Q+A – Little tries again

Andrew Little followed up his interview on The Nation yesterday with an interview in NZ Q+A this morning.

We will cross live to Wellington to talk with Labour Party leader Andrew from the Party’s Election Year Congress.

Will anything more come out of this than Little’s practiced campaign recitals?

Are you pleased with where Labour is at? Avoids question and recites. He is “feeling very confident?

Enough money to fight the election? He thinks they are doing very well, the bulk from “ordinary Kiwis making small contributions”.

Immigration: policy announcement in a few weeks. “We need a breather, slow down and get it right”.

He is “totally confident” he could work with Winston Peters on immigration. Switches to same talking points.

Calling charter schools another name? Still says they are going to repeal the charter school legislation. They will talk to existing partnership schools.

Will Labour keep existing partnerships open? He says he doesn’t know individual school situations?

Will current schools continue? Diverts again.

Little is getting better at divert and recite, he hardly addressed any question directly.

The panel discussion was a bit disappointing – why did they have two Labour people on the panel? Josie Pagani and Mike Williams both said that it was by far the best interview for Little.

Bill English doesn’t exactly ooze charisma, but he has an in depth knowledge of a wide range of issues and policies.

Unless Little learns a lot more, gets some policies he can promote in detail, and learns to think on his feet he is at risk of being run all over in leaders’ debates.

Q+A: pay equity settlement

Many more in the wings, like social workers (deserved) and health clerical workers (an an equity basis maybe but not so much of a responsibility/stress basis).

Mental health works and early child workers also on the list.

“There’s a lot stopping people from joining unions”.

Unions are not allowed to be in work places promoting themselves. Some employers deter union involvement.

Calling for “real money, real resources” out of the next Government despite the fiscal responsibility agreement between Labour and the Greens – the PSA will be pushing for significantly more spending on a number of things.

Q+A: is our defence future fit?

Greens are generally against defence spending, Andrew Little has said that Labour will reduce spending on defence, and our fleet of defence helicopters has just been grounded after an engine failure in one of them.

And is Gerry Brownlee soon to shift to Minister of Foreign Affairs? He could do that and retain Defence, at least until the election.

Worried about developments in North Korea? Not particularly worried.

Whether New Zealand got involved would have to be a decision made if that time arises.

North Korea has an “evil regime”. [That’s what North Korea says about the US.]

No comment on whether he will be named the new Foreign Minister tomorrow. It is not for him to announce it.

On Hit & Run – Brownlee is comfortable with how it was handled. Five days to react? It takes time to investigate sudden outlandish accusations. He thinks there is no need for further investigation.

There’s something new on this from David Fisher: Hit & Run: NZDF never carried out investigation into civilian deaths

Most people who noticed Hit & Run have moved on and forgotten it.

Q+A suggest new Labour deputy

Yesterday @NZQandA tweeted:


Just a mistake?

Or was someone getting ahead of themselves?

That was deleted and replaced by:

But not before some responses:


Q+A: disengagement from politics

NZ Q+A this morning interviews  Max Harris about the state of New Zealand politics, including looking at how to re-engage voters.

How do we re-engage voters who are turned off NZ politics? Is it time for a new kind of politics to tackle the challenges NZ faces? Max Harris, a NZ Rhodes scholar, looks at these questions in his new book, The New Zealand Project.

Also, Whena Owen hits Wellington’s popular Cuba Mall to ask those disengaged from NZ politics – why?

Maybe most people never were very engaged in politics.

Interview:  Is it time for a new kind of politics? (10:08)

“Our reporter Whena Owen went to Wellington’s Cuba Street to talk with disengaged voters”:  Re-engaging disengaged voters (2:16)


Q+A – foreign land buyers, Trump refugees

This morning on NZ Q & A:

Land sales to overseas buyers are on the rise – should New Zealanders be concerned?

This looked at foreign purchases of large land areas, especially around Queenstown and Hawea.

The Minister responsible (Land Information), Mark Minister, was then interviewed.

Also, seeking refuge from Trump’s America. Rebecca Wright reports from the US-Canada border. Watch her extraordinary story.

Plus, Sir Lockwood Smith sits down with Emma Keeling as he finishes up as NZ’s High Commissioner to the UK.

And our panel: Dr Claire Robinson, Robert Reid and Jamie Whyte

Claire Robertson has predicted Labour failure this year based on polls last year, Robert Reid is a unionist who strongly supports Labour and their more leftward leanings, and Jamie Whyte failed to make Parliament in 2014 as ACT’s leader.

The panel was hopeless on foreign ownseship, except for jamie Whyte who made some good points, in particular asking why foreign owners should be subjected to restrictions that New Zealanders aren’t.

Robinson started with a condescending diss of Mark Mitchell (who has just been Minister for three months and sounded quite well informed), and then waffled all over the place, ending up diverting to water saying it would become a big issue in the election.

Reid suggested that there should be no ownership of land.

Q+A – English, and Little and Ardern

Today on Q+A:

Political Editor Corin Dann interviews Prime Minister Bill English in a wide-ranging and revealing interview – how different will National be under his leadership?

Also, Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern – will they be a winning combination for Labour this year?

And our panel: Dr Raymond Miller, Steve Maharey, Hannah Monigatti with our host Greg Boyed.

It will be a good chance to compare English and Little.

Bill English:

No CGT, no asset sales (Kiwibank, TVNZ).

Doesn’t agree with ‘baby boomers’ not paying “their fair share” for Super.

“The economy is in much better shape” and that seem to be English’s key election strategy.

Fix working for families? “That will unfold through the year”, “we can have a crack at it through the next few years”

“Families on low to middle incomes” need to benefit more from the improved economy.

Will a tax cut be meaningful? Wait for the budget, have to look at a balance of tax cuts. Won’t put a figure on it. “I wouldn’t expect some big sugar shot in the middle to upper range”.

Sounds like tweaks to thresholds and more targeting at the low end.

Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern

Labour seem to be really trying to sell a dual leadership package.

Ardern has already said several times she absolutely backs Andrew and he is absolutely the leader – but she is dominating the speaking so far.

If National adjusts tax thresholds Little would leave them. Little is committing to as little as possible.

Both Ardern and Little divert from questions and try to repeat their learned talking points.

The only time Ardern sounded knowledgeable about a specific policy was on the sham of an abortion law that we still have in effect.

Little said that he supported both euthanasia and reviewing abortion law but as he says they are not a priority – he ensured a euthanasia private members’ bill was removed from the ballot – he doesn’t seem prepared to do anything about them.

Is the double act working? Not for me, just double poliparroting.



John Key on Q&A

John Key was interviewed by Corin Dann on Q&A this morning.

Terrific, probing interview by but I think the PM handled it well.

One News:John Key admits homelessness has risen on his watch

John Key says his government is working on many initiatives to combat homelessness, conceding that the issue has risen to prominence during his time as prime minister.

“Do you accept homelessness has risen on your watch?” ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann asked.

Mr Key agreed, but also defended his government.

“Yes, there are more people but equally we are also implementing a very significant plan,” he said.

“There’s no question that if house prices rise and if pressure goes on rents it has a significant impact on those most marginalised, not just those who are homeless.”

One News: John Key on Aus election: ‘Winning ugly is better than losing tidy’

John Key says the outcome of Australia’s election is important for New Zealand, and that Malcolm Turnbull’s biggest challenge is not election night, but about getting on and delivering results.

The New Zealand Prime Minister says on the basis that the Coaltion has the majority, he hopes Mr Turnbull will put his best foot forward.

“We need Australia over the next three years to be a strong and vibrant economy, they’re our biggest trading partner, it’s important to us,” Mr Key told ONE News Political Editor Corin Dann, live on TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning.

Mr Key likened an election to a rugby world cup, saying it’s not about how you win, it’s about getting results once elected.

“Winning ugly is better than losing tidy.”

Video of interview (17:48)


More on euthanasia

Links to further information on euthanasia (thanks PK):

RNZ (audio):

Andrew Denton is probably best known here as an Australian television presenter and comedian, but his new role is a much more serious one. He’s become a leading campaigner for physician-assisted dying, better known as voluntary euthanasia. He shares his own story of how watching his own father die led him to his views

Andrew Denton – Euthanasia

TVNZ Q+A (video):

Andrew Denton is in NZ to speak to the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Talking about his personal campaign …

Euthanasia – Your Choice


False claims by Peters

In an interview with Katie Bradford on Q+A Winston Peters made claims that appear to be blatantly false.

This one may have been tongue in cheek but it is fairly obviously incorrect.

Winston Peters: Let me make one thing very clear. We have a very good relationship with everybody, as you well know, including New Zealand media.

The Speaker David Carter might well disagree with this. So might Peter Dunne, And David Seymour. Peters has had an acrimonious relationship with a number of journalists, unless it is all just an act. I doubt he has a good relationship with David Farrar or Cameron Slater.

The Maori Party has also been attacked by Peters. For example: Long, rambling and late: Winston attacks regular foes in speech

Peters said the Maori Party is “brown-mailing” National over the proposed changes to the Resource Management Act.

“It is obvious that National have been brown-mailed into making policy concessions to the Maori Party that doesn’t even get one percent of the vote.”

And his relationship with me is closer to very bad than very good. He’s one of a number of MPs who try to hide from me – “You are blocked from following @winstonpeters and viewing @winstonpeters’s Tweets” – and the only direct relationship I have had with Peters involved a threat of legal action.

Bradford asked Peters four times whether he had ‘a better relationship with the Greens, including:

Katie Bradford: Okay, but do you have a better relationship with the Greens now than you did in the past, and with Labour, for that matter?

Winston Peters: I mean, I never attacked the Greens in the past…

That’s obvious nonsense. Peters shut the Greens out of a coalition with Labour in 2005

In August 2015: Peters: NZ First will decide 2017 election

Mr Peters’ first job of the day was to hurl criticisms at the media – “your polls are crap”, “stop this nonsense” and “you ask some stupid questions”. Mr Peters also launched an attack on the Greens, saying it cost the Left last year’s election by attacking Labour, adding the Greens will be irrelevant by 2017.

It goes back, this from October 2000: Winston Peters accused of Gay-bashing

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has been accused of gay-bashing after attacking Green Party co-convenor Richard Davies’ naked appearance on a website advertising his gay homestay near Takaka.

June 2005: Peters says Green Party has ‘sold out’

Mr Peters yesterday described Mr Donald as “a man who’s obsessed with being in Cabinet and will sell any principle down the drain”.

Very ironic.

“They [the Greens] are going off to political oblivion. They don’t actually stand for anything and won’t stand up for anything,” he said on the Paul Holmes television show last night.

September 2014: Winnie on Waiheke: A Day Out with Winston Peters

He can also get pretty weird. To another man, he says: “You’re a Green supporter. That explains everything. You don’t care about the economy, you care about flies and bees. And trees. Let me tell you, man is more important, and womankind too. It’s in the book. Remember the book? God gave man dominion over them.”

Peters has attacked the greens directly (September 2014): Alternatives In Election 2014

“Of late the Greens have been talking about being co-deputy prime ministers and wanting the finance portfolio.

“Does that mean when the Prime Minister is abroad we are going to have two acting prime ministers instead.

“This situation would be farcical.

“If the Greens think they are going to take over the levers of economic management they are assuming other parties are not watching their record.

“Voters need to be disabused of the view promoted by the Greens that we in New Zealand First would stand by whilst they promote extremist policies in government.

“This is not indicating a choice but the media seem to have overlooked one option entirely, a Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply.

“This emerged in 2005, has precedent, and it was a stable, successful government that delivered the greatest surpluses in recent years.”

That’s an attack that the Greens will keep in mind, especially as their Memorandum of Understanding with Labour expires just prior to the business end of next year’s election, negotiating coalitions.