The most pure form of MMP?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed ‘pure MMP’ in her speech at the Government’s PR rally in Auckland yesterday:

Next month marks the first anniversary of this Government. Not only have we achieved a huge amount, we’ve done it as the most pure form of MMP government New Zealand has ever had.

Perhaps the lady doth claim purity too much.

I really don’t know what she means by that. “Pure MMP” sounds like pure nonsense.

We have had eight elections under MMP, the first in 1996. After each of those elections we have had varying governing arrangements, all involving more than two parties. Each of those governments have involved negotiations and agreements and compromises between parties.

What is different about the current MMP government?

Winston Peters in his opening speech yesterday:

Because we are a unique government, the first true MMP Government since 1996, there are issues we regularly confront that requires consultation and negotiation. These can be robust discussions but that is not a sign of division or weakness. It is rather a manifestation of our shared commitment to create enduring solutions that reflect a coming together of the different values and beliefs that each party brings to each and every issue. There is strength in our diversity because it reflects the majority will of the country.

“The first true MMP Government” is just as nonsensical.

“It reflects the majority will of the country” is questionable, especially in a situation where Peters seems to be using far more power than NZ First’s 7% justifies.

Patrick Smellie at Scoop BusinessDesk:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has used an invitation-only political rally involving all three government parties to reassert both her leadership and to re-establish the government’s political agenda after a fractious few weeks in relations between coalition partners Labour and New Zealand First.

…amid recent indications that NZ First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is seeking a more equal footing with her and between the two parties, despite NZ First having nine seats in Parliament to Labour’s 46.

@cjsbishop:

National, ACT United and Maori managed to get on with it without cancelling pre-arranged interviews in order to do TedTalks to hand-picked supporters asking vetted questions. The idea today was remarkable is just ludicrous

@honpeterdunne:

Actually, Labour and UnitedFuture worked well together 2002-05 and Labour, UnitedFuture, and NZFirst did likewise between 2005-08 without any need for this type of event.

Patrick Smellie:

While the framework for organising government policy-making had been in development since March, Ardern used the speech to subtly assert her primacy, describing herself as being “in the driving seat” for the metaphorical car ride the government is taking the country on…

Peters opened his speech with:

Eleven months ago we in New Zealand First faced a choice between perpetuating a modified status quo or in joining with other parties to effect positive change. The Labour-New Zealand First Coalition was formed out of that choice, with confidence and supply provided by the Green Party.

He strongly implies here that the governing arrangement was his choice. That fits with his playing the media during negotiations last October, and him being the party leader who announced what form the government would take, as it was his decision.

That doesn’t look like pure MMP or true MMP. It looks like you can’t teach an old dog not to wag the Government tail.

The PR rally seems to have been an attempt to paint a rosy picture of a thorny power struggle.

The MMP claims are likely to be an attempt to fool some of the people some of the time about the governing relationship. perceptions of Government leadership seems to be bugging Peters.He seems to see himself as the senior politician, and has struggled to adjust to being Ardern’s deputy since he had a few weeks in charge.

The MMP references may well be in response to some exchanges in Parliament last Thursday. In question 1:

Hon Paula Bennett: Will the Labour-led Government support the Employment Relations Amendment Bill that was approved by Cabinet as it is currently written?

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: On behalf of the Prime Minister, after 25 years of MMP we expect members of Parliament to come here understanding the lexicon and language of MMP. That’s number one—it’s a coalition between the Labour Party and New Zealand First with support agreement from the Green Party.

That question and answer was repeated. And this was repeated four times in question 6:

Hon Scott Simpson: Will the Labour-led Government consider changes to its Employment Relations Amendment Bill that allow more businesses to use the 90-day trial period when taking on new staff?

Hon IAIN LEES-GALLOWAY: The member has been here long enough to know how the parliamentary process works.

In question 9 Chris Hipkins was baited twice with ‘Labour-led’ but didn’t bite. However in question 3 David Clark missed the script:

But a return to the conditions found under the previous Labour-led Government…

And Peters rose to the bait in question 12:

Hon Todd McClay: Can he therefore confirm media speculation that he is considering appointing a member of the Labour-led Government as a head of mission to a New Zealand post overseas?

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: Can I just say to that member that while he and his colleagues deliberately seek to get the lexicon of MMP Government wrong, they’re not going to get an answer out of me. Behave and you’ll get it.

Peters and Ardern still seemed to be playing with their positions of power in their speeches, Peters with his “The Labour-New Zealand First Coalition”, but  Ardern slipping in:

It’s a bit like a road trip that tells you who’s in the car, where you’ll be stopping, but doesn’t tell you where you’re going.

I can tell you, that as the person driving that car, that wasn’t enough for me.

Despite their attempts to paint a rosy (but confused) picture, it looks obvious that Peters is not content to be a back seat driver.

With James shaw riding a bike behind.

Audrey Young in Show of unity by Peters was important at Jacinda Ardern’s speech:

Not quite unified enough for Peters to share the stage with the Greens after Ardern’s speech, to take questions from the audience.

Instead questions were left to Ardern, Green Party co-leader James Shaw, New Zealand First minister Tracey Martin and Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

Peters later allowed himself to share a platform with Shaw, along with Ardern at the press conference after the speech. It looked like things might be changing.

But in the end Ardern seems to have used her authority:

But Ardern ended the press conference when Peters started getting belligerent with the media, and it looked liked not much had changed.

That may be why most of the event was carefully orchestrated PR.

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86 Comments

  1. Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2018

      It’s a limo. He’s in the back compartment. She’s the chauffeur.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 17, 2018

        It’s more like a horse and cart. Labour the blinkered horse being directed by their master Peters with the Greens running behind waiting for Winston to toss them some scraps from whatever he happens to be feasting on.

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  September 17, 2018

          You missed the opportunity to say the trailing Greens were waiting for the horse to drop dung for them to scoop up for their organic gardens or maybe glue together their dreadlocks or maybe use as soap or maybe dry and make Morris dancing bells from or whatever, PDB. Disappointing.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 17, 2018

            He didn’t need to. Waiting meant you did it for him.

            Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 17, 2018

            I think you are living in the past Robert – most of the Green Party support base nowadays are more at home virtue signaling to each other in a high-end café whilst sipping lattes.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  September 17, 2018

            It thought horses were banned under the Green’s 30 year plan? They produce far too much methane.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 17, 2018

              They do, Pink David. Fart oo much. (falls off sofa larfing at own wit)

              I didn’t bother to listen to the whole of the self-congratulatory love-fest. Full marks to those who did listen to the orchestrated litany of bullshit.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  September 17, 2018

    Posturing prats setting themselves up to be mocked by anyone but Bridges. Ironically demonstrating how bad he is.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  September 17, 2018

      The Governmental car has a bench-style front seat, upon which the 4 leaders sit comfortably. They’re passing a clapped-out jalopy, radiator hissing, at the side of the road in which the only thing working is the tinny radio from which screechy blues music is leaking; other sounds, the constant drone of someone saying nothing of note, the sharpening of knives and a deep sobbing, give the observer an impression of a clown’s circus car.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 17, 2018

        The Governmental car has a bench-style front seat, upon which the 4 leaders sit comfortably.

        They don’t. And that showed. Tv msm all picked up that this was a bit desperate after a shit month which showed the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 17, 2018

          Left hand not knowing what the other left hand’s doing, more like.

          It may well be an old bench-style front seat, Gezza. An oldfashioned, cumbersome, expensive to run vehicle that can’t go the same speed as the modern, streamlined National one which has two seats in front for the leader and deputy.

          No seatbelts in a car of that vintage, either, to prevent major damage to all concerned if anything goes wrong like the wheels falling off or the steering going to pieces..

          Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 17, 2018

        More like this mob trying to do a repaint job on a clapped out lada.

        Reply
      • Zedd

         /  September 17, 2018

        nice one RG.. maybe a Electric Car with ‘Real MMP’ on the side ! 😀

        btw; i saw a clip of a Tesla beating a Ferrari from a standing start.. ‘sign of the times’

        Reply
  3. robertguyton

     /  September 17, 2018

    “Who’s Top Dog?”, the authoritarians howl!
    There has to be a no.1, Head Honcho; sharing power just isn’t possible!!!”
    Just an extension of the inability to accept the Greens co-leadership model. That caterwauling continued for years on the Right wing blogs and probably still does.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 17, 2018

      I don’t see much power being shared with the Greens, Robert.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 17, 2018

        Myopic, Alan?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 17, 2018

          No, even with my driving glasses on all I can see down the road is the Greens being squashed into the spare tyre compartment whenever Winston wants to put his whiskey in the boot.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2018

      There has to be someone who shows they’re fronting a government that’s capable of cooperating effectively & working efficiently. The only reason there has to be a Number 1 fronter is because our system calls that person the Prime Minister & they personify the government & the country to the rest of the world.

      Reply
    • “accept the Greens co-leadership model”

      Would the Greens happily accept a co-leadership model with Ardern and Peters in charge?

      Or do you think it should be Ardern-Peters-Shaw co-leadership?

      Or Ardern-Peters-Shaw-Davidson co-leadership?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 17, 2018

        James came across like he looked and felt like an afterthought & was awkward in the tiny little segment he got to answer a patsy question. His co-leader was not there. He had to front for the female party.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  September 17, 2018

          I agree; that is exactly what he looked like. He was there as a token and looked like it,

          Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  September 17, 2018

    Jacinda is the Prime Minister and making a very good job of it. Winston says the Government is working as it should, and I agree. Both say this iteration of an MMP Government is the best example to date, and I agree with that also. The three parties have expressed their satisfaction with the governance arrangements. Those not in Government, along with their supporters, are casting aspersions like black confetti at a wedding, but they are wrong and desperate to spoil the bride’s lovely day, miserable kill-joys 🙂

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2018

      You are right in terms of representation. The BIG problem they were desperate to address was that Jacs has blatantly lied to the media & thus the public & they’ve had a month of looking totally incoherent & like one of them can simply scuttle the plan or bits of it if he doesn’t get his way, at any time.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 17, 2018

        Hence the Sunday speech. And it’s worked as well as possible, despite the bilious comments on this blog and from the usual (bilious) media personalities; Posturing Hoskings et all.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 17, 2018

          It’s poosible this can work if they all trust each other & they don’t fight & contradict each other in public. The country wants & needs stable government. The problem is the female party co-leader wants to be able to fight in public, & the NZF party leader gets where he is by doing that.

          Reply
  5. robertguyton

     /  September 17, 2018

    “It’s poosible (sic) this can work if they all trust each other & they don’t fight & contradict each other in public. The country wants & needs stable government. ”
    That’s right. It is and will continue to work. They’re all improving the model all the time. Wouldn’t it be something is New Zealanders supported their Government, rather than trying to erode them as fast as possible. The National Party are cheerleading that attempt to degrade the Government. It’s expected that in the House they should “hold the Government to account” but the rest of the nonsense, dirty and otherwise, is a serious fault in our political fabric and thinking.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2018

      As long as the God-awful grating, droning, humourless, robotic, uninspiring plodder Bridges is National’s leader there’s hope for this crew to survive & possibly even thrive but they can’t have any more months like the last one & they might get them again nearer election time from the usual suspect.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2018

      I wish there 2 or 3 published weekly poll results running in this little backwater country of ours. I’m picking Labour’s polling showed Jacinda taking hits. If her personal popularity drops that can generate its own momentum.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 17, 2018

        It does seem likely this was to try and prop up poor internal polling. I’m not sure how holding an event for some hand-picked faithful with hand-picked patsy questions is somehow going to get the country behind them.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 17, 2018

          It isn’t going to turn around current polling decline, could even accelerate it because it had an air of safe space trying to convince themselves & Peters convinced no one.
          But if they avoid more obvious lies from the front woman & more public profile raising battles things might settle down & even turn around. Bridges isn’t looking like our next PM. God forbid. He’s not going to pull votes from undecideds.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 17, 2018

            Their internal polling may not show Labour votes going to National, it may show Winston picking up soft Labour voters now he has shown who’s boss. The event may have been organised by Labour to stop this seeping of votes to NZL First rather than to appeal to National/undecided voters.

            Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 17, 2018

      Robert: “The National Party are cheerleading that attempt to degrade the Government. It’s expected that in the House they should “hold the Government to account” but the rest of the nonsense, dirty and otherwise, is a serious fault in our political fabric and thinking.”

      The honest truth is that the current govt have been their own worst enemies and National have had little to do. To blame the National party for the many issues dogging this govt is a falsity, after all the previous govt gave the current mob an outstanding financial situation, much of which has been spent in totally the wrong areas. One example: paying Peters billions of $ as payoff for forming govt and then complaining they can’t give police, teachers etc a decent payrise.

      Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  September 17, 2018

    ‘One example: paying Peters billions of $ ‘…stop LYING.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 17, 2018

      Strong accusation there Blazer – Peters has picked up billions of $ from this govt for his provincial fund, tree fund, horse fund, diplomat fund and pacific reset to name a few. All prioritised over such things as decent police pay increases.

      Your alternative facts are?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  September 17, 2018

        this is the legitimate Col Govt of NZ allocating expenditure as they are entitled to do.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  September 17, 2018

          Now you are moving the goal posts, I didn’t say they weren’t legitimate. However the fact is some of the key policies of Winston, many of which were only of interest to him & treasury thought were a waste of money, got billions of $ of funding prioritised over such things as decent pay increases for public servants. The govt can hardly blame National for poorly spending all the money they inherited from the National-led govt.

          So again where am I lying?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  September 17, 2018

            here..’ paying Peters billions of $ as payoff for forming govt ‘…thats just your assertion…Govt allocations are agreed by the Col.

            Its like saying National paid off the MP with Whanau Ora and any other considerations they made.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  September 17, 2018

              Everything needs to weighted & prioritised – Winston has taken far more than his fair share at the expense of the people Labour/Greens supposedly represent.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              Your (faux) concern is duly noted.

            • PDB

               /  September 17, 2018

              It is comical for either side of the political divide to think only they care for people. In my experience the difference between the two is how we do so & whether short-term solutions will actually make things worse in the longer-term.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              I don’t believe that caring for people is the prerogative of any one party; all political parties in NZ care for people, in their own way, ‘cept ACT 🙂

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2018

              Really? You think taking individual responsibility is incompatible with caring for others? In my experience the reverse is true – those keen to lean on others have little interest in supporting anyone else.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              “Really? You think taking individual responsibility is incompatible with caring for others?”
              Nope, I don’t think that. I said, “‘cept ACT”, not “‘cept those who take individual responsibility”.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2018

              So what has Seymour said or done that supports your opinion?

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              Dancing in public – that was not a kindness to New Zealanders. He just didn’t care about our feelings! Proof!

            • High Flying Duck

               /  September 17, 2018

              So you are mocking David Seymour for raising a huge amount of money for, and relentlessly promoting Kidsline and using that as an example of not caring for others?
              Keeping it classy Robert.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2018

              @Robert, ok, so your opinion of ACT was as baseless and superficial as we have come to expect from the Greens any time they are probed.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  September 17, 2018

              Seymour also donated 100% of his appearance fees (approx $1500 per episode) to the charity. What a prick eh Robert?

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              I didn’t mock David Seymour for the things you cite. I referred only to his dance performance which I understand was visually a kindness to no one at all. That said, he dances at least as well as I do, but I haven’t wanted to have my efforts televised throughout the country, such is my level of caring for my fellow New Zealanders.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              So, Alan – do I take it you would have us believe that your comments about the Greens are never superficial? I’ll wait for your response before going searching for some examples to cut and paste.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2018

              Be my guest in quoting me, Robert. I don’t rush to judgement without evidence.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              Here you go, Alan – I didn’t have to look far for examples of your superficial comments about The Greens.
              Yesterday, you wrote:
              “Shaw showed he was pathetic in the Turei debacle. Now everyone notices his patheticness as the Green’s pet male.”
              “everyone notices”?
              “the Green’s pet male”
              Superficial enough?
              How about:
              “Still chewing his crayons, G. Not sure why you expect sense from a Green.”
              Superficial (or is the word “supercilious” – behaving or looking as though one thinks one is superior to others.?)
              That’s a quick search from just one day ago, Alan. Going back further into the rich mine of superficial comments made by you, about the Greens would be…time consuming and like looking for cat-poo in a sand-pit.
              Have you enough now to inform your view on whether you make superficial comments about The Greens?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 17, 2018

              Nothing superficial about the comment re Shaw. His inability to hold Turei to account was weak. He continues to be dominated by his female MPs.

              The crayons jibe merely returned serve on your own.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              “the Green’s pet male”?
              Not a superficial comment?
              If you really believe that’s not trite, there’s nothing more I need to talk about.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 17, 2018

              “Not sure why you expect sense from a Green.”
              Not superficial? Not trite?

  7. robertguyton

     /  September 17, 2018

    “The honest truth is” – that’s not the honest truth, PDB, that’s your honest opinion and of course, debatable.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 17, 2018

      Plenty of proof where this govt, and/or the individual parties that make it up, have shot themselves in the foot with no help from National. If you can debate the opposite go for it.

      Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  September 17, 2018

    All Im hearing from the ‘Tories’: ‘Boo Hoo we still think we won the election.. because we still think FPP is the way NZ sees politics’ … 56+1 seats is not a majority.. 46+9+8 = 63 is though, “Welcome to Real MMP politics !!”

    All the nonsense.. still echoing.. that most voted NZF thinking ‘they were going with Natl’ just proves that they do not understand MMP. methinks NZF went into coalition with Labour (plus Greens C&S) because they obviously see better outcomes for them & their constituents in this Govt.

    Get over it Tories.. we put up with 9 looooong years or your ‘neo-Liberal B-S’ It might take at least 2 terms to recover 😀

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 17, 2018

      The election is old news, this inept govt floundering about looking for direction is where we are at.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  September 17, 2018

        oh really….. your response says it all: Still in denial !

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  September 17, 2018

          So in your world it doesn’t matter if we focus on the election result or we talk about the ‘now’ it all means we are in denial over the election? No wonder none of your posts make sense.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 17, 2018

            Zedd: “It might take at least 2 terms to recover”

            To recover from what? from this govt being handed over loads of surplus money from the previous govt? I think in that case this mob will waste it inside this current term and will need to hike taxes beyond that to match their wasted spending.

            Reply
      • Zedd

         /  September 17, 2018

        btw Pantzi

        This Govt. has probably set-in-motion more changes, in a year.. than the last MOB did in 9 years.. with their constant excuses; GFC,ChCh quakes, its all the fault of the last Govt. rhetoric & ‘we handle the economy better.. because the top 10% are richer than ever.. trust us it will ‘trickle down’… eventually… errr maybe…’ & ‘we need more tax-cuts to make it better’ 😦

        Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 17, 2018

        “Old news”?
        You’d like it to be. In order to learn from history, PDB, you have to make sure it’s not forgotten.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  September 17, 2018

          Winston reminds us all the time Robert, by showing he’s in charge running the show.

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  September 17, 2018

      Jacinda sold the electorate pie in the sky. Now they’ve come looking for it and just got another sales pitch. It will be all downhill from here.

      Reply
  9. Zedd

     /  September 17, 2018

    I hear that Jacinda & Winston have cast aside these terms: Lab-led Govt. & tail(s) wagging the dog.. in favour of a COALITION Govt.
    Sounds like….. 100% pure MMP 🙂

    Stop listening to the FPP Elistist/Tory rhetoric.. get with the program; its 2018, in Aotearoa/NZ

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  September 17, 2018

      Coalition governance?
      I like it!

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 17, 2018

        So do I. Seems to be the quickest way to first neuter and then get rid of the Left.

        Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 17, 2018

      The fact the govt had to ‘relaunch’ themselves after less than a year in govt tells the public all they need to know.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 17, 2018

        That they’re flexible and responsive to developments? Yes.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 17, 2018

          You mean they had to discover their principles after they were elected?

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 17, 2018

            Sometimes you find the odd good comment on Kiwiblog;

            Mobile Michael (On yesterday’s coalition reset):
            “A better analogy would be like fixing a blown head gasket by putting air in the tyres.”

            Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 17, 2018

          That they’re flexible and responsive to developments? Yes.

          They need to be because the last one was.

          Reply
    • Richard

       /  September 17, 2018

      If you think that National is a Tory party you are terminally deluded.

      Reply
  10. Gezza

     /  September 17, 2018

    A couple of signs of discontent on 1ewes last night were items on

    “Fix the Bloody Road Phil” – a very large protest march somewhere where that was the chant & what was on the placards – some black spot that’s been killing members of the local community. They are demanding this killer road fix be a priority & irritated that money is going on other less important stuff

    The growing number of homeless people in Auckland for whom there is insufficient social housing.

    These are both challenges that look likely to bedevil this government as much or more than the last because this government has conceyed the impression they will fix it with by doing better spending than the last government of the same money.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 17, 2018

      *conveyed

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  September 17, 2018

      ”The growing number of homeless people in Auckland for whom there is insufficient social housing.”

      Kitty took me to task over this after I said I couldn’t believe the number of homeless people in Auckland; homeless people hassling pedestrians…and just sitting in a park.

      Let’s see what the tentative count is.

      Reply
  1. The most pure form of MMP? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition
  2. What’s the problem with ‘Labour-led Government’? | Your NZ

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