NZ tops rising global prosperity

New Zealand has topped the Legatum Prosperity Index for 2016, and world prosperity continues to rise.

Whether we look at the global average or weight countries’ scores by their populations, the picture remains the same: global prosperity is now three percent higher than it was in 2007.

New Zealand’s rankings

  • 1 – Overall
  • 1 – Economic quality
  • 2 – Business environment
  • 2 – Governance
  • 15 – Education
  • 12 – Health
  • 19 – Safety and security
  • 3 – Personal freedom
  • 1 – Social capital
  • 13 – Natural environment

Rise in global prosperity:


Global prosperity is at its highest point in the past decade

This is contrary to claims of doom and gloom that are common from some politicians and political activists and pundits.

The top twenty:


One of ten special reports:

Free markets, free people, strong society: New Zealand and delivering prosperity the Anglosphere way

There is an old Māori proverb, he kai kei aku ringa – “There is food at the end of my hands.” It speaks to a resilience; an ability to use your basic skills and resources to create success.

This New Zealand has done in abundance.

For the past decade, this remote island nation of just 4.7 million has stood out as the best deliverer of prosperity in the world – the best at turning its resources and the skills of its people into prosperity.

It has done this through a combination of strong society, free and open markets, and high levels of personal freedom.

Alongside New Zealand (ranked overall first this year), other developed Commonwealth countries also deliver high levels of prosperity in this way: theUK (tenth), Australia (sixth), and Canada (fifth).

Together, these “Anglosphere” nations perform better than any comparable developed bloc in bringing prosperity to their shores. The combination of free markets, opportunity, and strong society is their secret.


Quote of the year

Massey University’s 2016 Quote of the Year from Green MP’s witty response to Brian Tamaki wins Quote of the Year

Denise Roche’s winning quip – “Sex just can’t be that good” – was in response to Tamaki blaming recent destructive quakes on homosexuality and “the weight of human sin”.

That seems more lame than funny but I guess sex sells. This does little more than  give more exposure to Tamaki.

Rachel MacGregor was runner up with her political epitaph for Colin Craig:

“In the beginning I really admired Colin. It was only as time went on that I realised he was a douche bag”

Who votes for the quote of the year? Roche’s quote got nearly 30% and MacGregor’s 18%.

“What’s unusual this year is that almost half of the votes went to two women who, in different contexts, challenged conservative leaders,” says Massey speech writing lecturer Dr Heather Kavan.

Kavan believes it was the humour underlying Roche’s comment that won the day.

Maybe you had to be there to feel the humour.

“I think a lot of people vote for the quotes that make them smile. Denise Roche’s statement was quick-witted and funny. She conveyed her point without denigrating Tamaki, in a situation that left others struggling for words.”

What was her point?

The finalists:

1. “Sex just can’t be that good.” – Green MP Denise Roche when asked about Brian Tamaki’s statements that homosexuality causes earthquakes.

2. “In the beginning I really admired Colin. It was only as time went on that I realised he was a douche bag.” – Rachel MacGregor testifying at Colin Craig’s defamation trial.

3. “I do name a lot of my animals as an insurance policy, because if you name a chicken Meryl Streep, in all fairness you can’t eat Meryl Streep.” – Actor Sam Neill explaining his animals’ names on The Graham Norton Show.

4. “You can tell that she’s a negotiator. I’ve never won an argument with her in my life.” – Dylan Kelly describing his mother, the late Union leader Helen Kelly.

5. “You’re a clever cow to skip and dance while the land beneath you is disappearing down the hill.” – Farmer Derrick Milton after helping to rescue three cows stranded by the Kaikoura earthquake.

6. “All I can say is that I gave it everything I had. I left nothing in the tank.” – Prime Minister John Key announcing his sudden resignation.

7. “If Americans were given a choice, they would have a gun on their flag.” – Comedian Matt Stellingwerf at the Billy T. James 2016 Stand up Comedy Awards.

8. “I may be short, Mr Brownlee, but at least I could sing.” – Ray Columbus’ response to Gerry Brownlee’s criticism of him, to be printed after Columbus’s death.

9. “You want a nose job? Well I’m going to give you one.” – Paul Henry’s daughter, Bella Henry before fighting Naz Khanjani from The Bachelor in the ring.

10. “A haka would have provoked them, they wouldn’t understand what it means, and these guys are looking at any reason to take a shot at us.” – Kereama Te Ua after delivering a stirring haka during protests against the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock.

And I wonder who chooses the quotes. I doubt that any of those will challenge Shakespeare or Churchill or Kennedy.


Trans Tasman’s party ratings

Trans Tasman have put out their 2016 political ratings. Stacey Kirk has some of their party ponderings in  ‘Our best and worst MPs: Quiet achiever Amy Adams takes top gong


The middle of a third term can be tough for a Government, but Prime Minister John Key’s has side-stepped the natural hubris and complacency that often sets in.

National have finished high on 50% in the latest Colmar Brunton poll. Next year’s election looks like theirs to lose, with the main question – as for the last two elections – is what parties they will need to top up their majority.


While Labour had achieved unity under leader Andrew Little, it was still struggling to find its place, having been shunted from the middle. 

And Labour have ended the year on 28%. Struggle is an apt description to an extent, but Labour also keep burning off ex-supporters who are now deemed un-Labour and too far too the right (which means centre).


They had “pretty much disappeared”.

James Shaw has been disappointing, and Metiria Turei and her supporters seems to rule the Green roost but has limited appeal outside the Green bubble.

Maori Party…

 …was “struggling for relevance”.

But they are doing something about it, working with Hone Harawira to try and take Labour on in the Maori seats, aiming to create a strong Maori bloc in Parliament.

The rest:

ACT and UnitedFuture “may as well not be considered parties at all”. 

That’s an inevitable view for one MP parties.

David Seymour is working hard to try and make an impression, but ACT need to come up with some top candidates next year to become a Parliamentary party again.

It’s hard to see United Future being seen anything other than Peter Dunne – he complained about his party status being ignored on Twitter yesterday, but his party is ignored by media.

The 2016 word of the year is…

…two words. Post-truth. Honestly. It says so on the Oxford website.

…the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.

Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines.

The term has moved from being relatively new to being widely understood in the course of a year – demonstrating its impact on the national and international consciousness.

Widely understood? I’m still vague about what it actually means. Truth and politics have long been long been regarded as highly suspect.

I think that ‘political bullshit’ may mean much the same and is more to the point.

Post-truth seems to have been first used in this meaning in a 1992 essay by the late Serbian-American playwright Steve Tesich in The Nation magazine. Reflecting on the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf War, Tesich lamented that ‘we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world’.

There is evidence of the phrase ‘post-truth’ being used before Tesich’s article, but apparently with the transparent meaning ‘after the truth was known’, and not with the new implication that truth itself has become irrelevant.

I suspect that the plebs have long suspected that truth is irrelevant when it comes to politics and politicians – and to an an extent, media.

Remember the by-election?

Only Mt Roskill voters get to take part in the Mt Roskill by-election. It may or may not be exciting them, but it seems to have failed to fire up the rest of the country, in stark contrast to the last by-election in Northland.

The election date is 3 December but advance voting begins today.

Electoral Commission: 2016 Mt Roskill By-Election Everything you need to know


GOODE, Richard NAP
LEITCH, Andrew Democrats for Social Credit
NAUHRIA, Roshan NZ People’s Party
PARMAR, Parmjeet National Party
SCHUSTER, Tua Independent
STRONGE, Brandon The Cannabis Party
WOOD, Michael Labour Party

It’s very disappointing to see media giving disproportionate coverage of and promotion for  selected candidates. The latest ones I’ve seen doing this are The Nation who only featured two candidates (saying seven was too many for them to handle) and Radio New Zealand.

Labour Day 2016

Today is Labour Day. It is a public holiday, which means it’s a day off work for those who don’t work in essential services and in the many other occupations that may work any day of the week throughout nearly all of the year.

The nature of work has changed substantially since the late 1800s. Labouring is a minority occupation these days.

From NZ History:

Fighting for the eight-hour working day

Labour Day commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day. New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington. Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on 28 October 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades and many businesses closed for at least part of the day.

The date, 28 October, marked the first anniversary of the establishment of the Maritime Council, an organisation of transport and mining unions. The fledgling union movement was decimated by defeat in a trans-Tasman Maritime Strike in late 1890 but, despite this, the first Labour Day was a huge success. In Wellington, the highlight was an appearance by the elderly Parnell, who died just a few weeks later. From the mid-1890s the union movement began to recover slowly under the Liberal government. The Liberals’ industrial conciliation and arbitration system, introduced in 1894, earned New Zealand a reputation of being a ‘working man’s paradise’ and a ‘country without strikes’.

Early Labour Day parades drew huge crowds in places such as Palmerston North and Napier as well as in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Unionists and supporters marched behind colourful banners and ornate floats, and the parades were followed by popular picnics and sports events.

These parades also had a political purpose. Although workers in some industries had long enjoyed an eight-hour day, it was not a legal entitlement. Other workers, including seamen, farm labourers, and hotel, restaurant and shop employees, still worked much longer hours. Many also endured unpleasant and sometimes dangerous working conditions. Unionists wanted the Liberals to pass legislation enforcing an eight-hour day for all workers, but the government was reluctant to antagonise the business community.

What the Liberals did do was make Labour Day a holiday. The Labour Day Act of 1899 created a statutory public holiday on the second Wednesday in October, first celebrated in 1900. The holiday was ‘Mondayised’ in 1910, and since then it has been held on the fourth Monday in October.

Today most New Zealanders probably think or care little about what Labour Day means. When I was growing up, and since, it has meant little other than being a long weekend.

It was much more important a century and more ago, as were unions. Now most people don’t see a need to belong to a union.

Going back to the beginning: EVENING POST, VOLUME XL, ISSUE 103, 29 OCTOBER 1890



There will be few parades today, except for parades of shoppers seeking this week’s sales, which are probably much like last week’s sales and the myriad of retail sales throughout the year, especially on long weekends.

And there will be parades of cars on the roads as people return home to the cities from a holiday weekend.


Mt Roskill by-election 3 December

December 3 has been confirmed as the  date has been set for the Mt Roskill by-election.

Labour have confirmed Michael Wood as their candidate some time ago. He has been standing in elections around Auckland since 2002, stood in Epsom in 2014 and since then has been Labour’s Mt Roskill electorate  chairman. When he was confirmed as Labour’s candidate prior after Phil Goff announced he would resign if elected mayor Goff endorsed Wood.

Wood is yet another political careerist. He won’t improve Labour’s gender quota, nor will he change their lack of ethnic diversity. Yesterday leader Andrew Little said on Radio NZ he will be pushing for more ethnic MPs but not until after next year’s general election.

See Michael Wood MP they presume.

Greens have announced that they will not stand against Wood as part of their Memorandum of Understanding with Labour. Co-leader Metiria Turei said the Greens didn’t want to “play any role in National winning the seat”.

National has not announced their candidate yet but it looks likely to be current list MP Parmjeet Parmar, who stood in Mt Roskill in the 2014 general election. If she wins National would gain another MP off their list, so there is quite a lot at stake.

David Seymour has announced that the Act Party won’t stand a candidate. “An Act candidate might only get a few hundred or thousand votes. But we want National to win, giving them the numbers to reform the RMA [Resource Management Act] without the Maori Party.”

Roshan Nauhria, leader of the newly-formed People’s Party, has said they he will contest the by-election, with an emphasis on a law and order platform. About 40% of residents are Asian.

No sign of NZ First’s intentions yet. They did relatively poorly in Mt Roskill in 2014 with Mahesh Bindra standing for them then but Bindra became an MP via the list. NZ First have vocally opposed immigration (Bindra was born and raised in India). If they stand a candidate it’s difficult to predict whether they might compete more with National or Labour votes.

John Minto stood for Mana in 2014 but got few votes and he has since moved to Christchurch where he has just contested the mayoralty.

Conservatives stood a candidate in 2014 and got 1240 party votes but it would be surprising if they stood in the by-election, given the ongoing damage due to the Colin Craig issues.

It’s a must win by-election for Labour and for Andrew Little, but it won’t be as easy as Goff’s mayoralty bid. Goff won with a comfortable 8,000 vote majority in 2014 but National got over 2,000 more party votes than Labour.

With a lot at stake but without the same pressure Labour faces National will be very keen to win and pick up another seat in Parliament and secure their vote there. By-elections are often opportunities for ‘stuff the Government’ votes, as National found out in their caning in Northland, so gaining Mt Roskill won’t be easy for them.

Labour jump, National slump in Roy Morgan

The September Roy Morgan poll has the main parties bouncing around.

  • National 41.5% (down from 46.0)
  • Labour 33.5% (up from 25.5)
  • Greens 12.0% (down from 14.5)
  • NZ First 8.5% (down from 9.5)
  • Maori Party 2.0% (up from 1.5)
  • ACT Party 1.0% (no change)
  • Conservative Party 0.5% (down from 1.0)
  • Mana 0% (down from 0.5)
  • United Future 0% (no change)
  • Other 1.0% (up from 0.5)

Who knows why National has dropped from 53% in July to 46% in August to 41.5% in September.

Or why Labour laboured on 25.5 for both Julu and August and then jumped 8% to 35.5 this month, when Andrew Little was hardly visible.

It would be wise not to get hopes up or down to much over this result.


Click to access 6971-nz-national-voting-intention-september-2016.pdf



Boardroom rates Ministers and MPs

The ‘mood of the boardroom’ survey has rated the Cabinet Ministers, scoring them out of 5. Finance Minister Bill English was rated the best, scoring a fully 5 out of 5 for 55 chief executives.

1=Not impressive to 5=Very impressive – where known the 2015 rating is shown.

  1. Bill English 4.51 (down from 4.60)
  2. John Key 4.04 (down 4.28)
  3. Steven Joyce 3.51 (down from 3.65)
  4. Amy Adams 3.47
  5. Nikki Kaye 3.36
  6. Paula Bennett 3.24 (down from 3.85)
  7. Chris Finlayson 3.23 (down from 3.41)
  8. Health Minister Jonathan Coleman 3.17 (down from 3.28)
  9. Energy Minister Simon Bridges 3.12
  10. Social Development Minister Anne Tolley 3.09
  11. Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse 3.06 (down from 3.22)
  12. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy 2.91
  13. Trade Minister Todd McClay 2.90
  14. Education Minister Hekia Parata 2.85
  15. Police Minister Judith Collins 2.85
  16. Foreign Minister Murray McCully 2.77
  17. Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee 2.66
  18. Environment Minister Nick Smith 2.52
  19. Seniors Minister Maggie Barry 2.34 (up fromn 2.22)
  20. Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga 2.15

Opposition MP ratings – Labour:

  • Jacinda Ardern 3.37
  • Annette King 3.10
  • Phil Twyford 2.93
  • Grant Robertson 2.86
  • David Shearer 2.72
  • David Parker 2.55
  • Chris Hipkins 2.46
  • David Clark 2.35
  • Andrew Little 2.22

Not flash for the Labour leader.



  • James Shaw 3.21
  • Julie Anne Genter 2.42
  • Metiria Turei 2.37

NZ First:


  • Winston Peters 2.90
  • Ron Mark 2.13



Boardroom advice to Government, English and Robertson

Grant Robertson has tweeted this so I’m not sure where it is from but I presume NZ Herald.


Robertson used a tag. The Herald uses    except there seems to be nothing new on that yet.

A site search finds all their ‘mood of the boardroom’ articles: