More on National on Complementary Medicines Bill

August 1st, 2007 at 4:32 pm by David Farrar

I covered earlier the NZ Herald report that would support the Peters amended Complementary Medicines Bill, and that then said the story misrepresented their position.

NZ Herald Political Editor Audrey Young blogs that she is very angry at the statement that the story misrepresents what was said.

Having read the story, Audrey’s blog and an extract of the full interview, I have to say that I don’t think the fault lies with the NZ Herald staff. If I was in their shoes I suspect I would have interpreted it the same way. Especially:

Key: It’s pretty straightforward isn’t it? It’s all very well people having a whack at us, but if they want to bring us a proposal in line with what Peters said on television, we’ll sign it. I keep asking for it. No one has shown it to me.”

Now the problem seems to be that Key was interpreting the Peters amendment as carving out complementaries. He refers to this later on by saying:

If someone wants to show us a proposal and it does what it says and carves out complementaries with a voluntary opt-in, we’ll sign it.

But in fact the Peters proposal, according to media reports, was carving out those who sell just in NZ with those who do not.  Of course as the proposal has not to date been published no-one knows for sure.

So I can see where the confusion happened.  I think there are two key lessons for John Key in this:

  1. The overwhelming need to be clear and unambiguous. Incidents like this can and do damage.
  2. Never debate the merits of a proposal one hasn’t seen!

In my books Key has made a mistake with his lack of clarity on this.  It’s not the world’s biggest mistake.  It is in fact a good mistake to learn from!

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30 Responses to “More on National on Complementary Medicines Bill”

  1. Tane () says:

    Or Key lied.

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  2. CraigM () says:

    Appreciate the clarification. Also good to see that Audrey Young challenged him on this, as she should have.

    Oh that the lefties would be critical of their own….

    Key will learn from this, as he is allowed to do, that everything he says will be taken as National Policy and analysed to death.

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  3. Paul W () says:

    Fair summary David. Key’s smart and sensible but his limited time in parliament means he’s a risk. In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor issue but his incaution is something he’ll have to manage more effectively. Key’s trying to portray himself as a pragmatist and a man of action (particularly in contrast to ditherer Don), fair enough, but a lot of politics is about detail and judgement – perhaps he might also have learned to not try to trump senior spokespeople too?

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  4. Seamonkey Madness () says:

    He being ‘economical with the truth’, was he Tane?

    He didn’t feel he could be ‘free and frank’ in front of her, Tane?

    Didn’t think no-one would find out that he shoved a tennis ball in a students mouth or take a perv in the girls changing rooms, Tane?

    Oh, shit, sorry! You said Key, not Panty Slut-Boy.
    My bad.

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  5. Michael S () says:

    Tony Ryall stamped his feet and SCREAMED more likely.

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  6. NX () says:

    Never debate the merits of a proposal one hasn’t seen!

    Exactly. And why haven’t National seen it. Bloody Labour that’s why!!!

    Now all the attention is going to be focused on the wrong issue. It’s so frustrating.

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  7. burt () says:

    Seamonkey…

    You are starting to sound like Selma – don’t sink to the He did it so it’s OK for us level.

    Key will stand or fall on his own merit.

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  8. Seamonkey Madness () says:

    Sorry Burt,

    Was just trying to illustrate how one-eyed Tane was being.

    Hate to say it but lesson learned, lets move on. He needs to get his media training down to a fine art and not BS about what he doesn’t know. (a lot like me really – ha!)

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  9. TIM BARCLAY () says:

    He is smart and if there are any lessons to learn he will learn them. But NEVER trust anyhing that is being proposed by Peters or the Labour Government. NEVER. Unless it is EXTREMELY urgent tell the Labour Party the National Party will look at it after the voters have thrown them out of office.

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  10. Paul W () says:

    Tim, trying to redefine this in terms of the failings of Labour or NZF is ridiculous. I watched the debate on this bill and it was clear that National had determined an approach which was not about the merits of the issue but more about taking advantage of a political opportunity – not unreasonable nor unpredictable – but this is the inevitable result. What’s exacerbated matters is that he’s been a little fast and loose with the media and its come back to bite him.

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  11. TIM BARCLAY () says:

    I simply do not care what the merits of this little measure is or anything else put up by Peters or Cullen. You can be sure there will be a little time bomb ticking away in everything they put up. The Labour Government should just piss off as soon as possible.

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  12. Paul W () says:

    Tim, I trust it’s unlikely you’ll ever be in a position where the continued good relations between trans-Tasman partners is at issue.

    NZ enjoys excellent relations with Australia – relations forged by a National Minister, Hugh Templeton, incidentally – and although they’ll not be terribly troubled by this particular issue, continued Australian tolerance of Key’s flip-flopping should not be assumed. Clark and Howard get along remarkably well, Cullen and Cossie too – it’s a little surprising I agree! Key’s dalliances into trade, foreign policy etc need to be a bit sharper lest he develop a reputation.

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  13. Matthew () says:

    Key and Clark have exactly the same challenge – they have poor quality people below them and so have to front all the issues themselves. This country is bereft of good pollies. Of course sometimes they are going to make mistakes under pressure.

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  14. honey badger () says:

    Paul W – actually, you did not watch the debate closely enough.

    At said debate, National clearly and repeatedly voiced its frustrations at not being included or consulted over this (highly flawed) omnibus legislation, or its elements.

    Being a stakeholder (and despite my vigourous and proactive approach to requesting information and opportunities for consultation – since I took compliance seriously), I can relate to that entirely.

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  15. Seamus () says:

    Tony Ryall isn’t capable of screaming. He would throw a wobbly and lock himself in his office until he gets hungry.

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  16. pedro () says:

    “NZ enjoys excellent relations with Australia – relations forged by a National Minister” God bless the national party, you’re right if it wasn’t for them the aussies wouldn’t like us at all… I love the claims some people make

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  17. TIM BARCLAY () says:

    This tiny little measure can wait. There is nothing to be gained politically helping the Labour Party on anything unless the measure is extremely uregent and is of grave importance to the country. Why we are trying to set up a joint agency with Australia I do not know. They can certainly wait. I bet there will be some little time bomb ticking away on this measure which the Labour Party will ensure shaftes the National Party. The Labour Party simply cannot be trusted.

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  18. Inventory2 () says:

    DPF said “In my books Key has made a mistake with his lack of clarity on this. It’s not the world’s biggest mistake. It is in fact a good mistake to learn from!”

    As you have said DPF, this is a relatively minor error by Key, notwithstanding that it is one he will be keen not to repeat. If it was a major, Sam, Selma and Sonic et al would be all over it like red, angry rash – yet their silence on this particular thread is deafening!

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  19. Ben Wilson () says:

    Key’s mistake is definitely lack of clarity. And failure to realize that others sometimes do have clarity, particularly when they go to the trouble to take notes and recordings.

    But apart from Young, who righteously feels that accusations of misrepresentation are unfair, this shitfight serves noone. Key can solve the whole problem by making National’s position clear now. This “he said she said” thing is worthy of office politics, not someone who is likely to be the next PM.

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  20. Paul W () says:

    Honey badger, I’m not a direct stakeholder and perhaps have not followed it as closely as you however we simply disagree on what happened in the House. It appeared to me that National were indulging themselves in the political opportunity, which all Opposition’s do from time to time, however Key’s indecision and confusion since means any political advantage is outweighed by the confusion created in the public mind about what he’d do differently. This is, in my opinion, the result of inexperience and ill-judgment on his part. I’m not sure that Key has a long game to speak of; sure he can putt from a good lie but that’s not nearly good enough to play the Majors.

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  21. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,810 comments) says:

    PaulW, what on earth makes you think politics in this little pissant heap is anything like a ‘major’?

    Isn’t it strange how the Garrulous Gargoyle makes blunder after blunder and there is no comment to speak of. When John Key makes a minor error, it is made out to be a federal case? Can you think of anything more stupid than appearing in photo ops pumping Gull Shit into people’s cars only hours before the AA and MTA warn people not to use the stuff because it will make their dung heap cars explode?

    Get a grip, whydoncha?

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  22. Paul W () says:

    Settle down Adolf. Key aspires to be the PM and therefore he should expect greater scrutiny. The golfing analogy was intended to distinguish his performance as leader of the Opposition with his potential for the top job. You’re quite deluded if you think Clark escapes such scrutiny.

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  23. honey badger () says:

    Well said PaulW. Adolf has made no constructive comments on this topic – he only heckles trolls & attacks personalities.
    Anyway, the government certainly missed many opportunities for consultation with other parties as well as with stakeholders on this legislation, and it is rightfully being hauled over the coals for it. National should be scoring points from this situation – they have trumpeted about it for long enough that the government has had plenty of time to sort out its communication processes. I truly believe that Annette King thought she could slip this one through without the consequiences being scrutinised – and in her mind, she had to: to make good on the treaty she signed with Australia in 1999.

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  24. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,810 comments) says:

    PaulW. Being PM of Breat Britain or Australia or Canada or India is a ‘major.’ Being President of the USA is a major. Being PM of NZ is not even little league. Why, even the Lord Mayor of Sydneyhas more prestige. Get some perspective. You are a blind fool if you think Clark has had anything like the media scrutiny which Key has had and Dr Brash before him. Where is the media scrutiny of Clark’s latest grab for tax payer’s money to fund her election campaign? Where is the media scrutiny of her disastrously bungled foray into ‘green’ ethanol enhanced petrol? Where is the media scrutiny of her tawdry support for and scurrilous manipulation of the enquiry into Philip Field? I could go on and on.

    Honey badger, it’s time for you to go and find yourself a new ant heap. The only thing worse than Gull Shit which blows up cheap cars is the horse shit you are spouting. I have carefully examined all my comments on this thread. All one of them. Nowhere is there anything remotely resembling a ‘personal attack.’ You are suffering from over exposure to fourth form debating competitions. Go and do your home work.

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  25. honey badger () says:

    Adolf, snipey snipey. You are adding your own aforesaid horse shit to this ant hole, which is the incorrect fuel and may cause it to explode back in your face. That is because this ant heap concerns the topic I am here to happily discuss: the National Party’s position on the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill.

    The same topic applied to a comment thread yesterday relating to an earlier post of DPF’s, which you did nothing but sabotage by heckling other commenters who – through mutual ignorance of the issue, perhaps – could not stick to the topic either.

    It is of course your right to build your ant hole – complete with snide, insulting terms you probably live by as your progenies of witticism (“Garrulous Gargoyle”; “you are a blind fool” etc. etc.) somewhere over yonder.

    The further the better, please, unless you can stick to the topic.

    Thanks.

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  26. Paul W () says:

    Adolf, you’ve never had a great deal of credibility, I wonder why?

    Anytime you want to step out from behind your nom de plume and stand for office I can assure you… we’ll, I only hope you don’t need your deposit.

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  27. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,810 comments) says:

    You bloody lefies are all the same. When you gat caught out you try to move the goal posts. Suddenly we are talking about some other thread. And you have the gall to talk about credibility.

    You appear to have not noticed that the National Party’s policy on therapeutics has not changed. What has changed is the demeanour of the loud mouthed journo who now admits that there was some minor misunderstanding and that the minister herself was less than energetic in seeing to it that her bill had support.

    It seems in your world of pure pinko bullshit, anyone who disagrees with your leftie point of view on anything is ‘without credibility’ and/or ‘sabotaging the thread.’ You guys are the pits.

    Why don’t you go off and run a few chook raffles to earn some honest money for your shambles of a party? Oh and don’t forget to pay tax on the raffle proceeds. Dickheads.

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  28. honey badger () says:

    Adolf you are seriously frothing at the mouth. I support the National Party’s view on this and I have clearly stated this in my posts. And, unlike you, I am capable of commeting on this topic, which you still haven’t once.

    Anyone who shows you up for the reactionary tantrum-thrower that you are is labelled a “leftie”. Is that it with you, Adolf? Very arbitrary…

    (Or in this case, a “bloody lefie” … what the?!? Take a deep breath, Adolf!)

    Got anything to say about the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill yet? Informed or otherwise? Hmmm… I doubt it.

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  29. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,810 comments) says:

    honey badger. What makes you think this thread is about the bill itself? In fact what it is about, if you care to go back and read the piece, is various people’s interpretation of what John Key said or didn’t say. You wouldn’t recognise frothing at the mouth if you were drowning in it.

    Now let’s see what you have to say about the memory of what people say as per the wisdom of Mark Prebble. Neutral public service? Really?

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  30. honey badger () says:

    “what it is about, if you care to go back and read the piece, is various people’s interpretation of what John Key said or didn’t say.”

    Exactly. Thereby, your earlier fuelled rant really was irrelevant.

    “Now let’s see what you have to say about…”

    No thanks, Adolf. I’d rather stick to this thread’s topic. Go and stick your red herrings in your own ant heap.

    And feel free to drown in your own froth while you’re there.

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