No more smile and wave

April 1st, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

My weekly column at 24/7 is called “No more smile and wave“. My conclusion:

The first year of office was about getting through the recession. The third year will be campaign mode. This leaves the second year as the critical one for pushing through necessary reforms, and it is good to see the Government is willing to spend some political capital on pushing ahead.

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26 Responses to “No more smile and wave”

  1. Viking2 (10,738 comments) says:

    So, does that translate into “we are getting the promised tax cuts ‘?
    or
    We are not going to continue to prevarictae with cuts to the public service?
    or
    We are going to fix the tax rort over trusts and WFF?
    or
    We are going to stop attacking 6-700,000 landlords that are our constituent base?
    or
    we are going to reform the rules around the NZX and finance companies?
    or
    We are going to stop appeasing the Maori who don’t vote for us anyway?
    or
    All of the above?

    Tell us we really want to know if they do have the nuts to do what they should.

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  2. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    “”second year as the critical one for pushing through necessary reforms””

    I think they got necessary mixed up with messy… come back and kick in you in the arse reforms.

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  3. jag (54 comments) says:

    “No more smile and wave“

    I bloody hope so… that token cameo appearance before the Tua fight last night was truely, truely cringeworthy.

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  4. Pongo (356 comments) says:

    Well said Viking2. If getting things done is asking a beneficiary to turn up once every year to re-apply, mining a post card (and not having an SOE do it), carrying on with the ETS (fast follower !) and having English of housing rort fame having daily swipes at anyone who has saved up for a rental property.
    It will be hard to stay ahead with falling property prices, rising interest rates, increase costs for petrol/power and changing the tax rules overnight on what is generally a long term investment because the IRD cant enforce their own rules on WFF.
    If Goff gets a clue and becomes constructive that huge swing to National could swing pretty quickly the other way.

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  5. db.. (78 comments) says:

    @Viking2 … “Tell us we really want to know if they do have the nuts to do what they should.”

    Well Viking I can assure you I will not be any part of your “we”.
    While I’m on a rant I will ask; How do you know what it is that they “should” do.

    And the “they” have more information, more ability, and the intention to do what is effective in the interest of NZ in a appropriate time frame, not just when you please.
    My opinion carries the same weight as yours, so consider yourself pretty well canceled out.

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,684 comments) says:

    Give that man a db!!

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  7. Manolo (12,642 comments) says:

    There is nothing behind Key’s smile.

    To this date the PM and his weak, timid and lame National government are a complete disappointment.

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  8. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    The first year of office was about getting through the recession. The third year will be campaign mode.

    That’s about right. 1/3 of the time spent bullshitting in order to get another term in which to do bugger all.

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  9. m@tt (535 comments) says:

    “And the “they” have more information, more ability, and the intention to do what is effective in the interest of NZ in a appropriate time frame, not just when you please.”

    “they” are a pack of bumbling, flip-flopping, PR driven idiots.

    Good to see you have faith though. Got to have something to believe in eh…

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  10. GJ (329 comments) says:

    For a Government that came in to give the people some hope, many National party supporters I talk to are greatly disappointed.
    Yes they are better than the last lot, but not by much. Reform the anti smacking legislation and listen to the people would certainly be a good start!
    What with crime violence and murders all up, it’s time to get rid of all this PC rubbish and bring some good old fashioned discipline back into our homes and classrooms.
    I thought Key might have the backbone to do it but NO he’s just another going with the flow.
    And before you cry out about the merits of Act of whom I like a lot of their policies, I couldn’t vote for them as they have no moral backbone.

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  11. Scott (1,614 comments) says:

    Could not agree more GJ — some vision from the national government to get rid of this PC rubbish would be welcome. Giving the schools the option to have corporal punishment would be a good start. Repealing the anti-smacking legislation would be another.

    The list goes on and on.

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  12. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    If .. Flow.. means.. public opinion.. GJ.. go with the flow John has the support of the people which would be most if not all National supporters… you and your National friends must be fringe National supporters… out on the edge of public opinion.
    You need to learn to smile and wave like John so you can bring in policies that have the support of the people. By first bringing the people along with you. Unlike Act, Labour, and the Greens.

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  13. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Well we can look forward to two years of shrill hysteria from the usual suspects about the impending doom of anything that isn”t full on socialism. Meanwhile forgetting the absolute cluster that 9 years of labour left us with.

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  14. Fisiani (859 comments) says:

    The first year in office was simple damage control. The National/Maori/ACT/United Future coalition arrived amidst a global recession on top of a 5 year industrial recession caused by Labour. They inherited a fiscal cupboard stripped bare by desperate electioneering bribes by a discredited failed government. There was also a clapped out railway set bought from gleeful sellers at twice it’s value. All election promises have been kept, except for tax cuts April 2010 and 11 . ( they are however just deferred a few months). NZ wants and is getting an evolutionary step change not a revolutionary step change.
    Already resources in government service are moving from the back line to the front line eg In 2009 almost 135,000 patients received elective surgery, which is an increase of more than 12,000, or 10 percent, on the number who received elective surgery in 2008.
    When the right are screaming for the accelerator and the left are screaming for reverse the we know that we are on the right and sensible track.

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  15. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    What is it about National governments that prevents them from removing BAD laws, etc brought in by previous Labour governments? This is somethng that continues to confuse me.

    One might ALMOST come to the conclusion that it’s a GOOD COP, BAD COP routine.
    Labour is the ‘Bad Cop’, and brings in all the bad crap, while National is the ‘Good Cop’ and say, “We never would have done that, that was bad, evil Labour” – but then they do little to reverse it.

    Of course, we’re all the dumb arses sitting in the chair while the two ‘Cops’ stitch us up, and then have the audacity to blame us for the ills of society, and the predicament we find ourselves in.

    When are our governments going to represent the ‘will of the people’, and actually do what we tell them to?

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  16. GJ (329 comments) says:

    RKBee: I don’t want a PM that goes with the flow of his PR team, waves nicely and doesn’t rattle the cage too much. I wanted a PM that knows what is right and wrong and will make the tough decision to get this country back on the right pathway before it’s too late. I believe Key has the ability to do this. Personally from a conversation I had with him years ago I thought he wouldn’t buy into this Global warming lie that will leave us down the creek without a paddle. But yes he did! Who changed him?
    And NO I am not talking about a fringe National support base. These are people that have supported National for years and have been part of their campaign teams. These people are highly disappointed. They range from Auckland to the Deep South. Disappointment is very strong, however is it strong enough for them to turn their backs on National? Possibly not yet as what is the alternative?

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  17. Captain Neurotic (206 comments) says:

    Jag – I know what you mean, like WTF?!!

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  18. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Key, english and Joyce are all competant but hardly inspirational. The will is there to pull NZ into teh digital age but one gets the feelling they aren’t quite sure how to do it. The ministry are a mix of the good, dull and incompetant but they desperately need some right brain creative types to give them some ideas.

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  19. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Kris K@2:28 pm
    When are our governments going to represent the ‘will of the people’, and actually do what we tell them to?
    and
    GJ@2:30 pm
    RKBee: I don’t want a PM that goes with the flow of his PR team, waves nicely and doesn’t rattle the cage too much.

    Then you don’t want someone in a main stream political party… You need to find an independent with similar views.

    But your chances of success without a main stream political party’s backing.. will be.. well zero. You should know that all political main stream political parties say what they think their left or right supporters want.. to get their votes.. Once in.. they have to broaden their appeal to all voters and their colleagues to get policies through and survive more than one term.

    Its called MMP.. you guy’s are still thinking FPP.. and John Key’s knows it.. by telling you what you want to here for your vote… knowing in reality he can’t deliver without cross party support.. hence his PR wave nicley and easy as you go approach. You guy’s don’t give him nearly enough credit.. Give him time.. he knows what country needs.. its just how you do it.. while still being able to stay in power long enough to be able to do it.

    National without Key’s is nothing but noise from the middle right like you guy’s.

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  20. Viking2 (10,738 comments) says:

    db; well plenty of good research and information out there to make changes on.
    If we want to actually have a successful first world country then we have got to lift our game enormously. Continuing mediocrity just won’t do it.
    Failure to lift our game will see even more kiwis move offshore and a continuing lowering in living standards.
    Continuing to smother Kiwi’s with cradle to the grave socialism isn’t inspiring nor does it inspire Kiwis to up their game.
    Personally it affronts me that politicians and there socialist followers think they need to run my life and the lives of others.
    Their job is to make the rules or change the rules so we can be independent living beings. I have the right to be me!
    If you think they are succeeding then tell us why we have a 20% unemployment rate for people between 16 and 24.
    Tell us why we need a Govt. and unions to tell us what to pay people.
    Tell us about all the other sad and or bad indicators in NZ performance as a nation and with our people.
    Tell us why we have so many Maori in jail? It ‘s appalling that one small group of people have such a statistic. I have said for years that we (that’s us the community and the Govt. ),are doing something wrong to create that situation.

    There is no good or logical reason to feel smug about the way NZ is currently and worse the people who are responsible for our Nations governance seem to be content to continue in the same old way.
    They are of little vision and lots of words.
    For me actions speak louder than words and so far the action has been window dressing and appeasement, compromise and a failure of vision and inspiration.

    Oh and I missed a couple of lines in my first post.
    When will we get rid of the ETS?
    and
    When will we change the Smacking Laws to reflect the communities wishes?
    and
    When will the Govt. take proper responsibility for the leaky building issue. The largest catastrophe to ever happen in NZ in modern times.
    This issue more than any other epitomizes the National Party. Labour were bad at it but one needs to remember it was the Nats. Bolger Birch. Smith & co that were responsible for changing 100 years of sound building practice and allowing the use of untreated softwood.
    Smith who was also involved in forcing the ETS on a public that didn’t want it.
    Smith who is currently renegotiating everyones entitlements for ACC. No debate with the customers. i.e. the people who are forced by statute to pay for accident insurance but have little or no say in the type or scope of their personal cover and who after paying for their cover are treated like lepers when they need treatment after accidents.
    Hardly a choice that goes with personal freedom that the National Party like to put forth at election time.
    So that makes another one.
    When are they going to allow us to decide who our insurer will be as promised?

    You see dreaming up legislation to crush a few cars (none to date), make unemployed go looking for non existent work, and all that nonsensical rubbish that they have played with won’t create a single extra dollar in our GNP.
    And thats what the govt. and the Reserve Bank should be about. Growing our wealth, growing our GNP.
    If that was the focus everything else would follow almost automatically.

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  21. db.. (78 comments) says:

    Viking2, Thanks for your considered response. In fact as I read and re-read your comments I find much to agree with.
    You have got plenty of the “What” and “Why” factors well covered.

    The gaps are with the “Who”, “How” and “When”.
    My suggestion is that the who is the National caucus along with support parties, the how is softly softly until Polls are replaced by a degree of trust, and the when is ONLY WHILE THEY REMAIN IN THE TREASURY BENCHES.

    It will always be difficult to make gains that last when Governments change, if excessive force is used to overwhelm Opposition Parties just because you can.

    David Baigent

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  22. Viking2 (10,738 comments) says:

    The who is easy, the Nats. and Act can govern, they don’t need the Maori nor Dunne. In fact if they gave Dunnes job as revenue minister to Rodney it would have been done by now.(pun intended.)
    The how isn’t hard either.
    The how is about removing privilege. About removing income shelters from trusts and companies, about ensuring companies, especially overseas domiciled companies, contribute to our country in a fair way rather than endeavoring to remove money from NZ.
    A good example I saw yesterday is about fire service levies. Now most of us pay them as part of our general insurance but some are able to avoid them by self insuring on the overseas market. That leaves the rest of us carrying their share of the costs for fire fighting and other services provided by the fire service. That means we pay more than what could be deemed our share for the benefit( read privilege of others.).
    At a guess I would say this also applies to things like Ambulance services including helicopter services.
    A considerable sum is spent on rescuing tourists etc but do we receive sufficient compensation in the form of GST or the ability to sue for recompense. Probably not. But why? A good reason to raise GST especially when many of these activities are paid for in another country.
    Is GST collected on product bought from oversea’s via a credit card or some other transactional means, compared with a product shipped through NZ customs system which attracts GST. In other words there is a huge hole in the border that is taken advantage of everyday by people importing and selling or people just importing, for example computer software.
    I have just renewed my anti virus, on a card, imported ,no GST. How can a kiwi company compete with that in their own land?

    Plenty of quangos out there that need abolishing. Just money for the boys and girls most of them. There because someone moaned about something. Again Dunnes Family Commission is a good start, Race relations is another. Its fair to say the race relations in NZ have deteriorated sadly in the last 40 years. We have nastiness between groups that simply did not exist 40 years ago.
    Lindsay Mitchel has a good post today about the DPB. How it evolved and how it was mostly unneeded as mechanisms were in place before it became a stand alone free for all.

    People need to be encouraged to take responsibility for themselves and those around them. There is no conceivable reason why those that are employed shouldn’t have their own unemployment insurance, free to chose, no reason at all why we can’t chose a provider and have money deducted via IRD as we do Kiwisaver,. On that there is no reason at all why Govt. should make that compulsory nor subsidies the provision of others money to various “FUNDS” so they can invest it in others enterprises either losing it or ripping off the overheads as they do. These scams are world wide and have been going on for a couple of centuries. People should be educated to make their own choices but those choices should be protected by tough legislation bearing responsibility on the group that is the recipient of the money to invest.

    The when is not too hard. The sooner we start the better. Aussie for all the noise it makes is not looking that good if you read their business press regularly. It has just about the highest wages in the world, strong armed by unions that control all Australian Politics.
    Thats not competitive and if it were not for the cartel that forms the mining groups then their economy would be stuttering. Today there are warnings about the external deficit despite the high prices they get for iron ore and coal. The world will find an alternative that’s cheaper. It always does.
    Their farming sector which has suffered a lot over the last 10 years of drought will start a resurgence this year because the drought has broken and they have water to area’s that have been dry for years. For us that means competition for milk products and various food products where we compete.

    Krudd and co are making a real mess of the balance sheet internally with gross overspending and waste. Inflation is on the rise and so are house prices. Not good signs at all.
    So doing it now is the timetable so we can take advantage of the window thats there before the next world event claims us.

    So plenty to do on the how to establish more fairness and remove the need to attack landlords and property owners..

    The last Govt. to do the tough stuff was labour in I think 82. They were reelected with a greater majority. Key needs to stop being worried about upsetting those that don’t vote for him and bolster up the results for those that do. And the way to do that is to start everyday by re reading the National Party Founding Principles. People will never know how good life can be nor how enriching while they continue to be servants of the state.
    The state should be the peoples servant.

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  23. Viking2 (10,738 comments) says:

    db; Removing privilege should be the goal.
    A good example of that is why people rent houses rather than owning them.
    A renter contributes nothing to local Govt. via rates.
    The Residential Tenancies Act specifically excludes landlords from charging rates to their tenants. The argument that rates are included in rents is therefore not a valid argument
    So the question is; why should a tenant not contribute towards the amenities in he town they live in?
    If water is metered then they can be asked to pay that as water is their living cost as is rubbish collection if it is separate from the rates. In Tauranga for example they both are but in Rotorua they are both included in the rates bill so the landlord in Rotorua pays for the living costs of their tenant. Nothing fair ion that.

    Now apart from living for free they also get to vote for the councilor that will give them the things they like around town. No discipline in the voting/spending equation.
    The current argument in Tga over charging for library books is a good example of councilors not having sufficient principle to ensure that the service covers at least a reasonable amount of its cost. There fore no discipline on spending but a considerable addition to the rates as with the Baywave swimming pool that wasn’t needed, was built all wrong and now costs some enormous sum to keep open. In fact we would save a bundle shutting the building down.
    All because a silly little Miss Two Shoes solo mum became a Mayor and needed an edifice to her ego.

    So housing needs sorting with tenants being made more responsible for their costs and of course this just might help landlords add a bit more profit to the Treasuries calculations of the last few years. Tenants may also be encouraged to buy their own places instead of living for cheap. All it will take would be for Heatley to change te Tenancy law to allow rates to be charged to a tenant. But despite this point being made sometime ago he is not inclined to frighten the horses but they are determined to attack some 6-70,000 property investors over depreciation and ring fencing. Now if they do house building will crash for the next four or five years until the cost of building new is almost matched by the cost of second hand houses.
    Bob Jones has for years made exactly that point about industrial and commercial and why would it be different for residential? Indeed the building of both commercial and industrial could well be affected the same way. ( most likely will be.)

    So a looming shortage of housing for sure if they continue down the path that is being advocated.

    Education is wasting a fortune. I recently took on a 35 yr old man who had spent a year at polytech learning engineering. Student loan and all that. He learnt lots of stuff but not much engineering. Doesn’t know how to weld nor any theory around welding, doesn’t know anything at all about how to go about using a lathe. Not part of the curriculum. Now these are basic engineering skills and he has come to conclusion that he has been conned and now has a debt that he has to repay along with not much trust in the particular polytechnic. It wasn’t about teaching him skills it was about funding, never mind the result. Scumbags is how I would describe what they are.

    Plenty of accountability required.

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  24. black paul (124 comments) says:

    Viking2, you make some good points but if you really believe that landlords don’t pass on the cost of rates to tenants just because the legislation says so you’re dreaming.

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  25. db.. (78 comments) says:

    Yes Viking2, Lots of good objectives outlined at 2:15 and 2:43. I would not argue against most of what is in the wish list.

    However when Rodney fails to retain Epsom you are in free fall without a plan B.
    Hopefully he will return as MP for Epsom but his chances are compromised by the very success of his work with the Auckland Super City.

    Act really needs to have atleast the same number of MP’s as the Maori Party for you to become effective in changing the pace of the existing legislative work program already underway.
    Rodger is a threat, Heather is invisible, the Party appears in turmoil, it’s all accelerator, no brakes, both indicators are flashing and you are short on fuel.
    Think about it.

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  26. Viking2 (10,738 comments) says:

    black paul (59
    Not at all. They are a cost to landlords after all other expenses and before tax. Its very clear to anyone that knows about rental houses that there is little left after all those expenses that constitutes a profit before rates are taken into account.
    Aside from that where is the fairness and justification for tenants to be relieved of their fair share of community costs and why should landlords pay their water and rubbish costs as well when they are included within the rates account by lazy local bodies?
    I would say that we would get better councilors and better councils if tenants had to pay rates. They would then stop voting for those that are unable to control their spending and those that have long wish lists for property owners to fund.
    Rates have been rising as rents have been going down so there is clearly some disjoint there. Worse rates are all up for the next few years as property owners get stuck with the leaky houses bill. Govt. only wants to make a profit from the tax collected, local bodies can only sock it back to ratepayers, so that means that 65% of the citizens in any community i.e the property owners, are going to pay 90% of the bill and I for one do not own a leaky house within my portfolio.
    This is just not an issue for landlords but for property owners as well. If you own your own house you are subsidizing those that don’t via your rates.
    Indeed there are quiet a few property investors who will argue that it makes no sense to own your own house when you can use the money more effectively by owning others to rent. Probably would agree with that if my wife would let me get away with it. Emotional is what women are and so for peace sake. I’m sure you understand.
    Some 35% of housing property is rental so that’s a big chunk of of the voters voting to retain socialist habits, especially when they pay nothing for the privilege.

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