Saturday, May 15, 2021

“New Zealand’s least biased political news source” — MediaBias

An end to large scale immigration

The Government is sending more signals indicating that it is planning for a big cutback to Immigration. It would appear that the era of large scale immigration is over. Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi is planning a major immigration policy speech in Wellington on Monday, and some sector groups affected by immigration policy have been invited to come to the capital for that. But the contradictions within the Government's policies were clearly evident yesterday. It wants to upskill Kiwis to do the jobs the migrants have been doing and it wants employers to pay more so the jobs are more attractive. But training workers...

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Behind Parliament’s “racist” row

Maori and Pakeha views of what the Treaty means and what that means for Parliament and Government are now beginning to openly conflict. The division exploded in Parliament yesterday when Maori Pati MP, Rawiri Waititi, was thrown out of the Chamber after performing a haka after the Speaker refused to accept his claim that National Leader Judith Collins was racist. That...

Robertson to present a “Maori” budget

Treasury is adopting a specific Maori framework called He Ara Waiora. in the preparation of next week’s Budget. The idea is not new. Treasury has been working on this since 2018, when it began to develop the living standards framework. “Although the Living Standards Framework draws heavily from leading international efforts such as the OECD’s Better Life Index, we think we can...

Collins prepares to ride Pakeha backlash

A draft document setting out Maori aspirations for DOC land obtained by Judith Collins points to a growing issue within Government. POLITIK has spoken to a number of senior public servants who say there is a concern that Maori expectations, particularly over co-governance, are growing and that they may end up being disappointed because of fears of a Pakeha backlash. It...

The Parliamentary sexual assault saga continues

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s unprecedented criticism of Speaker Trevor Mallard yesterday followed a series of bitter exchanges between him and National MP Chris Bishop in the House on Tuesday night. “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night,” Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in...

Keeping He Puapua from Winston and Shane

Was the controversial He Puapua document kept from Cabinet in the lead-up to the election to prevent NZ First from seeing it and masking an issue of it and probably killing it. The party's two former leading Maori MPs, Winston Peters and Shane Jones, are both strong opponents of what is being called Maori separatism. Had they seen the document they...

Clark and Key advise Ardern on China

Two former Prime Ministers yesterday took a direct aim at the current leadership in the Government and Opposition and reinforced what an independent foreign policy should mean for New Zealand. The clear message was that the relationship with China mattered. It was a message also intended to be heard in Canberra, London and particularly Washington. Both Helen Clark and John Key sitting...

Collins and National make a right turn

The National Party, holding its first regional conference since its defeat at the last election, appears to have taken a right turn and is now headed straight back to its base. Delegates to its northern conference called for New Zealand to reject China and look to its traditional allies for defence and trade. And Leader, Judith Collins, continued her campaign to...

Peeps at Parliament and other Press Gallery observations over 150 years

Tonight the Press Gallery celebrates its 150th anniversary. In fact, it is almost 151 years old, but Covid stopped the 150th celebrations last year. It had its origins in the British House of Commons Gallery and was famously described by Edmund Burke in 1787 when he said that there were three Estates in Parliament, “but in the Reporters' Gallery...

Echoes of Brash and Orewa

National’s Leader Judith Collins is looking to stamp herself on the party with a speech this Saturday at its first regional conference. Collins may feel she is under fire from party members with the proposals from the Governance and Election reviews published by the party on Tuesday night proposing that Caucus lose its sole power to run leadership elections. And from...

Nats propose limiting caucus power to select leader

The National Party is proposing to limit the ability of its Caucus to change the party leader. And it says "bad behaviour" within the party leadership needs to be called out. Proposals were emailed to members last night asking whether they agreed that Caucus should continue to have the sole power to set the rules and processes for leadership bids or...

Mahuta has to defend her Five Eyes comments

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne arrived in Wellington on Wednesday night, followed by curses and threats from Beijing after she ended Victoria’s  Belt and Road agreement with China. Her host, her New Zealand counterpart, Nanaia Mahuta, on the other hand, was at the same time receiving warm praise from China for her announcement that New Zealand would not participate in...

Why the Government rejected Simpson’s advice

Heather Simpson declined an interview with POLITIK yesterday at the conclusion of the Beehive Banquet Hall presentation of the Government response to her report on the Health and Disability sector. That by itself is not unusual. Simpson is a notoriously media-shy public figure. But what could she have said? Two of her most significant recommendations had been tossed aside by Andrew Little and...

DHBs to go in radical health restructure

The Government is to scrap District Health Boards as part of its response to Heather Simpson’s “Health and Disability System Review”. In other key moves, it will: Establish a new Maori Health AuthorityA new Crown entity, Health New Zealand, will replace the DHBs and will run hospitals and commission primary and community health services."Locality networks" including GPs, maternity carers, district nurses,...

Mahuta redefines New Zealand’s foreign policy

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s speech to the New Zealand China Council yesterday was arguably one of the most important made by a foreign minister in recent years, possibly since the 1980s. For a start, she made it to the China Council, a body committed to good and amicable relations between New Zealand and China. Seated around their table in Wellington yesterday...

Riding the border under the threat of xenophobia

Today is bubble day when it becomes possible for travellers from Australia to enter New Zealand without having to go into managed isolation. But polling revealed yesterday on RNZ’s “Sunday” programme confirms what was widely suspected; that opening the border is a political gamble with only limited support. There has been speculation that it was the Government's own polling that has...

So Grant, what’s next?

One of the country’s leading economics consultancies, Infometrics, has published a report today saying there is no evidence that the Government is ready to address long-standing issues which have festered for the past 10 – 15 years. Its comments echo what is becoming an increasingly voiced view in Wellington that the Government’s plans for the country post-Covid are opaque. The question...

We have missed every emissions target so far

Figures released by the Government yesterday showed that between 1990 and 2019, total greenhouse gas emissions increased by 26.4 per cent. The figure is contained within the latest “Greenhouse Gas Inventory” published by the Ministry for the Environment. The increase makes a mockery of New Zealand's greenhouse gas reduction targets and means the country has missed every emissions reduction target set...

Government calling National’s bluff

The Government last night looked set to call National’s bluff and deny its request for a time extension on submissions on the Climate Change Commission’s draft carbon budgets. Labour knows National's Caucus is divided on how to react to the Commission which is evident in a series of conflicting statements coming from National MPs. Labour's denial of an extension will force...

National threatens to end bipartisan climate change consensus

National is now threatening to break up the two-party consensus on climate change because it is dissatisfied with the Climate Change Commission’s Draft Consultation document. The party’s Climate Change spokesperson, Stuart Smith, has taken the unusual step for the Opposition of making a formal submission to the Commission highly critical of  its proposals. He says they are impossible to support. And yesterday,...

Samoan PM faces tough challenge today

by Nanai Anae Dr Iati Iati Nanai Anae Dr. Iati Iati is a Senior Lecturer in the Politics and International Relations Programme, and Pacific Security Fellow in the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. He teaches International Relations and New Zealand Foreign Policy at the undergraduate level, and Strategic Studies at the Masters level. He recently co-edited...