Q&A

April 20th, 2009 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

I thought yesterday ws pretty good with interviewees being and Don Brash.

Was was glad there were no spouses being interviewed this week. I’m still not sure though about having MPs as panelists. Having said that made some useful contributions. In fact one exchange was remarkable for its agreement:

PAUL So we’ve seen Murray McCully he seemed in command of his portfolio, we have to discuss him, any surprises from Murray McCully people what do you think?

KEITH LOCKE – Green MP. Oh it was a pretty standard response and not much there I could disagree with.

Now just think about this. You’ve just had a National Party Minister of Foreign Affairs on, and Keith Locke has said he didn’t hear much he would disagree with!

Murray’s aim is to remove foreign policy as a partisan issue. Looks like he is achieiving that. Mind you good to see, there are stil disagreements on some issues. McCully today announced we will join the US, Canada and Australia in not attending the World Conference Against Racism Review Conference. The original was a nasty unashamed Israel bashing exercise (by countries with far far worse records on racism I might say), and also tends to turn into an attempt to stifle criticism of religions by portraying this as racism. So well done McCully.

Audrey Young thought McCully did well on the interview, blogging:

The interview with Guyon Espiner showed what a strong command McCully has of his portfolio and that he can articulate the values that underpin the Government’s policies.

Also of interest was Keith Locke’s comments on . It sounds like the Greens are going to go all out and seriously try to win it:

THERESE I think we’re all sort of fascinated to watch what happens with the Mt Albert bi-election, I think that’s gonna be a very interesting bi-election, a safe Labour seat but how safe, how much of it is a personal vote for Helen Clark, I mean there was a sizeable comfortable gap for Helen Clark but…

KEITH That’s right and if the Greens win it that’s an extra seat for us.

THERESE You may cost Labour it if you’re right.

KEITH Yes well it’s not gonna change the government so it’d be great for the Greens to have an extra seat and it’s really set up for us because you’ve got the Labour supporting 2.7 billion dollars on 4.5 kilometres of tunnel motorway, National supporting about the same amount a bit less than an over ground version, it’s gonna wipe out a whole pile of houses in Waterview in the electorate and the Greens saying well look put all that aside for a few years and spend it on public transport, I know which way the Mt Albert voters are gonna go. …

THERESE Another day and National also claims that they have increased party membership in the electorate but I do think in bi-elections it comes down to turnout, who can get the vote out, and vote splitting, the Greens running a strong candidate may well cost Labour.

KEITH Well it’s not vote splitting if we win, if we make it a three way race we could win.

It will be very interesting who the Greens choose as theri candidate.

The Don Brash interview was a goodie also. I think we can all accept future tax cuts are gone, when even Don says so:

PAUL What about tax cuts in the medium term tax cuts next year the next round of tax cuts they’re surely a goner?

DON I expect they are, I don’t think the government wants to say that quite yet, but I suspect they are a goner. …

PAUL What about the Super Fund, might they not pay in this year?

DON I think they probably won’t pay in this year, and I think that makes good sense, I mean the Super Fund was a device to ensure that some of the budget surpluses were set aside for the future. If you’ve got a budget deficit the logic of that doesn’t exist.

While I’m sad about future tax cuts probably off the radar for no, the 2008 and 2009 tax cuts combined come to a lot more than those yet to occur. I’m going to blog on this in more detail once I have had some data confirmed.

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21 Responses to “Q&A”

  1. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Geeez When are the pollies and civil servants gonna wake up and realise they cant tax their way out of a recession.

    FFS they all bang on about productivity and for the workers that means a sly dig at them not working hard enough.

    Most workers think productivity is about how hard THEY work and so when they get these sly digs and then taxed to hell on what they earn of course they get very pissed off.

    Low flat taxes are the only way to reward hard work and encourage effort. let the citizens make their own choices about how they spend their money Dont assume as a pollie or a civil servant YOU know best.

    Give the worker choices and let them decide.

    Tax spend and hope . thats all these one dimensionals understand

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  2. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    David I didn’t know all the candidates in Mt Albert were non hetero. Surely it IS going to be a by-election? Isn’t it?

    Kieth Locke has just given all the fools in ACT who want to field a strong candidate in Mt Alber a lesson in realpolitik.

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  3. unaha-closp (1,033 comments) says:

    Labour supporting 2.7 billion dollars on 4.5 kilometres of tunnel motorway, National supporting about the same amount a bit less than an over ground version, it’s gonna wipe out a whole pile of houses in Waterview in the electorate and the Greens saying well look put all that aside for a few years and spend it on public transport, I know which way the Mt Albert voters are gonna go. …

    Labour or National obviously.

    Because having a 4 lane motorway terminating at the electorates southern border is not plan we want to buy into. 100,000 cars from South Auckland looking to daily commute down Dominion or Sandringham, trucks heading to and from the airport and every lost tourist – that is the Greens plan.

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  4. Bryan Spondre (225 comments) says:

    No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post) – I just have but there is no reporting the TweetBack ???

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  5. Inventory2 (9,788 comments) says:

    Well spotted Adolf :-)

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    The duel will be held on June 13th. Unlucky for Labour.

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  7. sailboi (4 comments) says:

    Regarding the motorway, Helen Clark’s power to stop the motorway on her district bounday has been far more than an inconvenience – it was strangulation. No other nation has it’s major city sitting on an isthmus that divides that nation into pieces, and the North/South flow of goods and people has been impeded all these years by selfishness and kow towing to the Green party. Talk about low productivity growth, with all this wasted time and equipment hours, how can growth happen? The solution is to tunnel, and this should be announced prior to the by-election so that National can take this district from Labour! Here is how Interstate 90 passes under a high value residential area on Mercer Island, Seattle: http://fotomeister.us/fotos/fotomeister/I-90-mercer-island-lid-WA-2004.jpg

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  8. sailboi (4 comments) says:

    Regarding McCully’s comment on China in the South Pacific, I have commented here – Ken Shock, Russell
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/recap-china-syndrome/

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  9. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    “Audrey Young thought McCully did well on the interview, blogging:

    The interview with Guyon Espiner showed what a strong command McCully has of his portfolio and that he can articulate the values that underpin the Government’s policies.”

    Yes, it is good to see McCully coming to grips with the portfolio. Particularly as I thought he made a real hash of Housing when last in Cabinet. Fingers crossed that the good work continues.

    “Was was glad there were no spouses being interviewed this week.”

    An interview with both Murray and his spouse would be interesting.

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  10. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “I think we can all accept future tax cuts are gone, when even Don says so:”

    To avoid any confusion I think you may want to consider ‘foreseeable’ or ‘planned’ future?

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  11. berend (1,601 comments) says:

    That’s National for you: they promise you tax cuts, get voted in by stupid, and then cancel them and spend as much as Labour.

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  12. Southern Raider (1,368 comments) says:

    Locke wasn’t happy about McCully pulling out of the “Racism” conference.

    Can’t we just send Locke to meet the Taliban to truely understand racisim?

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  13. clintheine (1,560 comments) says:

    Indeed. I know many people who voted in National for the tax cuts – knowing full well we were in a recession, but were promised a new direction than Labour. I know we sat through the campaign watching Key copying Labours policies, but I also remember Nats telling us it was just electioneering and once they were in power things will change.

    I’m still waiting for the top tax rate to come down……

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  14. Elvis Christ (29 comments) says:

    @sailboi “The solution is to tunnel, and this should be announced prior to the by-election so that National can take this district from Labour!”

    I agree that Keith Locke appears to have forgotten to take his medication and put on his tin foil hat when says: “I know which way the Mt Albert voters are gonna go. …” I am not happy with the tunnel idea when it is an unnecessary expense conceived purely to bribe voters in a Labour held seat.

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  15. Southern Raider (1,368 comments) says:

    Bulldoze the houses in Mt Albert and take the cheapest route.

    This should be the least of the punishments Mt Albert electorate gets for continually voting Helen in.

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  16. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    You’re damned right, SR. In fact the freeway should be increased to eight lane while it traverses the electorate. Just to let the bastards know.

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  17. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I agree with berend and clintheine, National is being spooked by the growing howls from our bloated bureaucracy and the welfare classes. They have a great desire to please all but if they continue down the easy path of high taxation and growing government spending then all is lost. They must take the plunge and implement a low flat tax rate for all and cap local and central government spending.

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  18. Southern Raider (1,368 comments) says:

    Adolf maybe they could have a sign highlighting the fact eg “Helen Clark Memorial Highway”

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  19. emmess (1,333 comments) says:

    I have heard a figure of $400 million for an above ground motorway as opposed to $2.7 billion for the (two lane) tunnel
    That’s roughly $100 per person as opposed to $700 person.
    If National can campaign on this, there would be no better way to highlight Labour’s profligacy .
    Or the flipside what Phil Twyford on Backbenchers call the governments (read yours and my) cheapness (read frugality).

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  20. Ed Snack (1,535 comments) says:

    I think I’d have to say as a (former) Mt Albert voter and resident that Keith Locke is absolutely off his trolley to imagine that the Greens have a snowballs hope in hell of capturing Mt Albert. They might poll suprisingly strongly (like 15 – 18 %) and take enough votes from the left to deny labour, but that’s about it. They haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory since the election, being fairly focussed on moonbattery. Imagine if they roll out Catherine Delahunty on the campaign, priceless, at a stroke she could take 50% off the Green’s potential vote.

    The real battle is Labour’s to retain the seat. There was a suprising personal vote for Helen, but the party vote is the real vote, and that is quite close. Take away the personal effect and I suggest it is quite possibly National’s to take. It has gentrified considerably and has a large Indian population as well, could be an interesting mix, after all, if Auckland Central can go Blue, Mt Albert surely is a more natural “Blue” electorate than Central. I think it will be close, but go blue, though only if National selects a good candidate.

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  21. TimG_Oz (883 comments) says:

    Fantastic news about NZ boycotting the Durban hate-fest – something I never thought would happen.

    New leadership = real world perspective that is not polluted by “PC” personal biases. Great stuff

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