The Fairfax gallery team have made their 2013 projections:
1. At an annual salary of almost $145,000 plus allowances, Brendan Horan will continue to believe he is needed in the House and will tough out the criticisms and stay on in Parliament – unless police intervene.
2. Official interest rates will end the year no higher than they started it at 2.5 per cent, and if the Reserve Bank moves at all it will be to cut the OCR.
3. David Shearer will win unanimous support for his leadership from his caucus in the February vote, and remain safe from any serious challenge throughout the year.
4. Aaron Gilmore will return to Parliament and be joined by a least one other replacement list MP – though Mr Gilmore will make no better an impression this year than first time around.
5. Arise Sir Lockwood Smith. The former Speaker will be knighted in the Queen’s Birthday honours.
6. Hekia Parata will remain in the Cabinet but lose the education portfolio.
7. Labour will rewrite its list selection rules to give the regions and the unions less power, but not without a major controversy.
8. National will fail to find a cross party “consensus” on changes to the MMP rules, but opposition parties will pledge to implement the main Electoral Commission recommendations if they win power.
9. The referendum opposing the sale of state assets will get the numbers and go ahead in October. But the part-sale of Mighty River Power will go ahead, after the Maori court challenge over water rights fails. The Government will also sell shares in Meridian and Genesis this year.
10. John Key will make international headlines again for a gaffe to rival the Beckham putdown, but he will resist the urge to become a fulltime talkback host.
11. Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples will bow to pressure and give up the co-leadership, opening the way for Te Ururoa Flavell. But Dr Sharples will not relinquish his portfolios.
12. Maurice Williamson and one other minister will announce that they are not standing for re-election in 2014.
13. A new Right-wing party will emerge, offering to fill the need for an ally for National. But National will be less than enthusiastic.14. The Government will launch the year with a major economic policy promising to boost job numbers and make employment its priority.
15. A minister will resign over allegations surrounding events that emerge from the past.
16. As a consolation for missing out on the Speakership, National list MP Tau Henare will be offered a diplomatic post in the Pacific.
17. The Green Party will not top 15 per cent in any major political poll in 2013.
18. Andrew Little and David Clark will be promoted to the Labour top 12 and Nanaia Mahuta will not hold the prime responsibility for education by year’s end.
19. Growth will fall short of the Treasury’s pick of 2.3 per cent in the year till March but the economic mandarins will be closer to the mark on unemployment, which will be near their 6.9 per cent forecast.
20. David Bain will be paid some compensation even though a second review will be more ambivalent about his innocence – but he will get less than $1 million.
No 13 could be interesting. Not sure about the unions having less power in Labour list ranking, as they just gave them increased power in leadership selections.Tags: Fairfax, predictions