The Nation – Grant Robertson a financial asset

The Nation digs into the budget with an interview of Finance Minister Grant Robertson, plus ‘a closer look at the numbers’ with CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg.

(The nation is now officially called ‘Newshub Nation’, I’m not a fan of this because it’s supposed to be about the nation, not a media company) .

There seems to have been more criticism of the budget from the left than from the right, if you ignore Nationals fairly lame scatter gun attempts to sound like they oppose a budget that is barely any different to their past budgets.

Discussing all these stories and more will be our panel: Newshub’s Political Editor , Newsroom Pro Managing Editor , Sandra Grey from the Tertiary Education Union and former National Party General Manager Chris Simpson.

Tertiary education got little out of the budget, hence I presume the inclusion of Grey.


A good interview for Robertson I think he shows a lot of promise. He almost looks and sounds like a younger version of Steven Joyce.

He has had long enough in Parliament, first as a staffer and now nearly ten years as an MP, to build a lot of experience as a politician.

He has also had the benefit of being able to focus on the Finance portfolio since 2014. He showed in the interview an in depth knowledge of his portfolio and the decisions he and the Government have made.

He has started fairly cautiously and conservatively, with promises of transformation down the track. It all looks very sensible.

Prime Minister Ardern has attracted most of the media attention, but the critical work of the Government to date looks like having been done by Robertson. To me he comes across much better and more credibly than Ardern, but I tend to dislike celebrity/personality fluff.

I’m sure the interview will be dissected and Newshub will come up with a headline for the;r ‘news’ tonight, but my overall impression of Robertson is very good, he looks like he could be a very capable Minister of Finance for at least the next two years, and if Labour learns from and leans on his example they could easily stretch out for another term or two as well.

It’s still early days for Labour in power, but Robertson could turn out to be one of their biggest assets – and potentially, the country’s.

Newshub: Interview

Transcript: The Nation: Finance Minister Grant Robertson

 

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31 Comments

  1. sorethumb

     /  May 19, 2018

    Those policemen didn’t exactly hold Louise Nicholas down? I have only ever had a cursory interest but….? Seems to me they believed she was willing? Of course if I was there i may have been shocked at their attitude but I may have seen both sides? And we are in the PC Zone now where we idolise the victim..

    • Gezza

       /  May 19, 2018

      😳 WTF are you on about ?

      What’s Louise Nicholas got to do with this? o_O

  2. I’ll be watching the delay Pete. I’ve never had a great impression of Robertson as I put him firmly in the beige and boring department. He’s no Bill English though and it’ll be awhile before I’m seeing safe hands in that crew. No matter the conservatism he projects, electioneering stunts like free tertiary, horse tax breaks and a billion to the Islands stand as beacons of gross ignorance and fiscal stupidity.

    • There’s a number of things I can criticise about the budget, there always will be.

      I’ve had my doubts about Robertson in the past. But he seems to have learned well and grown into the job – far better than Ardern in fact.

      It’s still early days for him and the current Government, but I think he could turn out to be a real asset. Like English did – it took him quite a while to earn his credibility and praise.

      • “he seems to have learned well and grown into the job – far better than Ardern in fact“

        He’s got one area to concentrate on. She spreads herself far too thinly as PM. Far too much time on photo shoots, selfies, school visits and her personal brand. It’s who she is. He’s a far more serious and dare I say it intelligent person than her.

        • duperez

           /  May 19, 2018

          It would be good to see your list of things she should cut out or put in to achieve not spreading herself too thinly.

          No selfies? All selfies or are the ones totally random when she’s going in or out of somewhere and there’s a 8 second time out because someone asks her? (And then if she doesn’t accede could publish to the world that she’s a non-communicative, cold, arrogant bitch.)

          No school visits? No hospitals too? No workplaces where ordinary New Zealanders are? Just restrict herself to meetings with business people in Wellington?

          And spreading herself too thinly obviously would have to mean her only speaking on specific topics.

          The way the world is we have come to expect our leaders to know every thing about everything, and comment on everything. A quip about a TV programme has the same gravitas as a comment about Iran. A grain of sand ready to be a mountain. A quick comment about Iran is put under the microscope and examined more than the total worldwide forever examinations of the collected works of Shakespeare. All nuances real and imagined chucked out there, evidence on which to to judge the PM.

          • Gezza

             /  May 19, 2018

            Good points, dupers.

            Messrs Key & English didn’t get asked about anything much than their porfolios or the latest political crisis because they wouldn’t have a had a clue what was going on.

            (Haven’t seen Jacinda pulling anyone’s ponytails – I might add. 😎 )

            • Gezza

               /  May 19, 2018

              Hullo. Looks like a few people have had their ponytails pulled by Jacinda? 😳

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 19, 2018

              Not me, G. Maybe wishful thinking in the pony-tailed Lefty entourage?

    • Blazer

       /  May 19, 2018

      hilarious…’I put him firmly in the beige and boring department. He’s no Bill English though ..’
      I keep forgetting Billy was such a live wire ,personality with so much charisma!

  3. Blazer

     /  May 19, 2018

    this…
    ‘It’s still early days for Labour in power, but Robertson could turn out to be one of their biggest assets – and potentially, the country’s.’

    Comparison with Joyce is valid.Both articulate and confident.

  4. Zedd

     /  May 19, 2018

    Robertson was just reaffirming that they cannot fix/amend 9 long years of Natl; NEGLECT of the public service; education, health care, MSD etc.

    I agree, it is the first of at least 3 budgets, they cannot change everything in one hit. They are obviously constrained by their coalition deal (NZF) & their Conf./supply agreement with Greens.

    Just because Natl steamrolled their way through the last decade, does not mean Lab/NZF/Grns have to follow suit, in fact their plan it to do something different.

    One thing is clear; Natl may have got the largest party vote, but they are NOT the Govt. & they should at least give it a chance.. rather than just constantly throw stones ; that is not ‘holding a Govt. to account’… just childish attacks 😦

    • David

       /  May 19, 2018

      “Robertson was just reaffirming that they cannot fix/amend 9 long years of Natl; NEGLECT of the public service; education, health care, MSD etc”

      Now I curious, would you have preferred the last government to have spent, say 10% more, at the cost of a higher deficit?

      Just for context;

      “Without the pay equity element, a direct comparison of National’s new money was $551.6 million in 2017 vs $774.32 in 2018.”

      The additional pay deal was another $347m, I assume you agree with increasing wages for these workers as well? That will suck up a large proportion of those budget increases.
      All I can see here is a ongoing trend, it’s no revolution in anyway.

      • Zedd

         /  May 19, 2018

        “MIND THE GAP”… thats all Natl did for 9 long years !

        at least it sounds like this Govt. are trying to close it

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 19, 2018

    Robertson has shown himself capable of doing nothing adequately. The test will come when he tries to do something.

    • PDB

       /  May 19, 2018

      Yes, running a National-lite budget using revenue generated by the last National govt is no achievement. The irony of course is the same left-leaning people on here supporting this budget would have complained if National had presented it, which they could well have done considering it looks like something Bill English could have produced.

      In some ways the first budget of a new govt is meaningless as their policies have not had time to take effect and they still have heavy reliance on what has gone on before them. The next budget will contain all we need to know about the economy under this Labour-NZL First govt.

      • Blazer

         /  May 19, 2018

        still trying to be a clairvoyant!Give it …up.

        • PDB

           /  May 19, 2018

          I’m picking tomorrow you’ll be as hypocritical and nonsensical as every other day on here – let’s see if I’m correct…

          • High Flying Duck

             /  May 19, 2018

            That’s not so much clairvoyance as Groundhog Day.

  6. High Flying Duck

     /  May 19, 2018

    It was a very clever budget from Robertson.
    He knows elections aren’t won in the first year. He has thrown a few crumbs but mostly kept his powder dry for the next 2 years.
    If economic projections are met he’ll be able to be father Christmas leading in to the next election.
    Keeping the economy performing is key though and maintaining momentum while implementing the Labour agenda it’s what he will ultimately be judged on.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 19, 2018

      Then he should thank English for it.

      • Blazer

         /  May 19, 2018

        care to explain why…exactly?

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 19, 2018

          No-one else would need an explanation and you would anyway ignore it.

          • Blazer

             /  May 19, 2018

            didn’t think you could…just flappin the gums as usual.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  May 19, 2018

        He should definitely thank English for the state of the books – he’s the first finance minister to take over government books in pristine condition since forever.
        But you can only work with what you’re given. He’s been given plenty but remained a scrooge so that he can throw out the largess when it matters.

        • Blazer

           /  May 19, 2018

          bollocks…English inherited a solid position from Cullen,with little overseas public debt.

          • PDB

             /  May 19, 2018

            ‘Decade of deficits’ without the earthquakes…..low debt but ingrained big spending policies in place that couldn’t be changed unless you wanted to commit political suicide.

            National back in surplus in quick smart time and Labour (again) inherits an economy on the rise as Helen Clark did in 1999.

            But you know all that already as you’ve been shown many times. Groundhog day indeed.

            • Blazer

               /  May 19, 2018

              quicksmart=7 years..Bol…who cares.