No Minister

Archive for the ‘NZ National Party’ Category

I guess this will be my single issue in 2023

with 23 comments

I’ve often written that with six co-bloggers focusing on New Zealand there’s no point in me doing the same, and in any case I find US politics far more interesting because ideas that are considered “settled” in NZ are still being fought over there, plus new ideas about how a society should be organised.

But there are times when an idea begins to emerge in New Zealand that is controversial and worth fighting over, and “co-governance” is it.

Up until now I’ve figured that it would have to be fought over at the 2023 election; that Labour could not continue to push forward in the face of growing public alarm and falling polls over a range of issues that might see co-governance as the straw that breaks Labour’s back into the low twenty percent range or even lower. Labour would be forced to either dump it or make the arguments in public as part of an election so that whichever way it goes, we can at least say that a democratic decision was made on the future of the country.

Chris Finlayson

But I’ve concluded that this is not how it’s going to proceed and the reason has to do with comments I saw quoted from none other than former National MP and TOW Negotiations Cabinet Minister, Chris Finlayson.

When I first saw these quotes on Kiwiblog I found it hard to believe that they could have been uttered by a former National Party MP and minister; a person that I effectively voted for over several election cycles and that I thought was an intelligent and compassionate man devoted to rectifying the sins of past colonialisation. Sure, there was grumbling on the Right about some of these deals and the fact that Finlayson had gone from being poacher to gamekeeper on the issue.

So I checked out the Radio New Zealand podcast referred to, The Detail and its episode Co-governance: Time to get on with it?, and discovered they were true quotes:

But as former Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson explains, the concept itself is nothing new. 

Finlayson takes The Detail back to the ground-breaking signing of the Treaty settlement between the Crown and Tainui in 1995, and explains how the settlement over raupatu claims led to the formation of the Waikato River Authority. 

It became the genesis of other co-governance arrangements, giving iwi an opportunity to participate directly with local or regional government to provide advice or take part in the management of a particular resource. 

As he describes them, those past settlements that he was heavily involved with were not really about righting wrongs via the Waitangi Treaty tribunal process. No, they were about building small but permanent foundations for an entirely new way of governing this nation; a way that has now sprung into life via the supposed “opposing” party, Labour, backed by The Greens and naturally the Maori Party, with the He Puapua report, Three Waters and so forth.

And it gets better:

“I simply say to people, one, there’s a new regime, get with it folks; two, Rome wasn’t built in a day.” 

While he says there’s room for robust debate about the co-governance model between the Crown and iwi and hapū, Finlayson’s advice for dealing with the “sour right” behind the racist, resentful rhetoric: “We’ve just got to leave those losers behind and move on. They don’t like tangata whenua. They dream of a world that never was and never could be,” he says. 

Two words Mr Finlayson.



My Scottish and Irish ancestors lived for hundreds of years tugging their forelocks to Irish landowners and Scottish Lairds, escaped that, and neither I nor my kids are going to repeat that process with the likes of Prince Willie Jackson and Princess Nanaia Mahuta.

And the thing is that Finlayson fits in so perfectly with them and their born-to-rule arrogance. That wealthy Khandallah childhood; the Latin and French majors; the LLM and mixing in the highest echelons of our legal and political circles, not to mention the leaders of our various great iwi. No wonder National lapped him up and loved him. He could elegantly stick it to Labour and others on these issues.

While all the time he was basically on the same side as them.

And now in keeping with that Olympian attitude of superiority, in his mind the issue has already been decided by The Powers That Be – meaning the political elite of both National and Labour, plus our academic and legal communities – and now it’s just a matter of getting on with it.

Elections? Democracy? Pfft. I would not now be at all surprised if he uttered then same phrase as Willie Jackson about this nation, that “We’re in a consensus-type democracy now. This is not a majority democracy.”  Consensus is one of those words which, when I hear it, tells me I’m about to be lied to.

The final question I have, and frankly I think it’s rhetorical now, is how many more like him are there in the National Party? I’m betting enough to push this through eventually under some guise or other:

My prediction, there will be a substantial empowering of iwi in education, heath, housing supply and social policy in the next few years. National will go along with most of this once they are back in government, just as they have done so since 1990.

In that sense Don Brash was a bit of an aberration, one that National is not keen on repeating.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 12, 2022 at 3:59 pm


with 2 comments

Tis said that economists oft resemble accountants minus the personality. Cameron Bagrie certainly fits that mold. That aside I have generally supported his views on the economy.

But I do find it surprising that he should label National’s proposed ditching of the 39% tax rate and the indexation of tax brackets as inflationary while ignoring the effect of the additional six billion dollar spending increase foreshadowed in next weeks budget. $1.6b in peoples hands to save/spend/reduce debt vs $6b of new government spending from a mob whose hallmark is ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’ and tell me just which one makes better sense in a country where the government is leveraging off its credit card and refining borrow and hope to new levels.

The government’s investment of $45m plus into the Public Journalism Fund continues to reap dividends for them. Extensive coverage of Bagrie’s view on National’s tax cuts proposal and nary a mention of the effect on inflation of the government’s additional $6b spend up.

Written by The Veteran

May 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm


with 16 comments

Finance Minister Robertson’s wringing of his hands on Morning Report acknowledging that ‘we’ can expect inflation to increase further over the next two quarters suggests he has no answers and what will be will be. The country expects/demands leadership and here we have the man in charge of the levers with no answers and nothing to offer other than to continue to borrow and hope.

Nicola Willis is right on the money with her recipe for easing inflationary pressures …. (1) stop adding extra costs to businesses that are being passed on to consumers and (2) stop wasteful government spending and (3) expedite the entry of skilled workers back into the country.

But no … all Labour can do is point to increased new spending in the upcoming budget … all on borrowed money … spending ones way out of inflation is an interesting concept.

Meanwhile Kiwi families at the coalface struggle to make ends meet.

Written by The Veteran

April 19, 2022 at 1:17 pm

The 80/20 purity rule

with 11 comments

I was amused the other day when co-blogger The Vet, teased me a little about not being an 80/20 bloke – one who’ll take the 80% he agrees with, while accepting the 20% he does not agree with but that comes with the package – and instead being a bit of ideological purist.

As such I decided to run back through NZ elections I’ve been able to vote in and try to recall who I voted for and why.

1981 – Social Credit
Yeah, I laugh too. But under FPP getting rid of Muldoon meant picking the party most likely to defeat National in each seat and where I was registered that year meant that SC was the party most likely to do it. Bit of a shame in that I rather liked our MP Marylin Waring.
2002 – National / National
Sure, every one knew English was going to be buried and deservedly so given how useless National were that year. But the prospect of Clark getting 50%+ of the vote for an absolute majority scared the crap out of me.
1984 – New Zealand Party (Bob Jones)
Amazingly I found that was I was stuck in Remmers, darlings. As before, that meant voting for the party most likely to beat National, although it helped in this case that I agreed with Jones’s notions of freedom from government rules and regulations. Once again I was saddened that the electorate National MP, Doug Graham in his first run, seemed very good, but that’s politics for you.
2005 – National / National
Clark simply had to be beaten. Brash? Meh!
1987 – Labour
Finally, I got the chance to vote for them, and to do so in a positive way rather than as merely a protest or negative vote. Wall Street was in the movie theatres, and the future was so bright I had to wear shades.
2008 – National / ACT
Given that a National win seemed likely, it was already clear that Key and company were going to be squishes so backbone would be needed. The cunning players of National were happy to go with both the Maori and ACT parties, nullifying the “extremes” of each.
1990 – Did not vote
I was just too damned busy in the USA to figure out how to vote remotely. In any case everybody knew Labour was going to be buried (though I don’t think anybody saw how badly they would be), although I still would have voted for them as I had little time for “Spud”.
2011 – National / National
Ok, so the ACT Party was a busted flush and MMP sucks. But who the hell would have wanted Goff and Labour in power? Still, voting National felt like a purely defensive measure.
1993 – Labour
I was still registered for Wellington Central and the Labour MP was Chris Laidlaw whom I took to be a smart chappy (Rhodes Scholar and all). Plus I really enjoyed his old rugby book, Mud In Your Eye.
2014 – National / National
Same again. God, Labour were awful. All the same, every day I woke up to find some new rule and regulation that made life more difficult.
1996 – Labour
Same again, and MMP didn’t mean much. It would not be until I returned to NZ that I found out what a completely wet drip Laidlaw was. I blame Frik du Preez.
2017 – National / National
Same again. Despaired of the idiots who voted for Winston on the basis that National needed a spine (true) but that a man with thirty years of utu would deliver it. The overall result didn’t surprise me. The only positive thing in National that I could truly say I voted for, was Steven Joyce.
1999 – Labour
Back from the USA just in time to vote and it was apparent to everybody that the wheels had fallen off Shipley’s government. Also Clark and Cullen did not seem likely to try and turn the clock back, especially given that the worst troglodytes had decamped to Anderton’s Alliance Party.
2020 – ACT / ACT
Again, more defensive than anything else, since there were policies I didn’t agree with and Seymour struck me as a professional politician and sap. Still, kudos to him for having taken on what may have seemed like a dispiriting challenge and bring ACT back from the dead.

So there it is. Who will I vote for in 2023? At this stage I’ve no idea. Labour perhaps, on the theory that ideas should be tested to destruction. In hindsight we had to have Muldoon if we were ever going to move beyond him and the system of which he was the last gasp.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 31, 2022 at 9:10 am

Personal Protest coverage from Lindsay Mitchell

Obviously there’s a lot of coverage of the Wellington Anti-mandate protests on Social Media site like Facebook/Twitter, but I should have been checking out Lindsay Mitchell’s blog as she’s had quite a few posts with personal observations and links to social media.

From the parliamentary occupation site this morning, a row of caricatures. I guess to the protestors the parties are indistinguishable. Their response is uniform. ‘We want you to go away.’ By my first-hand observation and conversations with protestors, be assured. They will not.

To be amongst the protestors is both calming and exhilarating. There’s a strong sense of trust in one another which has been long denied by lockdown separations, physical distancing and masking. People are working together to overcome adversities thrown at them by nature or the state. They know here, they can talk freely. For the first time in ages they actually feel safe in a physical community beyond the internet. 

But MPs – all of them – want you believe the protestors are ‘unsafe.’ That the city streets are being made unsafe by their presence. Now the protest site is ‘unhygienic’ and ‘contamination’ lurks. Faeces has been spotted (so have many well-cared for dogs attached to the protestors.)

Those who long ago lost trust in government can recognise alarmist media reporting and political propaganda when they see it.  

I’d choose to sit with these people any day over a parliamentary select committee.

Or Protest Day 8: Answer me this:

Where is the Maori Party when so many of the protestors are their whanau?

Where is the ACT Party when so many of the protestors are pleading for our legislated freedoms?

Where are the Greens, the very party of protest?

Where is Labour with a list ranking full of so-called activists?

Any ideas?

Oh I’ve got at least a couple of ideas about all this:

Crystallization, Madness and Tyranny

It is a fascinating moment when this sort of crystallization happens in a mass culture like America’s, because seemingly overnight even the definition of legitimate speech (or thought or action) also changes. Tocqueville observed that quite abruptly a person can no longer express opinions or raise questions that only days before were acceptable, even though no facts of the matter have changed. At an individual level, people who were within the bounds can be surprised to find themselves “tormented by the slights and persecutions of daily obloquy.” Once this occurs, he wrote, “your fellow-creatures will shun you like an impure being, and those who are most persuaded of your innocence will abandon you too, lest they should be shunned in their turn.”

Freedom and other anti-government slogans


But I guess that St Jacinda deserves some (small) credit for picking up on the repeated calls from both National and ACT to open up the border and consign MIQ to the dustbin of history. Her attempts to mirror Kim Jong-un’s way of dealing with Covid have been disastrous for the country. But, to be fair, socialists luv state control. It’s in their DNA and push on thru Jacinda’s smiley face and ‘kind’ persona and she is a socialist through and through right down to her fish and chip wrapping hands.

I guess you could cut the government a little slack early on in the pandemic as there was no songbook to sing from … it was decision making on the fly. But over the last little while the government has been reactive rather than proactive in chartering a way forward. Big on talk; slow on action.

You saw no better example of this than the way Robertson belatedly threw ‘Chippy’ under a bus as the Bellis scandal unfolded.

So better late than never I guess. Now I await the storm of protest from various assorted medical professionals who sang and continue to sing from Kim Jong-un’s isolation songbook.

Written by The Veteran

February 3, 2022 at 1:46 pm

There shall be minor changes

Upon the accession to government of the next National-led coalition in 2023 or 2026.

Such will be the case across-the-board as National grapples with failing health and education systems, as well as other government organs, by tweaking the systems and putting more capable people in charge.

But that won’t change the medium-long term trajectory of those institutions, and the following graph shows the entire strategy of National in a nutshell.

I’ve shamelessly stolen this from the Taxpayers Union via Kiwiblog, where DPF is using it to make a quite justified attack on the standard practice of Labour governments that more government means more societal good and more government translates into more bureaucrats.

But unlike DPF here’s the thing that sticks out to me. Yes, the Key government managed to plateau this ludicrous growth in the number of bureaucrats, increasing the number by a mere 2000 over nine years compared to an increase of 14,000 under the Clark governments.

But they did not shrink it, let alone shrink it back to that of the year 2000, and thus it lay ready to be exploded again by the next Labour government, as it has been.

Even from a population perspective it’s not good. In 2000 we had 28,000 ‘crats for a population of about 3.8 million, one ‘crat for every 136 subjects. In 2020 the ratio is one ‘crat for every 83 subjects of the government.

So this basically means that National could drop the numbers back to about 36,000. I can imagine the screams and the pain, and that blue section of the graph indicates that it won’t happen.

Instead I can guarantee you that this process will be repeated when a National-led government comes to power in 2023 or 2026; a plateau for a few years followed by another explosion in the number of bureaucrats with a Labour-led government circa 2032 or 2035.

As with almost everything, Labour leads and National follows.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 29, 2021 at 4:38 pm

Moby Dick

It seems appropriate to thus start this little Wednesday morning collection of tasty graph and cartoon bites with something published two years ago that has turned out to be very accurate.

Call him Ishmael.

You can see why the MSM misses Trump. Now they have to put their double standards on full display.

In other predictions of the future this one for 2020, written in 1988 is awesome (RPG stands for Role Player Game).

When forecasting the future though it’s usually good to look at the past as well, as this graph of disease pandemics in Sweden does.

Here’s a graph about vaccine passports and mandates, since we seem to be moving on from lockdown mandates and mask mandates, which show similar failures. Here’s the detailed article from which the graph is taken, An inconvenient truth – vaccine passports don’t work:

Sometimes the future is entirely predictable, as with German power prices, courtesy of almost twenty years and €500 billion spent on the fabulous Energiewende (“Energy Transition”) project to get all that juicy renewable power from the wind and the sun. In such latitudes it’s more the wind but it makes no difference anyway. If your question in response to this is, “But the wind is free, why is power so expensive now?”, then you should SFTU on this subject for the rest of time. Also see this as New Zealand circa 2035 if we keep pushing the same stuff. Of course we could go nuclear?

Finally I’ll leave you with this graph, courtesy of Michael Reddell’s latest updated analysis of housing costs in New Zealand, especially in relation to incomes, Price/income ratios, with the key insight:

At best, it takes 33 years for price/income ratios to get back to three – the sort of ratio seen in large chunks of the US, in cities large and small. At best, it would take almost a quarter of a century to get back to a price/income ratio of four.

Basically the only way my kids are going to be able to buy a house is if we leverage the hell out of our existing one, and even then it may mean not living in Auckland. As Bob Jones has pointed out, now linking to BNZ economist Tony Alexander, they may not be living in NZ at all once the Chinese Xi Snot controls are gone and they get the chance at higher incomes, lower costs and not being locked up.

You should check out Reddell’s earlier posts on the housing problem, which I’ve quoted a few times here.

Frankly I can no longer see this being resolved, given that, as he points out, both the leaders of the National and Labour Parties said the other day that significant price drops – say 25% – would not be acceptable. Why? It would simply put us back two years. Although buyers in the last two years would be looking at negative equity, that’s a temporary situation that can be worked out of and has been in the past.

If you’re not willing to unwind a clearly screwed-up marketplace by even a small amount because some recent entrants will feel some (book-value) pain then you’re basically admitting that the current situation of relentless and ever larger price increases will continue, which will lock out a lot more potential entrants, particularly the young. The graph above is a “best-case” scenario if price drops are not permitted – and it shows an awful situation for people wanting to enter the housing market.

In a sense our housing market has become rather like any welfare system or drug addiction: the more people who are hooked on it the less chance there is of changing it. The only difference is that with housing it’s the newest entrants who have the most to lose.

Which means that what we have here is a Ponzi scheme, and they never end well. But they do end, irrespective of the authorities.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 15, 2021 at 11:04 am

Two classes of New Zealanders

It’s been a staple of Leftist politics and language since the days of Marx at least, and of course it is a template that can be applied to events further back in history than his time, notably the French Revolution and the Glorious Revoluton of 1688.

Whatever names were given it in different time periods and situations – Feudal Lords vs Peasants, Business Owners vs Workers, Colonialists vs Colonised, Us vs The Other – it has always basically amounted to Oppressor and Oppressed.

I think two quotes are applicable here, the first being the complete one rather than the usual shortened version, since the second part is eerily close to where we are now and where we are going:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

In this situation we should also not look to George Orwell’s dark vision of Nineteen Eighty Four but a different future dystopia, one that has appealed to me more as the years have passed since the great Counter-Culture revolution of the 1960’s.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”

I have of course made sure that the tags on this post are not just for the Labour Party, but also for National, ACT and the Greens.

I was informed that these were OTT comparisons to NZ

Vaccine certificate will be central to the new ‘traffic-light’ system – RNZ

It is that sort of comparison that causes the opponents of the current Lockdowns to be ridiculed. And no, you won’t be able to convince me that basically I am (and just about everyone I know) is just the same as the Nazi SS.

It’s certainly time to re-visit this goodie, even if she has resigned, because luckily you’ll still be able to laugh without a vaccine certificate.