The Government waiting game is poor

Traveller commented: “Jacinda and Winnie’s anti-capitalism, anti-migration, anti foreign investment frankly scares me”.

Parties needed to be given time to wait for results, and to negotiate governing arrangements, but continued delays can give a feeling of being strung along.

It is especially important that we have confidence in the incoming government to be responsible and sensible on economic matters – the financial and business worlds continue despite being under a caretaker government.

The lack of information given since the election a month ago, especially over the last two weeks, is poor from the parties involved.

Winston Peters claimed that negotiations were complete a week and a half ago, but it was obvious they continued up until he made his decision to go with Labour. and it appears that negotiations have continued since then.

And I suspect the policy agreements are being massaged for public consumption.

This isn’t a good start for a new government.

Claire Trevett: Paddles the cat the only bright spot in transparency

For almost three weeks now the confidentiality has continued – the two weeks of talks behind closed doors with barely an iota of information emerging and four days since NZ First leader Winston Peters cast his lot with Labour (and the Greens, although Peters has selective hearing when it comes to that word).

New Zealanders know precious little about what securing that support has cost Labour in terms of policies – and money.

We should be better informed by now.

Ardern has promised “meaningful, material change.” Change can be exciting but is can also be unnerving. She cannot forget almost half the country did not vote for that and will be nervous about what it entails.

Businesses are likely bracing themselves as talk abounds about increases to the minimum wage and fair pay agreements.

The Greens and NZ First voters also want to know whether the policies they voted for survived the negotiations – and if it is worth it.

Small amounts of drip fed policy concessions will be concerning some voters who had hoped for something different.

Ardern may consider the past three weeks of near silence a necessity. It is regrettable one and Ardern has been worryingly swift at becoming adept at it. It should not become a habit.

Here’s hoping Ardern’s Prime Ministership will be marked with a tad more transparency than it has begun with. She got away with it because she is Jacinda Ardern and people are giving her the benefit of trust. She campaigned on hope and change – voters should have been told a bit more about what that means in practice.

Leaving journalists out in the cold for so long is having an effect that will likely result in more scrutiny and less honeymoon for the incoming government, not a bad thing.

But the public are being poorly served here, it is not a good start.

The ongoing waiting game has been poor, and getting worse as it goes on.

The concerns may all wash away tomorrow when the Labour-NZ First and Labour-Green agreements are revealed.

But if there are signs of not getting full and open disclosure, or signs of trying to hide some plans, or signs trying to gloss over significant policy concessions, then the new government may have set themselves up for a tough start.

54 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  October 23, 2017

    I enjoyed the time between govts. It was a couple of weeks of peace while the world continued to turn even though in laws were passed in Wellington. I’m thinking this coalition will continue the trend. Lots of announcements that we’ll doing “this not that”, followed by assurances that “that” is not off the table. Examples Kemedec Sanctuary and now immigration. The Greens and Winston ain’t gonna play together well.

    • Corky

       /  October 23, 2017

      Arty, the recent break of sitting on the veranda shinning your Colts is over. There’s a posse of evil hombres heading your way. Them’s be lead by a women who was trained by the best.
      She is slow on the draw, but she has one of them new fangdangled shooters call a ‘policy spreader.’ Be careful, Arty. That weapon can take a whole country out.

      • “The message to voters couldn’t have been clearer: Once they’ve cast their votes, the doors are slammed shut and the politicians are left to get on with it, unencumbered by any obligation to disclose whatever they might be up to.

        Open government? Forget it.

        Peters was the only party leader fronting the media, and he lived up to expectations by (a) barking at reporters for their impertinence in wanting to know what was going on, and (b) delivering pronouncements that were minor masterpieces of obfuscation and evasiveness.

        Deadlines and time-frames shifted and changed like wisps of smoke. But that’s Peters; nothing he says should ever be taken at face value.

        The crowning indignity came when it became apparent that the decision on who would govern us was to be made by an anonymous bunch of non-entities few people even realised existed – the board of New Zealand First.

        We should all feel humiliated by this pantomime. A country that could once claim to be a model liberal democracy has been discredited by a flawed electoral system, compounded by Peters’ overweening self-regard and the readiness of the two major party leaders to defer to him.

        There is a solution that would avoid these farcical proceedings in future. In our haste to drop the first-past-the-post system in 1993, no one thought to ensure there were rules in place to govern what happened under MMP after the votes were counted.

        Peter Dunne has the right idea. He suggests it should be the job of the Governor-General to invite the party that has won the most votes to form a government. If it can’t get the numbers, then an approach should be made to the next-largest party.

        The crucial thing is that the Governor-General should control the process. Instead, we’ve handed that power to a huffing and puffing egotist having his last shot at glory via a hole in our constitutional arrangements. Well done us.”

        Karl du Fresno. A voice of reason

        http://karldufresne.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/the-demeaning-of-democracy.html

        • Can’t wait to hear his take on this phase of pre governance

          • Blazer

             /  October 23, 2017

            as if you would have said any of this if Winston had gone with National!Hilarious .

            • Direct your vitriol at the parties/leaders as they’re public figures. I am not. Are you unable to grasp that personal attacks on posters is poor form?
              I’ll not defend your hypothetical synopsis.

            • Blazer

               /  October 23, 2017

              @Traveller,that is not vitriol,that is a measured ,quite mild observation.There are no parameters that suggest posts should only be directed at Party leaders.My comment was on song about your message .

            • Fight4NZ

               /  October 23, 2017

              But the truth is our leaders have, on this rare occasion, put aside the usual power grab. Time has and is being taken to work through the full range of policies that were voted on and the grouping most accurately represents that has emerged. It is the truest possible manifestation of democracy.
              Why should a mild rebuke of your impatience provoke such an over reaction?

        • Corky

           /  October 23, 2017

          Good stuff, Traveller.

          • Blazer. You make a values judgement and comment on a position you imagine I hypothetically might have made. It added nothing to your argument and it hijacks discussion.

            • Blazer

               /  October 23, 2017

              don’t be obtuse.You know very well for National to form a Govt ,they needed Winston.You are disingenuous in the extreme.A common virtue in rightwingers.

  2. David

     /  October 23, 2017

    Add in the crazy election campaign and NZ has had 3 months of uncertainty, think Labours tax flip flopping, given she and Winston have both said they want fundamental change.
    I actually think it is a deliberate formulated strategy to keep the media focus and the tease going for as long as possible, by the time policy is released no one will care too much at how bad it is but that we go straight on to the swearing in stuff, its deliberate to avoid scrutiny.

    • duperez

       /  October 23, 2017

      We’re in a right pickle all right, we should have known every single thing that was going on over the past few weeks and now we want all the details about everything for the short and long term future.

      “Deliberate formulated strategy. Deliberate to avoid scrutiny”? Yes, things were much better with the Steven Joyce and Bill English deliberately formulated and deliberately avoiding scrutiny strategies.

      Which is a convoluted way of saying get off the bloody grass. There are clear signs of hysteria, mixed with angst, annoyance, sheer pissed-offness and paranoia about who is in Government. And particularly who isn’t.

      Ardern, Peters and Shaw are internalising really complicated situations in their heads but the baying impatient mob wants answers.

      • David

         /  October 23, 2017

        I dont really expect policy details as Labour were quite clear everything gets chucked out to consultation and working groups to do their work for them and we had a few chuckles at Winston during the campaign on his policies. Its not too much to ask what is in, what is out and what is left to nail down given the enormous costs of Winstons promises.

      • Government is “for the people, by the people” – it’s always been my understanding. We used to elect people who all sat in an electorate and it was simply a straight numbers game. You had the man or woman, you had the facts and the policy and you voted for the party that you wanted to govern.

        I’m not at all convinced that MMP delivering better governance. There is something very, very wrong when the winning party is not have given the initial mandate to form a government. This runs counter to Germany’s system. There, only after an exhaustive process and precise policy agreements is a government formed. There has never been a government that didn’t feature the “winning” party.

        We’re seriously supposed to accept and even be impressed that a 7% party undertook a Dutch auction where the result was so close, even the auctioneer never knew which way they’d fall entirely until 15 minutes before an announcement!

        So, any policy parties campaigned on is effectively up for negotiation, watering down or ditching. Joe and Jane Public have been hoodwinked and not included or privy to this carve up of positions and policy wins. Those who voted for the largest party are disenfranchised, while a party with 7% actually announces the next government and even the one he bestows his 7% pleasure on has been kept in the dark. It’s beyond Machiavellian.

        You couldn’t make this up. It’s a mockery of system, natural justice, due process, morality and makes a joke of the people’s democracy. I may as well have swapped my vote for a hundred bucks of chips, shoved them in a pokie, closed my eyes and spun for all the value and respect I and my fellow NZers have been shown by the lack of transparency going on within the Fisheries division’s rep Mr Peters his anointed PM Ardern and little Mr roll-over Shaw.

        • duperez

           /  October 23, 2017

          Government “for the people, by the people” is a fine whakataukī with a noble sentiment. It comes in handy in making a point every now and then too.

          “Due process and morality” are a bit the same. Joe and Jane Public aren’t unused to being hoodwinked or a lack of transparency. Those are part of the currency we have allowed to be part of the game.

          • I agree, traveller; the party with the most votes-whoever that was-should be the one in charge. If there were 5 parties with 11% of the vote each, I feel that they should not be able to override the 45%. This is not to say that we should return to FPP; but the jigsaw that can result from what has just happened, where the parties who have not been the ones most wanted as government somehow ARE, doesn’t seem right to me.

            I could have accepted it if Labour had had more votes than National-I would have been dismayed, to say the least, but would have had to accept it-but this patchwork seems all wrong somehow.

  3. Trevors_Elbow

     /  October 23, 2017

    Mike Munros strategy has worked perfectly. Adern elected on virtually no scrutinty with smiles and waves……. Helen will be very happy. TC and Munros campaigns… differences? None…. but thats ok because means justify ends……

    Will be an interesting 3 years…

    • Gezza

       /  October 23, 2017

      It worked for Helen.
      It worked for John Key.
      You don’t chuck away a tried & true formula.
      Gone are the days of manifestos, out early, compared by an intelligent media, & that’s what the voters have got to work with.

      • That’s means we’re effectively blind Gezz

        • Gezza

           /  October 23, 2017

          Just requires a lot of patience & a little faith trav.
          Sht! Wait! I’m an atheist! 😬

      • adamsmith1922

         /  October 23, 2017

        If only our media were intelligent

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  October 23, 2017

        Don’t agree … Key campaigned on Asset sales, lag referendums… then on his record and more of the SA. English said more of the same plus lower taxes and targeting spend using social.investment strategy.

        Labour have had a pass basically this time round….

        • Gezza

           /  October 23, 2017

          John was gonna fix the housing crisis in a jiffy.
          Helen had 6 pledges.
          Jacinda has a few.
          Winston’s gonn…….
          😳
          🤔
          Oh never mind. I see where you’re coming from & I might as well not even go there. 😐

          • Trevors_elbow

             /  October 23, 2017

            Key not addressing the RMA and housing is the big blight on his tenure. Had numbers to change RMA and get a build programme going and didnt.

            Otherwise pretty much what was on the can….

            Our media are woeful and basically ran Munros PR campaign for him…..appaling rubbish written about someone with no record…
            Smile and Wave bs

  4. Corky

     /  October 23, 2017

    Labour need to be careful here. The media love a whipping boy. Andy used to have that role and everyone loved to roll theirs eyes when he gaffed. I get the feeling the media are pining for those days. Now the euphoria of Labours victory is fading, the media are starting to miss their whipping boy.

    Should the media get on a roll painting negative pictures of the coalition, it maybe hard for Jacinda to change growing media and public perceptions, especially given National will present a formidable opposition.

    • Gezza

       /  October 23, 2017

      Well exactly.
      And if it happens the endless streams of outraged claims of the last 9 years that the msm are all raving bloody looney lefties bent on the destruction of the goverment & mankind in general will be replaced by howls of protests, rising to crescendo around the time of full moons, about the bloody bent right wing swine hive of an msm.

      • Funny, I’ve seen claims for years the media are the instruments of Key, business and righties. If you take more than a cursory glance at TDB or TS that is 😏😏😏

        • Gezza

           /  October 23, 2017

          Well, presumably they’ll be happier now if that’s how it goes with the msm. They got it right.

        • Gezza

           /  October 23, 2017

          Tell ya what trav. The person I’d like to be LEAST in the country at the moment I think would probably be Toni Street.

          Christ! Must be horrible. Every week night: “Calm down, calm down. You’re hyperventilating again. Breathe! Breathe! Oh FFS, go to the doctor and GET something Mike!

        • Fight4NZ

           /  October 23, 2017

          Or a quick glance at the television

    • adamsmith1922

       /  October 23, 2017

      Agree

      • Corky

         /  October 23, 2017

        The media is still basically Leftwing. It’s nothing personal…except if they start realising there’s nothing going into their back pockets, while a heap is going out. Then things will change. Hell hath no fury like a Leftie shafted by their own.

        • Gezza

           /  October 23, 2017

          Yup. Righties like being shafted by their own.

          • Gezza

             /  October 23, 2017

            (Doesn’t matter who – just as long as SOMEBODY’S shafted – they’re content 👍🏼.)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 23, 2017

              Yup. Looking forward to the next couple of years, Sir Gerald. There’ll be shafts flying Left, Right and Centre.

            • Corky

               /  October 23, 2017

              Don’t you mean Left, Left/Right and Left.

  5. Zedd

     /  October 23, 2017

    just waiting for the first meeting in the house.. the rest is just speculation. they havent even appointed the ministers.. yet 🙂

  6. Zedd

     /  October 23, 2017

    there is already speculation that it will only be a one term govt. ?

    they havent even been officially appointed & the naysayers are ready to cut them down.. poor LOSERS i say. 🙂

    • Poor losers, my eye.

      We are seeing clearly that Jacinda Ardern is communist in all but name, at least that’s what it looks like, I think that even the mugs who voted for her may be in for a very big and unpleasant surprise.

      • Blazer

         /  October 23, 2017

        do you think we should kowtow to Communist China as National have for the last 8-9 years?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  October 24, 2017

          That is a ‘do you still beat your wife-yes or no ?’ question. Try it on someone with less intelligence, someone who might be caught by it.

          We would be extremely silly to only trade with countries whose political views were identical to ours. If you see normal trade relations as kowtowing, you must think that China is kowtowing to us-if you know what kowtow means.

          • Blazer

             /  October 24, 2017

            this is extremely offensive..’ Jacinda Ardern is communist in all but name, ‘.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 24, 2017

              Why is it offensive ?

              She certainly acts as if it is true, And calling people ‘Comrade’ is a bit of a giveaway.

      • Blazer

         /  October 24, 2017

        your post is offensive and should be deleted.

    • Corky

       /  October 23, 2017

      I didn’t vote, Zedd%. So I’m not a poor loser. But I can tell you Labour will be a one term train crash.

      Please don’t tell the ‘man in the middle’. He gets upset when I diss Labour.

      • Gezza

         /  October 23, 2017

        Leave it to me Zedd. 👍🏼 I’ll tell the blighter for you.
        God knows somebody should! 😡 Apparently. 🙄
        Otherwise he might never realise it & just carry on soaring above it all like a bloody pukeko. 😐
        Sir Gerald.
        🛡⚔

    • Blazer

       /  October 23, 2017

      [Deleted – you’re on notice that you may be placed on pre-moderation. PG]

  7. Gerrit

     /  October 23, 2017

    As an aside issue, but possibly one Pete could have a post about, is the potential for the opposition to be able to form a viable alternative government (or at least contest an early general election) if and when the triad turns into a failure. Who does National need to cull, who to promote, who to have on the front bench. I my view English, Joyce and Brownlee at the very least should go to the National backbenches, a new leader and front bench selected ready to act as a formidable opposition and be seen as a viable alternative government. A lot of focus is on the new government effectiveness (and rightly so at present) but what are peoples thoughts on the opposition?

    • Blazer

       /  October 23, 2017

      ‘my view English, Joyce and Brownlee at the very least should go to the National backbenches,’..I see you have a very realistic understanding of the National Party works.I look forward to future posts from you.

  8. Gerrit

     /  October 23, 2017

    Sorry Blazer, I don’t have an understanding at all how the National party “works”. I am asking if people have opinions on how the National party will line up in opposition, personnel and strategy wise. It is going to be interesting to see how the cogs of government will function as the National party has the biggest number of seats and as such will command 55% of all parliamentary resources plus will have the majority (by fact of highest representation numbers in parliament) of members on any select committee. If a select committee has eleven MP’s, 5 will be National, 4 Labour and one each NZ First and Greens. The three government whips are going to be very busy making sure legislation gets through the select committee’s. .

    National will have the majority of questions at Question Time in parliament and how National will formulate questions to the three government parties is strategically interesting. They will try and divide and disrupt as a good opposition should. They must also align their MP’s for a general election that could come sooner then planned and as such they must have (INHO) their new leader and shadow ministers in place I would say by January next year at the latest.

    • Blazer

       /  October 24, 2017

      if any of the 3 you mention go to the backbenches I will vote for National myself at the next election.