Stuff: the 2018 predictions

I’m not into making political predictions, at best it’s an informed guessing game, but for some it’s an annual ritual. The Fairfax political journalists got barely half their predictions wrong for 2017. They try again.

Some are general speculation with a reasonable chance of happening, like:

7. The budget will feature few goodies, much of the cash already being spent in the mini-budget. But there will be one or two headline-catching surprises.

8. A backbench MP will come under fire for a professional, or unprofessional as it were, indiscretion.

13. The Prime Minister will be forced to require the discipline of a NZ First member of the executive.

18. There will be a political bombshell that will see the ousting of a minister.

Some predict ends of positions and careers, or non-ends:

2. National leader Bill English announces that after 28 years in Parliament and two election campaigns he won’t stay on to see a third as leader in 2020. As he goes he cites the need for “generational change”.

I think that’s a good bet.

9. Kelvin Davis will stay on a deputy leader of Labour, despite a few more bad patches as acting-PM.

10. The Green Party will select Eugenie Sage as co-leader…

15. National’s Nicola Willis will enter Parliament when a list MP retires – likely Nicky Wagner.

20. Jian Yang will remain on in the National Party pulling in serious donations, but negative stories about possible Chinese Government influence will continue to swirl. An inquiry will be talked about but not actually launched.

And some are on specific Government promises or bills:

4. KiwiBuild – the plan to build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years – stumbles out of the gate, and the Government aren’t all that clear about how many houses have been built. Estimates have it at less than 300, but the Government insists it will ramp up much more in the following year.

11. The Kermadec Sanctuary Bill will be pulled from the ballot and cause a major rift between the Greens and NZ First. But after the spat, the Greens will back down and vote along Government lines.

14. Abortion law reform will not be openly pursued by the Government, despite a promise to take it out of the Crimes Act.

19. Iwi leaders will take fresh water rights all the way back to the Supreme Court, after a broken promise by the Government to address the issue.

And perhaps the big one of the year, a conscience vote:

12. David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill will end up narrowly passing following a divisive national debate and some changes in select committee. It won’t go to referendum.

If MPs a split similar to public opinion it should pass comfortably. Some changes in select committee are inevitable, that’s hardly a prediction.

It shouldn’t need to go to a referendum, it isn’t necessary and it isn’t a suitable issue for referendum – it affects a small number of people directly and most people will never have to deal with it personally or as close family, or not for decades anyway.

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33 Comments

  1. David

     /  January 1, 2018

    I think any observer of politics could make these predictions they have hardly come up with anything insightful.
    I predict that we will start to see the Ardern wobble and WP and Robertson will step up and cover for her. I also see an 11.2 billion dollar funding shortfall coming to fruition. The drop in business confidence will persist and we will see a halving in GDP growth. NZ First wont poll above 5% in any mainstream poll and after march Labour wont poll above 40%.

    • Blazer

       /  January 1, 2018

      I predict David s attempt at comedy in 2018. .will be quite. .laughable.

      • David

         /  January 1, 2018

        I was going to predict that Blazer made one pertinent comment this year but thought that a bit of an outlier.

  2. NOEL

     /  January 1, 2018

    “A backbench MP will come under fire for a professional, or unprofessional as it were, indiscretion.”

    Aw Gee that must have been a hard one.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 1, 2018

    Here’s a Trumpy one:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-big-beautiful-trump-2018-issue-1514499989

    Draining the swamp as election issue.

  4. Chuck Bird

     /  January 1, 2018

    Just because you do not agree with binding referendum does not mean it will not happen. NZF can force it. Your reason that it affects a small number of people applies to MPs as welll on a proportionate basis.

    • “NZF can force it”

      Only if they are in a position to swing the vote – I expect there will be an amendment for a referendum that will be voted on a conscience basis.

    • “Just because you do not agree with binding referendum ”

      I agree with binding referenda on appropriate issues, but I don’t think this is one of them. On important legislation affecting a minority I think it is better for our MPs in Parliament to make a sensible decision as per our representative democracy.

      • Chuck Bird

         /  January 1, 2018

        Who do the 60 list MPs represent?

        • List MPs are the best representatives that each party put forward, and that we all voted for proportionally.

          They should represent all New Zealanders on conscience votes, just like all electorate MPs.

          Most if not all list MPs work in electorates and with other constituencies.

          It’s imperfect but generally works well enough – but not so well when petty partisanship dominates a binding referendum as happened with the flag vote.

          • Gezza

             /  January 1, 2018

            I think the flag referendum worked out ok. We’d have had to live with that tea towel for decades before we could get rid of it. It’s bad enuf our national airline has to deck itself out like the All Blacks team bus. Christ, isn’t there more to this country than the ABs?

            • Patzcuaro

               /  January 1, 2018

              At least it would have been better than the current colonial tea towel.

            • Gezza

               /  January 1, 2018

              Nah. Might as well just have been an All Black jersey.
              Back to the drawing board.

            • duperez

               /  January 1, 2018

              There is more to this country than the ABs. There are those who hate the All Blacks and rugby and don’t the idea of the grip they think those have on us. To demonstrate their disquiet about the fixation they say there is, they become fixated on that situation. 🙃

            • Gezza

               /  January 1, 2018

              I know what you mean dupers. Luckily I just made a *passing* remark.

  5. David

     /  January 1, 2018

    “4. KiwiBuild – the plan to build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years – stumbles out of the gate, and the Government aren’t all that clear about how many houses have been built. Estimates have it at less than 300, but the Government insists it will ramp up much more in the following year.”

    No houses have been built, and none ever will be built under ‘Kiwibuild’. All they are doing is simply counting houses that were already going to be built as ‘Kiwibuild’.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 1, 2018

      Cynic ! Tsk, tsk.

      • David

         /  January 1, 2018

        Well, building houses is quite hard. It’s a lot easier to let other people to actually already build all the houses build them and just claim credit for it.

  6. Ray

     /  January 1, 2018

    What would make an interesting year is if Winston Peters checked out of the building.

  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 2, 2018

    One UK psychic says that Prince Harry’s marriage will be over in 5 years, one says that it will last.

    • patupaiarehe

       /  January 2, 2018

      One of them is correct, Kitty 😀

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 2, 2018

        I know which one I believe.

        • patupaiarehe

           /  January 2, 2018

          Which one is that?

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 3, 2018

            The first, I fear, is likely. I can’t see Miss Look-at-me-I’m-a-Hollywood-star fitting into the Royal Family somehow. .