussing on one small portion of total public spending. It is very discouraging for any centre-right voter!

Written by Major Star

March 10, 2023 at 1:32 pm