Not prepared for the effects of climate change

Don’t worry, be happy?

If the Dunedin climate changes to have more of what we have had over the last month many won’t complain. But they will of we get more storms, floods, coastal erosion and droughts.

A report from the Ministry for the Environment has warned that New Zealand lacks a coordinated plan to deal with future climate change and sea level rise.

Belinda Storey, the Principal Investigator, Deep South National Science Challenge says Council’s have to deal with it.

She says it means either increasing rates to fund it or look to central government for support, but there has been no commitment from Government.

“Adapting to sea level rise is going to be expensive and at the moment, that responsibility is primarily falling on local government. They simply don’t have the resources to adapt to it fully.

“The few options that are available to them are to increase rates across the board to help fund adaptations that happens at the coast, or to look to central government for support.”

On the report (from Minister for the Environment, James Shaw): Climate Change Risks and Adaptation

New reports released today show a clearer picture of the scale and urgency we face over climate change, along with guidance on managing and adapting to the results of global warming, Climate Change Minister James Shaw says.

“It’s important that New Zealanders have a clear picture of the potential impacts of climate change so that communities, local and central government, business and other sectors of our economy can make well-informed decisions about how we build resilience and adapt,” says Mr Shaw.

The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group’s Stocktake report shows the size of the task to build New Zealand’s resilience to rising sea levels, a warmer climate, extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. The Working Group’s panel of experts includes representatives from central and local government, finance and insurance sectors, science and communities.

The Stocktake report shows that New Zealand has significant information about what is happening to our climate and the impacts of change. However, not all of this information is in forms that support decision-making and there are some key gaps in our knowledge.

The report also notes that New Zealand is in the early stages of planning and currently lacks a coordinated plan on how to adapt to climate change. While some sectors and areas are proactive, in general we react to events rather than preparing for them. The Coastal Hazards and Climate Change guidance, also released today, supports this work by providing clear guidance to councils and communities on how to manage and adapt to the increased coastal hazard risks posed by climate change and sea level rise.

The Guidance, produced by NIWA, will encourage good decision-making so that New Zealand faces fewer risks from climate change in coastal areas, in a way that is fair to residents and consistent around the country. Further work on adaptation is underway.

The Government’s Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group is working on a report which will make recommendations for how New Zealand can effectively adapt to the impacts of climate change. The report is due in March next year.

From the Ministry – Adapting to climate change in New Zealand: Stocktake report from the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group

This report is the first report prepared by the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group. It summarises the expected impacts of climate change on New Zealand over the medium and long term, takes stock of existing work on adaptation, and identifies gaps in New Zealand’s current approach.

In taking stock of the work already underway the Group identified three characteristics that need to be in place for effective adaptation to develop in New Zealand:

  • being informed about how our climate is changing and what this means for us
  • being organised, with a common goal, a planned approach, the right tools, and clear roles and responsibilities
  • taking dynamic action to proactively reduce exposure to the social, cultural, environmental and economic consequences of climate change.

The report concludes that New Zealand is in the early stages of planning for climate change with many positive initial steps being taken across a number of sectors – it is in the informed phase, with some areas having advanced to the organised phase.

The information in the report is current as at May 2017, when it was first delivered to the Minister for Climate Change Issues.

The report provides the evidence for the Group’s second report which will report on options for adapting to climate change and recommend how New Zealand can build resilience to the effects of climate change.

The report (PDF): Adapting to Climate Change in New Zealand

Greens concede on benefit sanctions

The Greens have conceded their policy on abolishing sanctions and obligations on beneficiaries won’t be supported by Labour or NZ First so have backed off.

The Green Party has scrapped one of its core election promises championed by former co-leader Metiria Turei.

The party no longer believes in immediately abolishing all financial sanctions and obligations on beneficiaries.

I suspect some Greens at least still believe in no sanctions.

The original policy was announced at the Green Party’s AGM earlier this year, during a keynote speech by Ms Turei.

Right up until her resignation, Turei advocated for the rights of those on welfare, saying on July 16 that “no beneficiary should have to live with the threat of losing the money they need for the rent” – which is exactly the kind of threat Jones wants to make to those who refuse to plant trees.

Jan Logie said on July 20 that her party in Government will “immediately end benefit sanctions”.

Marama Davidson said on September 6 that benefit sanctions are “expensive to administer and push people further into poverty”.

But they are learning the pragmatism necessary for negotiating to be a part of a multi-party government.

It was forced to back down on the policy during coalition negotiations with Labour, which adjusted the wording so only “excessive” sanctions will be removed.

“Our policy is what the Government’s policy is. So now we’re in Government, we need to do what Government policy says,” says co-leader James Shaw.

“We only want to get rid of the most excessive sanctions,” he added.

I suspect that stance will dismay quite a few supporters. It’s an odd way to put it.

I’d have thought it would be better to say something like ‘we will work to reduce sanctions as much as possible but accept conmpromise may be necessary during this term’.

The policy u-turn means the Greens will be able to support Shane Jones’ plan to sanction beneficiaries who refuse to work on the Government’s ‘Plant a Billion Trees’ project.

There’s been a lot of pragmatism necessary in forming and being a part of this government, and this is just the beginning.

Given the number of policy compromises, back tracks and ditching there is something to remember for next election – there are no promises and no bottom lines, only wish lists.

Lessons for Ghahraman (and others)

Golriz Ghahraman and the Greens have taken a hammering this week. Some of the criticism has been justified and fair, some has been way over the top and unfair.

Lessons should have been learned – but there is no sign of that yet as far as I’m aware.

Duncan Garner writes in Prosecuting evil but quietly defending the indefensible:

Green MP and human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman and her party learned a tough lesson this week about truth, honesty and spin.

Be upfront. Tell the truth. Don’t massage and carefully manipulate your image and public reputation when it ain’t entirely true.

The Greens thought they had stumbled across an angel on the side of good,  sending bad men away. Not quite.

And what did we, the public, learn?

We learned these Greens are no better than the rest of the buggers despite an at times holier than thou outlook.

Truth is Ghahraman was happy to let it spread that she was a crusading international prosecutor. Sounded great, looked even better.

There was nothing wrong with what she did as a lawyer. Her problem was how some of what she did, defending people accused of horrendous crimes against humanity, was glossed over in her and her Green party spin.

No wonder her leader James Shaw said sorry this week for getting it wrong twice. Shaw, like the rest of us, assumed she was doing god’s work. You can’t blame him.

When he got it wrong, why didn’t Ghahraman fix it? Why didn’t she put The Guardian right three weeks ago when it made the same mistake? Why would she?

Truth is Ghahraman looks embarrassed to be defending those responsible for genocide. She looks embarrassed to have been on the side of defending some of the most evil war criminals this world has seen.

She wanted her role minimised because Rwanda was ugly.

It’s normal for people to downplay ugly things from their past, but it was handled poorly this week.

With all the ferrets and weasels trying to trip you up in Wellington it pays to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But, no, she should not resign as an MP.

No, this is not about defence lawyers.

Yes, this is about the truth. And her wrestling match with it.

Sadly she has shown a serious lack of contrition. She should have said sorry rather than been so offended by the expose.

If she learns anything from this we should see a better response from her.

One emailer told me this week I was attacking her because she’s a “woman with lovely brown Persian skin”.

What?

What indeed. Being attacked because the target of criticism is female or non-European or an immigrant or whatever has become common in New Zealand political forums, and it’s crap.

This is a simple little story. A very basic one. This is about being economical with the truth. This is about minimising the unsavoury and seemingly indefensible.

It’s a rookie mistake, not telling the full story. Let it be a lesson – and stop taking us for fools. We see bull…. a mile away.

It’s been a tough week for Ghahraman. If she learns well from it she will become a stronger politician and a better MP.

I haven’t seen much sign of lessons learnt yet from her or her supporters.

Party leaders on poverty measures

In their opening speeches in Parliament yesterday both the Leader of the Opposition Bill English and the Prime minister Jacinda Ardern made commitments on reducing poverty.

First was English:

New Zealand under the last Government developed the best tool kit in the world for understanding the context and culture of poverty and disadvantage. It has the label “social investment”—that’s the label it has.

The Government needs to understand that higher incomes are part of what you need to reduce poverty, but the other part of what you need is to create some stability and framework in a household, with a family working with someone they trust in order to have the behaviours that can sustain the benefits of better incomes or getting into a job.

The sad reality is that the work done by the previous Government shows a hard core of chaotic, very challenged households where they need individual attention. But you know what the Government’s doing already? It’s going to give away—it said so in the paper yesterday or today—the tool kit that enables you to know who those families are. So, oh yes, great intentions—”We’ve got great intentions. We want to help these people. We’re just going to make sure we don’t know who they are.”

The case in the New Zealand Herald today—Marie, is it?—the domestic violence death, Marie. It’s the same story—the one we tried so hard to fix, and this Government could fix, if it starts where we left off. It is a case where a terrible death occurred when lots of people knew a bit of the story, and if someone had known the story they would have stopped it.

That is what social investment delivers, and if the Government gives that away, they will cost children and families a start in life, and in fact, in some cases, their lives—in some cases, their lives.

So I just say to the Prime Minister: we will back her on child poverty, provided she gets over Labour’s problems with social investment and uses the toolkit with the intention for which it was meant, and that is to assist our most vulnerable.

Jacinda Ardern responded:

Finally, the Leader of the Opposition talked about his willingness to cooperate on child poverty if we continue to collect individual client’s data through our social agencies and our NGOs. It sounds like the trade-off that he gave to NGOs as well. The difference here, on this side of the House, is that we have listened to those concerns. Yes, we will be an evidence-based Government.

Yes, we will use data in the way we inform policy. But we will not do so in a way that jeopardises individual people’s privacy. When domestic violence groups tell you that what you intend to do puts a service at risk, this Government will listen. That is the difference in the way that we will govern.

I’ve often said I would like to do things differently. I’m going to start on a few issues dear to my heart. There should be no politics, for instance, in child poverty and child well-being. It should be a source of pride for all of us to strive to be known to be the best place in the world to be a child.

That does mean I will take up the Leader of the Opposition’s offer. I will extend to the National Party and to ACT the chance to work together on tackling those issues that matter most. What they do with those offers is, of course, each party’s call. But sometimes, in the people’s Parliament, Opposition is about more than being oppositional.

This is promising, with the leaders of the two largest parties saying they are prepared to work together to address poverty issues. They will have different approaches on some things, but debating those issues will be an important part of the process, as long as it is done with an aspiration to do what is best for children, especially children iin low income households.

Ardern has made this a major focus of her leadership.

Poverty is what a person is left with when all other options are extinguished. Now, I’ve often talked about it being a motivation for my entry here into Parliament and into politics, and it’s been what has kept me here too.

I am happy for this Government to be measured on what it does for children, which is why we will legislate not just the measures we will use for poverty but the targets to reduce it too. And we do that using a bill that I’ve had in the ballot for probably about six years now, to prove that we’ve long held the view that we need to measure and target child poverty.

I cannot fix the housing crisis alone, but we can together. I cannot end child poverty alone, but we can together. I cannot generate higher incomes alone, but we can together—together, alongside NGOs, businesses, council, iwi, and other community groups. Each and every one of us has a role to play in building a better New Zealand. I’ve always said that I believe what unites us is stronger than what divides us, and the campaign only confirmed that to me.

So here is my final promise to all New Zealanders. Whether you voted or not, and no matter who you voted for, I will be a Prime Minister for all, and this will be a Government for all. I hope we can focus on what unites us, rather than what divides us, because there is so much to do. We can be better, we will be better, and this is our chance to prove it.

Perhaps this will be a different type of Parliament that values cooperation and positive politics alongside robust debate and holding to account.

With Winston Peters out of the country Ron Mark spoke for NZ First using what looked like party prepared notes. There was only a brief mention of poverty:

The Hon Tracey Martin, in her role as Minister for Children, will work closely with the Prime Minister to help lift children out of poverty. As the Governor-General so eloquently said, if we put child well-being at the heart of we do, then the well-being of all New Zealanders will be lifted. We have to do better—it’s a moral imperative.

Martin has shown a willingness in the past to work with other parties on joint approaches to major issues – she led a cross-party group on climate change.

James Shaw also made brief mentions, well into his speech.

We are here to support families and to lift children out of poverty. We are here to save our rivers and our endangered species. We are here to solve problems that the market cannot, and the first and greatest of those is climate change.

The previous Government also knew that measurement is important. That is why they fought so hard against measuring child poverty in New Zealand. They didn’t measure it so they couldn’t, therefore, be held accountable for it. This Government will make the measure and will take the measure of child poverty. This Government will take responsibility for child poverty and this Government will reduce child poverty.

…to me it also sums up the Green Party’s way of doing politics when we are at our best: seeking to solve the great challenges of our time, putting solutions above partisanship, and focusing on the long term.

Perhaps Greens will put that approach into practice along with Labour and National.

Being in Opposition or on the cross benches for the entire 18 years of our Parliamentary history gave us a lot of time to get good at that. It is my hope that the new Opposition takes a similar approach—and a similar time scale.

If we, as a nation, are to restore and replenish our forests and our rivers and our birds, if we are to end child poverty, and if we are to lead the global fight against climate change, it will take longer than three years. It will.

Interesting that English spoke more strongly and specifically about poverty than Shaw.

Now Metiria Turei is out of the Green picture poverty seems to have slipped down their priorities somewhat. Greens did not negotiate any ministerial responsibilities directly related to children or poverty.

‘End child poverty’ is fairly meaningless idealism. Whether poverty in New Zealand can be ended will depend much on how they decide to define and measure it.

There will always be families that struggle, there will always be poor households, and their will always be children who have harder starts to their lives than others.

But if the parties in Parliament are genuine in their expressed willingness to reduce poverty and raise employment and incomes then New Zealand may make real progress in improving the standard of living for lower income families and improving the outcomes for children who have missed out  in the past.

Source: Hansard Address in Reply

Modest wins but big possibilities for the Greens

Compared to NZ First the Greens had modest wins on policy and ministerial positions, but they still have a big opportunity to achieve some of their goals.

Their ministerial appointments:

James Shaw

  • Minister for Climate Change
  • Minister of Statistics
  • Associate Minister of Finance

Dealing with climate change is Shaw’s big ambition and he now has a chance to do that, especially given similar ambitions of Labour (Jacinda Ardern has named it as the ‘nuclear issue’ of the current generation) and NZ First.

I don’t know whether he will have a major influence with Grant Robertson in Finance (they know each other well, having competed in the Wellington Central electorate for three elections now.

But it will be invaluable for a Green leader and MP to learn the realities of juggling needs, wants and not a bottomless pit of money, compared to the naive idealism of many Greens.

Julie Anne Genter

  • Minister for Women
  • Associate Minister of Health
  • Associate Minister of Transport

Learning the ropes as a Minister for Women will be useful experience, but Genter may make most impact as an Associate.

Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has a huge workload (Housing and Urban Development) so Genter, recognised within the transportation industry as an expert, may contribute strongly.

And as Associate Minister of Health I presume she will take over the role Peter Dunne had dealing with drugs, both medicinal and recreational.

There is a promise to lift restrictions on medicinal cannabis almost immediately, plus a promise of a referendum on recreational cannabis. There is also support across Labour, NZ First and Greens to treat all drug problems as more of a health issue than a crime issue.

On these issues Genter may be a high profile and popular Associate Minister.

Eugenie Sage

  • Minister of Conservation
  • Minister for Land Information
  • Associate Minister for the Environment

Despite a low profile Sage is probably one of the more sensible and better respected Green MPs. She has a background in Forest & Bird and Environment Canterbury.

She will be working with Minister for the Environment David Parker, who has a very heavy workload with other portfolios, but also alongside another associate Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

Jan Logie

  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues)

A relatively minor role but an important one. Sexual violences issues have been addressed a bit better than in the past but still neglected too much, with support organisations struggling for funding. Logie could make a real difference here, and if she does she will be applauded by many. She will need to take care she doesn’t alienate a demographic that she needs to have onside with her – men.

As stated these are fairly modest responsibilities compared to what NZ First MPs have, but they enable the Greens to address core issues they have been championing from Opposition for two decades.

If they do things well they could make a significant difference.  Perhaps their biggest challenge is transitioning from being advocates and activists and critics to very different roles as movers and shakers.

I hope they succeed in shaking things up and moving New Zealand society in a better direction.

Labour-Green confidence and supply deal

The coalition deal between Labour and the GHreens was signed today by incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Green leader James Shaw.

From Stuff Live:

Key policies:
  • Introduce a Zero Carbon Act with a goal of net zero emissions by 2050
  • A referendum on personal cannabis use by 2020
  • Establish and independent Climate Commission. This would have the power to bring agricultural emissions in but would not do this immediately
  • All new legislation to have a climate impact assessment analysis
  • Investigate a Green Transport Card to reduce public transport costs
  • Reprioritise spending towards rail and cycle infrastructure
  • Stop the Auckland East-West link
  • Begin work on light rail to the airport in Auckland
  • “Significantly increase” the Department of Conservation’s funding
  • Remove “excessive” benefit sanctions
  • Make progress on eliminating the gender pay gap within the core public sector
  • A rent-to-own scheme as part of KiwiBuild
  • Re-establish the Mental Health Commission
  • A wind-down on the government-subsidised irrigation

Climate change will be a major, as will be light rail to Auckland Airport, with a few other bits and pieces.

Removing benefit sanctions will be both welcome and contentious, with mention of liable parents not needing to be named, something that caused grief for Metiria Turei and the Green Party.

Portfolios:

  • Climate Change
  • Associate Finance
  • Associate Transport
  • Conservation
  • Women
  • Land Information New Zealand
  • Associate Environment
  • Associate Health
  • Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence)

That’s a relatively light line-up compared to what NZ First have got, but will allow the greens to ease into a role they are unfamiliar with, being in government.

Stuff:   Labour and Green Party Confidence and Supply Agreement 

Did the losers win the election?

There have been claims that the losers won the election and we now have a Government of losers. This is all nonsense of course, usually bleated by poor losers.

No won ‘won’ the election. No party has won an overall majority in an election ever under MMP (in New Zealand at least and I suspect everywhere in the world).

National formed a government in our first MMP election in 1996 after getting just 33.87% of the vote. They came closest to an overall majority in 2011 with 47.31%, and similarly in 2014 with 47.04.

The recently ousted National Government needed the support of other parties to get a majority – they successfully negotiated the numbers required to rule.

National were easily the most voted for party again this year but slipped back a bit. Here are the party results again:

  • National 1,152,075 votes, 44.45%, 56 seats
  • Labour 956,184 votes, 36.89%, 46 seats
  • NZ First 186,706 votes, 7.20%, 9 seats
  • Greens 162,443 votes, 6.27%, 8 seats
  • ACT 13,075 votes, 0.50%, 1 electorate seat

As we know Winston Peters led the post election negotiations and ended up allowing Labour to form a government with NZ First and Greens. This is completely acceptable under our rules.

MMP elections aren’t won, MMP governments are formed with a majority of willing parties.

A reasonable argument can be made that the party with the largest number of seats should have been the first to try and form a government. If we had a rule like this it would take away some of the uncertainty, game playing and dog wagging by small tails.

A reasonable question could also be asked as to why National didn’t take control of the negotiations straight after the election, and also why Labour didn’t also play a more prominent role. The two top dogs rolled over and let their tails be tweaked.

Whatever, we have what we have, a Labour-NZ-First-Green government who between them have 63 seats, a clear majority.

It could be said that Labour were awarded the winner’s prize by Winston Peters. This was a bizarre way of announcing the outcome of the negotiations, but Labour and the Greens allowed it to happen that way.

James Shaw sounded like he thought the Greens were the biggest winners, even though they were disrespected by Peters in negotiations and in his announcement, and not allowed any ministers in Cabinet.

However this will be the biggest role the Greens will play in a government ever in their existence, with three ministers outside cabinet. Any legislation Peters and Labour want to pass will need Green approval, unless National supports it.

In his speech after losing the Winston contest Bill English emphasised that National had clearly won the most support and seats, but he didn’t claim that National had won the election. He conceded governance with in a dignified manner, and won quite a bit of dignity and respect for what he had achieved, or how he hadn’t quite achieved it.

The country could well be a winner with this result. In many respects things are going well ion New Zealand, our economy is one of the healthiest in the the world. This provides a good platform for the incoming government.

National promised to address some of the pressing issues, in particular housing, inequality and crime. They had already worked to try to improve on the problems we face as a country.

Labour and NZ First and the Greens promise to do more, and if they do it well then the country will have won, or at least we will have improved our position, life and governance are ongoing challenges.

Sure there are some risks if the new government tries things that don’t work out – there is no difference to the risks for government than in the past.

No one wins from being pessimistic, that just drags you down. If there is too much pessimism and despondency it drags communities and countries down.

Prime Minister election Jacinda Ardern says she will lead a government for all New Zealanders. I think she and her fellow leaders will do what they think is best, for individual problems and for the country as a whole.

In any population there will always be some losers, that can’t be avoided. But a good government will minimise it, and it will do what it thinks is best to maximise opportunities and well being for the majority.

If we wish them well, and it they do well, then most of us will be winners, and we collectively will be winners.

There were no winners from the election. A government was formed from the election results according to our rules.

Losers whinge.

We will all win by doing things better, and that will be helped by hope, optimism and hard work.

It’s our government. It’s our country. We all play an important part. We should all play to succeed.

James Shaw on The Nation

James Shaw didn’t get Greens into a coalition deal as he said he wanted, and that leaves them outside Cabinet rather than ‘at the heart of a new progressive government’, but he is promoting the positives. Greens are in play in Government far more than they have been in the past.

He was interviewed on The Nation this morning.

“Obviously we’ll be talking to each other over the course of the coming days and weeks” says of his contact with Peters.

Shae, Julie Anne Genter, Eugenie Sage and Jan Logie will be the Green minister.

Actually Logie looks likely to be the under-secretary, Greens have three ministers.

“I think it’s a really significant step for us” says of the Greens holding the associate finance position.

Also significant that it looks like NZ First won’t have a Finance role.

Will the cannabis referendum be binding? “We haven’t worked through that yet”.

So a referendum in 3 years may be toothless?

Shaw says we can expect something that would satisfy the Greens on irrigation to be announced next week.

More when the interview and transcript is online.

 

Green portfolios leaked

The secrecy over the negotiation period and the lack of sharing of information between Labour, NZ First and Greens may have been wise, given how leaky the Greens have been since the government was made public.

Soon after the Green delegates were given information so they could rubber stamp their support of a Labour-NZ First coalition information has become available.

Newshub – Leak: Greens’ ministerial roles revealed

Newshub can reveal which roles the Labour MPs won’t be getting, with the following ministerial positions promised in the Greens’ agreement.

Climate change and associate finance are both expected to go to Greens leader James Shaw.

Climate change for Shaw is no surprise, it is his favourite issue.

Associate finance is also something Shaw would have been keen on getting, but it means Labour and Greens cover finance, and no NZ First there – unless there is a Ministry for Winston like he was created Treasurer in 1996.

The Greens will also have the conservation, women and land information portfolios, and associate roles in environment, transport and health.

Again conservation and women are no surprise, but only an associate role in environment is.

I’d have thought Julie Anne Genter would have been a good candidate for Minister of Transport but it looks like it’s an associate role only, if she is chosen by the Greens to be one of their ministers (she should be).

An associate role in health could be a significant one, if it is the role Peter Dunne has been doing. That covers drugs including cannabis and medicinal cannabis. In another leak Greens claim this policy agreement:

A referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by 2020. Funding for drug and alcohol addiction services will be increased.

At last it looks like the futile mess of our current drug law enforcement will be addressed, or could be subject to a referendum.

UPDATE: Green ministers named

James Shaw has just named the Green ministers.

  • James Shaw
  • Julie Anne Genter
  • Eugenie Sage

It sounds like Jan Logie will fill the” newly created undersecretary role, focused on sexual and domestic violence” role.

Notably Green #2 Marama Davidson is not included, but this isn’t surprising, she is far less experienced than the others.

 

A generational change?

The new Government is being described as one of the biggest changes in New Zealand politics for decades, a generational change.

It’s true that the last few governments have largely followed similar directions, and have been similarly aged leaders largely of the baby boomer generation.

There’s no doubt that Jacinda Ardern is a significant shift. At 37 she will be the youngest Prime Minister since the early days of New Zealand government. The influential Grant Robertson is a bit older at 46 but is also of a different generation to past governments. He was a staff apprentice in the Clark government. Deputy Kelvin Davis is a shade older at 50.

James Shaw is a fresh political face and at 44 also relatively young for a party leader. At 43 Marama Davidson is a similar age, and Julie Anne Genter is 37. All born in the seventies.

So that does look like a generational shift based on age.

Of course there’s a contrast in NZ First. Winston Peters is 72 and first stood for Parliament before some of the above were born. He’s an old school politician and a fan of Robert Muldoon. Ron Mark is 63, Shane Jones is 58, all baby boomers.

Of the top ranked NZ First MPs only Tracey Martin at 41 represents a generational shift. She may be an important link between NZ First and the new generation represented by Labour and the Greens.

Any new government means change. Peters should ensure older people are looked after, they are his generation and his core constituency, but the incoming government led by Jacinda Ardern does seem to indicate a probable generational change in New Zealand politics.

It could be a very interesting term, especially for older generation observers.