Key announces potential partners and new Ministers

January 21st, 2014 at 4:18 pm by David Farrar

The PM has announced:

Prime Minister today announced changes to the National-led Government’s Ministerial line-up, to take effect from Tuesday, 28 January.

Internal Affairs and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain, who has announced his intention to retire from Parliament at the upcoming general election, will be resigning from the Ministry.

Peter Dunne will be appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Conservation. Mr Dunne will be a Minister outside Cabinet as he was prior to his resignation in June last year.

Michael Woodhouse will be promoted to the vacancy in Cabinet, and will retain all of his current responsibilities.

Paula Bennett picks up the role of Minister of Local Government, in addition to her current portfolio responsibilities.

The new Minister outside Cabinet will be Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who will be appointed Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Associate Minister of Local Government. Mr Lotu-liga is the MP for Maungakiekie and was first elected to Parliament 2008.

Congratulations to Sam and Michael for their promotions. Also kudos to Chris Tremain for stepping down early to allow a reshuffle. In terms of Peter Dunne’s return, I personally think a better timing would have been after the next election, if he had been re-elected by Ohariu voters. I don’t think seven months has been long enough.

The PM also announced:

Mr Key says that given the right electoral circumstances, his preference would be to continue working with the current three partners to the Government, which are ACT, the Māori Party and United Future.

“I believe there is also a scenario where it would be possible to add the Conservative Party to this group.

“While National has of course had differences with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future, together our four parties have formed a stable and successful Government since late 2008,” Mr Key says.

“We also have policy differences with the Conservative Party, however it is likely that there would be enough common ground to work with them in Government.”

In terms of other parliamentary parties, Mr Key ruled out working with Labour, the Greens and Mana on the basis that there is insufficient common ground to achieve a stable and successful working relationship.

“These parties represent a far left wing agenda that we do not believe is good for New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

With regard to New Zealand First, Mr Key said that he believed a post-election working relationship was very unlikely; however he would not rule the possibility out ahead of the election.

“In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

As I made clear, my preference was for National to rule NZ First out again. If they do end having to do a deal with Winston, it might give them a third term, but it could come at a considerable long-term cost. I am reserving the right to say “I told you so” if they do, and it all falls apart!

However the public will decide which parties make it to Parliament, and how many are needed to form a Government. So National’s options in order of appeal seem to be:

  1. ACT/United Future
  2. Maori Party
  3. Conservatives
  4. NZ First

ACT could get 1 – 2 MPs. United Future 1. So National needs 58 or 59 seats (if no overhang) to govern just with them.

Maori Party will get 1 – 3 MPs. That means National needs 55 to 58 seats to govern with them.

Conservatives could well get 5 MPs (3.6% if they get one electorate seat) and at least three if they win a seat. So National needs 50 to 55 seats to be able to govern with NZ First if the four minor parties all win an electorate seat.

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85 Responses to “Key announces potential partners and new Ministers”

  1. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    Not surprised about the willingness to work with NZ First. The PM is nothing if not pragmatic.

    DPF – Do you think National will “give” the CCCP a seat in Upper Harbour?

    [DPF: No.]

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  2. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    National place the Maori party in front of the Conservatives?

    Cant see the Conservatives jumping at the first opportunity to join a labour/mana/united/greens/nzfirst coalition of garbage.

    Not impressed Dunne is back. The arrogance of that guy. He will have been lobbying HARD to get back to the big trough.

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  3. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    John Key has been smart ruling NZ First not in/not out because if National needs to get across the line, at least bridges aren’t burnt.

    The last thing the country needs is Labour and the Greens.

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  4. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    “In 2008 we ruled them out because we were unable to reconcile some of their statements on the Glenn donation matter. Six years has passed and, should New Zealand First be returned to Parliament, we would not rule out a discussion after the election.”

    Right … So Winston has paid back the money he stole – come clean on how he misled the public and parliament with a secret trust etc….

    Ummm – No … Key just wants to win and the public have short memories… Move on … nothing to see here.

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  5. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Joanne

    The last thing the country needs is Labour and the Greens.

    The last thing NZ needs is power at any price – irrespective of which colour their flag is.

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  6. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Peter Dunne- so he wants a guy in there thats lying to him, suggests quite a lot about what Key is like as a man

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  7. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    I think it’ll be East Coast Bays that gets gifted if any. Upper Harbour doesn’t really have the demograph to be giftable.

    Lotu-Iiga getting the Pacific Island Affairs portfolio is huge for him and for Pacific Island voters, I think it was seen as a slap in the face to Pacific Island voters for Lotu-Iiga to be constantly shunned in favour of non-Islanders. It will also help his chances in Maungakiekie.

    Dunne being a minister again doesn’t surprise me, he’s got enough leverage.

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  8. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    Peter “The Forgotten 2 Hours” Dunne back in cabinet?

    Key paid him off for his betrayal with a nice little sinecure until the election. Strange. At least he didn’t get Revenue back….

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  9. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    I think not ruling out NZ First completely is a mistake. It puts a big dent in National’s credability and paints them as a party willing to go back on their principles to hold onto power. I know people say do whatever it takes to stop the LabGreens but what has changed since they ruled out Peter’s last time? You simply cannot trust the guy. When will people learn?

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  10. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Notice he talks about maybe doing a deal with NZ First. My guess is there will be no deal with a NZ First led by Winston Peters.

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  11. Chuck Bird (4,897 comments) says:

    I think Key would talk to Winston even if he had the numbers. Look how he brought in the Maori Party when he had the numbers with 5 ACT MPs. ACT or Dunne will not drive too hard a deal. If Colin Craig drove too hard a deal at some stage he could then talk to Winston. It would be just like he did with ACT and the Maori Party. That’s MMP.

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  12. freethinker (691 comments) says:

    Key should rule Winston out but at least there is sufficient flexibility in interpretation of his words to dampen criticism. ACT should be a dead duck even with Boscowen in charge and Peter Possum head will hopefully fail to be an MP. Colin Craig may choose to agree to a confidence & supply deal and vote on issues on a case by case issue although making BCIR a bottom line will likely cause Key nightmares.

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    ACT could get 1 – 2 MPs.

    They could get one, if the Nat voters of Epsom are willing to bend over and spread ‘em. But two? How’s that going to happen? You might as well say they could get 20.

    [DPF: They were 0.1% off a 2nd MP last time]

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  14. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    Personally, either ACT or the Maori Party seems preferable to either Colin Craig and the Conservatives, for reasons that should be obvious. CC admires the divisive antics of the Republican Tea Party faction, now targeting moderate Republicans opposed to their agenda, and the United Kingdom Independence Party, which is baying for David Cameron’s blood. The Conservatives are a sectarian, fundamentalist Christian, populist, issue-driven party with ‘clip on’ fiscal conservative policies. They have yet to eludicate their ‘fiscal conservatism’ in any precise detail. I’d beware of them if I were the *centre* right.

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  15. Daigotsu (459 comments) says:

    So, what, it’s been six years now so what Winston did is OK? That’s disgusting

    I thought at the time Key was making a principled stand, but since he’s willing to forget his outrage in six years, it seems much less principled

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  16. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    …and Winston. Talk about populist flakery. Incidentally, I have a wee joke for your readers. Why don’t conservative Christians like New Zealand First all that much?
    Because they’re only supposed to believe in one god and his name’s not Winston.

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  17. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    There’s a sizeable vote for Winston among urban Asian folk in Auckland – all the ones who weren’t happy when Labour opened the door to anyone Chinese who’s got $1 million in the bank…

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  18. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe and Norman are smiling all the way to the treasury benches….

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  19. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    I think not ruling out NZ First completely is a mistake. It puts a big dent in National’s credability and paints them as a party willing to go back on their principles to hold onto power.

    Really?

    Most people don’t read Kiwiblog… To a lot of people, stuff Winston did years ago is a pretty beltway issue, that they simply won’t remember, or if they do remember it they don’t really understand it, and don’t care too much…

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  20. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    RRM (8,535 comments) says:

    “To a lot of people, stuff Winston did years ago is a pretty beltway issue, that they simply won’t remember, or if they do remember it they don’t really understand it, and don’t care too much…”

    The media will make people remember and I think they will lose votes on this. Don’t underestimate voters. They hate politicians and they will see this and think Key is just like every other shitbag politician willing to do whatever it takes to get back into power (might be unfair but that is what people may think). When the result could go either way, that is all it might take for a change of government.

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  21. virtualmark (1,531 comments) says:

    Like others here I’d prefer if John Key publicly ruled out NZ First now, and sent a clear message to voters that a vote for Winston won’t help secure a National government.

    But I suspect the Conservatives and Winston are fighting for many of the same voters, and the Conservatives will take enough of those voters to push Winston First back under the 5% threshold. I also doubt the Conservatives will get 5% of the total party votes either. So hopefully in November (or will that be September???) both Winston and Colin Craig are moved to the sidelines.

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  22. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    I reckon that ACT, UF and Maori Party will only get 1 seat each, at best. And in ACT’s case that will depend very much on National giftwrapping Epsom for them.

    Is 3 extra votes going to be enough for National?

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  23. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    My theory is that there was a protest vote that went to NZ First when National refused to work with them as they were seen as a means to get rid of National. Now that is not a certainty then what will happen to that vote? It might go to the internet party, but not the greens. Labour might pick up some of that vote but the net result is that NZ First is unlikely to get over 5% and not feature in the next parliament.

    A vote for Winston won’t secure a government on either side of center.

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  24. wiseowl (899 comments) says:

    The Conservatives will get 8 -10% support.

    No need for the Racist Party or Dunne.

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  25. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    Calm down people, he said he’d talk to NZ First, not to Winston. Possibly meaning they’ll do a deal with a new leader.

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  26. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    [DPF: They were 0.1% off a 2nd MP last time]

    Sure. However, a few things have happened since then, which have resulted in ACT spending the last year or two consistently polling around 0.5 to 1% (ie, support is too low to usefully measure without a much bigger population sample). They’d do better to disband and form a new party that isn’t tainted by the mind-boggling idiocy of the Brash/Banks years.

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  27. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    Zapper – NZ First is Winston First. After Winston, there won’t be any party

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  28. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    I know. But if they break 5% and Key says he’ll go into coalition with them if Winston steps aside, there will still be an NZ First for 3 years. Winston might actually see it as a noble way to go out. Of course, in the real world, he would prefer the trough.

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  29. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    Do the maths

    National + NZ First = Nine years in opposition

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  30. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    Nick R – I think you are right. 1 each for ACT (Epsom will hold their nose and vote tactically again), UF and Maori Party is all I can see as well. DPF is being a bit optimistic with ACT and the Maori Party in my opinion.
    It’s really going to come down to NZ First hitting the 5% mark and the Conservatives getting a seat or 5%. It will be interesting if neither NZ First or the Conservatives get in.

    On the left hand side of the ledger Labour and Greens will get around 45% (I’ll go for 35% + 10%).
    Hone will get his seat for Mana.

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  31. Than (475 comments) says:

    The Conservatives will get 8 -10% support.

    Yeah right. If National gifts them a seat they’ll get 4-6%, on their own 2-3%.

    The problem with three of National’s potential coalition partners is that they are competing for the same scarce resources. The Conservatives and NZF have a strong overlap of social conservative voters. Act and the Conservatives have some overlap in economic conservative voters. And both Act and the Conservatives need an arrangement over an electorate – how many solid blue seats does National have available to give away?

    My strong preference is for National to try for a simple single party majority, and I believe they could do it. But the safest path to a 3rd term is to make an arrangement with Act (a deal over Epsom) and state a preference for NZF over the Conservatives. These two have the least voters in common, and do not come with all of Colin Craig’s gaffs and baggage.

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  32. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    So, what happens if Consv. also stand in Epsom? Totally in their interests to attack ACT’s chances. If they have better polls than ACT, National voters will be strategically torn.

    I think you’re right about Consv. diluting the NZF vote VirtualMark. I think it will transfer in 2014.

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  33. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Some political food for thought (an Internet Party being a bar peanut foodwise).

    1) Conservatives got 2.7% of the vote in 2011 (7 weeks after forming as a party)

    2) The Conservatives were the 5th highest polling party, gaining more votes than 4 of the parties in parliament.

    3) Had the Conservatives won an electorate they would have got 3 MPs, National, Labour and the Greens would each have 1 less
    
4) At the 2011 election over 87,000 people gave at least one of their votes to the Conservative party
    
5) In the Auckland local board elections over 50,000 people voted for Conservative candidates(in a low turn-out election)

    6) The Conservatives continue to out-poll half of the parties in parliament.
    
7) The Conservative party have a membership that would rival the Green party numerically.
    
8) The Conservative party will be more prepared at the next election than they were at the last.

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  34. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    Virtualmark: “But I suspect the Conservatives and Winston are fighting for many of the same voters, and the Conservatives will take enough of those voters to push Winston First back under the 5% threshold. I also doubt the Conservatives will get 5% of the total party votes either. So hopefully in November (or will that be September???) both Winston and Colin Craig are moved to the sidelines.”

    It has to be remembered that last election, both New Zealand First and the Conservatives had considerable success in attracting votes-which shows that both parties can exist in their own right without affecting the other.

    I think the only vote New Zealand First and the Conservatives will be fighting over in 2014 is the vote National leaks, rather than their respective existing vote.

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  35. Than (475 comments) says:

    So, what happens if Consv. also stand in Epsom? Totally in their interests to attack ACT’s chances.

    John Key has indicated there won’t be any mucking about with cups of tea this year. Most likely National will give a simple, direct statement to their supporters who they want them to vote for. Unless several reputable polls put the Conservative candidate with a strong lead (extremely unlikely with Act having National’s endorsement), there would be no tactical dilemma.

    I think the only vote New Zealand First and the Conservatives will be fighting over in 2014 is the vote National leaks, rather than their respective existing vote.

    They’ll be fighting for votes both from each other and from National. But that doesn’t exactly give National much incentive to assist either of them.

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  36. smttc (752 comments) says:

    Serious mistake to not dismiss NZ First. Voters now think NZ First is “in play” rather than off the table.

    Winston will be having a few whiskeys and a quiet chuckle this evening.

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  37. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    At the last election the Conservatives and NZ First had a combined vote of just over 9% ( Conservatives 2.7% NZ First 6.59%)

    Since then the relative proportions for each party of this voter pool has changed.

    i-predict are forecasting what each party will get at the election ( Conservatives 4.6% NZ First 4.4%) 9% again

    https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=browse&cat=377

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  38. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    Once again we can give thanks for JK’s pragmatism & his ability to read the thoughts of the average New Zealander.

    Far rather a few baubles for the treacherous Peters than to welcome the Trojan horse of Colin Craig & his religious nutters. A few million & a couple of dead rats is a small price to keep the country safe from the Christian version of the mutaween.

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  39. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Richard Prebble’s analysis (Listener) is sound. But there’s one thing no one has mentioned. A natural disaster in 2014! or scary destabilising war abroad as a complete game changer.

    We’ve just had a 6.3 north of Wellington. In Chch we’ve lived thru about 12,000 quakes since just before the last election.

    If we get something more, it will give govt to John Key as a stable reliable leader by a workable majority.

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  40. Manolo (13,840 comments) says:

    Far rather a few baubles for the treacherous Peters than to welcome the Trojan horse of Colin Craig & his religious nutters.

    I want some of what that man is drinking. It must be the most potent drug! :-)

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  41. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Nassaka, you mean “religious nutters” as in Martin Luther King Jrs hymn singers on the buses? and Desmond Tutu’s sports stadium prayers in South Africa? Oh, them! Yeah, terrible. Let’s have more Aaron Gilmore and Alamein Kopu or join Shane Jones in his blue movie suite (bring your taxpayer credit card).

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  42. smttc (752 comments) says:

    DPF, the Maori Party are not going to go with National if they can form a government with Labour. FFS, they never vote with National except on confidence and supply. I say be gone with them and that bloody annoying overhang.

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  43. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    I don’t know where DPF is coming from saying ACT could get two seats because they were 0.1% away in 2011. Does he really think ACT’s chances have improved?

    Maori Party will be zero. Waikari will go from Flavell to Sykes, the other two to Labour. Remember Shane Jones is standing (seriously this time) in one of them.

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  44. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    iMP

    I mean religious nutters as in moralistic, know all, anti freedom, child thrashing fruitloop followers of the Sky Fairy.

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  45. Than (475 comments) says:

    I don’t know where DPF is coming from saying ACT could get two seats because they were 0.1% away in 2011. Does he really think ACT’s chances have improved?

    For Act to improve its vote it needs two things. First, a perception it is going to return to parliament. A deal over Epsom early on followed by a couple of polls going their way could provide that. Second, it needs to look stable, organized, and on-message. The mess that was Brash’s coup and subsequent disagreements with Banks utterly destroyed that in 2011.

    If it can manage these two things, Act might just be able to come out of its political coma. If it can (which is still a long shot at this point, but if) then based on past elections 3-5 seats is not unrealistic.

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  46. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    Key will bring all the minor parties into the tent and have the choice of which ones to use at any time to suit his pourpose best, weakens all of the lil fishes ability to bitch tooo much.

    I think there must have been some serious talks with Sir Winnie… a potent combination of baubles present and future (the Sir) along with his desire to leave a legacy in politics so when people mention Winston Peters they dont spit to clean their mouthes out afterward as they do now.

    I would have liked for Key to rule out Winnie… i hate that prick….. but with the strong possibility that CCCP will be there too…the more the merrier and it weakens NZfirst with a lot of others there.

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  47. radvad (767 comments) says:

    “I mean religious nutters as in moralistic, know all, anti freedom, child thrashing fruitloop followers of the Sky Fairy.”

    Nasska
    I am no fan of Craig or his party. However your bigotry begs a response. If you have evidence that Colin Craig thrashes children you should go to the police. Otherwise pull your head in.

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  48. Chuck Bird (4,897 comments) says:

    @Colville, you have spotted what I have mentioned at Winston’s age his legacy will be important. He is highly unlikely to throw his toys out of the cot. Having said that he will not be a walk over and what to point to what policies he has negotiated from Key. Key has increased Winston’s chances but if Key ruled Winston out Labour likely would have gifted Winston a seat. i think Key would have worked out this possibility.

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  49. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    radvad

    I wouldn’t have a clue whether Mr Craig personally thrashes children but many of his loopy followers & fellow CCCP candidates want open slather when it comes to beating children.

    As far as they are concerned the state should have absolutely no say in the matter……what could possibly go wrong?

    From that collective of headcases….Open Parachute……

    Ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4qwx9f2q6vjc28a/child-training-resources-flyer.jpg

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  50. radvad (767 comments) says:

    But you just accused a whole bunch of people of being child thrashers but do not offer any evidence. We do know that David Cunliffe was accused of “thrashing” his child in a mall so maybe your bigotry is misdirected.

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  51. bringbackdemocracy (427 comments) says:

    Nassiska

    The first 5 words of your post would have been enough

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  52. radvad (767 comments) says:

    And 87% would agree with Craig on this particular issue. Are they all loopy too?

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  53. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    Radvad

    If you are part of an organisation that advocates child torture in the name of discipline then you are tarred by association.

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  54. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    “The Conservatives will get 8 -10% support.”

    I guess if you can believe the Biblical account of the Creation, then the above prediction’s not too much of a stretch.

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  55. radvad (767 comments) says:

    No I am not but poor try to avoid answering my question. Are 87% loopy? Are they guilty of torturing children?

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  56. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    When you make policy based on instructions received from burning shrubbery there’s bound to be a few problems in selling the message to the punters.

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  57. radvad (767 comments) says:

    And if you know of anyone who is part of such an organisation you should report them to the police.

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  58. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    When the referendum was taken there were 87.5% of those who participated who didn’t want parents prosecuted for trivial light smacking….I was one of them.

    Rephrase the question & ask the rest of NZ whether they think bashing, kicking, caning etc are acceptable & the positive response would be negligible.

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  59. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    naaska, yu seem to take leave of your senses on this subject. bashing, kicking, caning are not acceptable and never have been ever dispite the many, including, educators that behaved that way.

    But that’s not what the 87.5% of those who participated who didn’t want parents prosecuted for trivial light smacking….were wnating.

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  60. radvad (767 comments) says:

    And I would agree with that. I am not aware Craig and his party advocate “bashing kicking caning etc”. Until I see evidence to the contrary I will not smear them as being child thrashers as you did.

    I would never vote for them, their asset sale policy alone would deny them my vote. That does not mean I would disagree with them on everything (not aware yet of their other policies but something Craig said about their Treaty of Waitangi and education policies sound interesting) but an open tolerant society should allow them and everyone else to seek a seat at the table without being subject to false or unproven accusations and cheap trash talk.

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  61. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Ten National MPs have thrown in the towel and it’s only January.

    It’s safe to assume they know what’s coming and have decided to quit while they’re ahead.

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  62. OneTrack (3,117 comments) says:

    ross69 – Whereas the tired old warhorses in Labour will hang on until the bitter end because they are unemployable in the real world.

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  63. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Act might just be able to come out of its political coma

    But why would you want it to? Its life support should be turned off so it can die with a little dignity.

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  64. Camryn (543 comments) says:

    I would’ve preferred Winston to have been ruled out too, but I thought JK’s point was a good one… it was the voting public who returned Winston to parliament 3 years ago. If the public return him a second time then, arguably, he will have been forgiven twice over. After that, you could hardly say it’s just National looking past his past.

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  65. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    John Key: “These are my principles…and if you don’t like them, well, I have others”. :)

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  66. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    ross69, LOL ;)

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  67. RF (1,407 comments) says:

    I hear from a reliable source that the silent Ts Mini Me, Mickey Savage is very concerned that the support for National is growing. The silent T is not popular with his caucus and this will stuff up Mickey Savages plans for a seat near the throne. The original great pretender.

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  68. tvb (4,432 comments) says:

    If NZF has the balance of power but neither the National block nor the Labour block has a majority and the National block has the most seats then John Key MUST in those circumstances form a minority Government and time the next election in 6-9 months time. That requires him to work with Winston. To rule him out hands power to the Labour Party and with a honeymoon that block could win outright in a snap election at a time of their choosing All because Key ruled out Winston. Your scenario about ruling him out is deeply flawed. John Key saw sense and at least kept open working with Winston. He chose his words carefully but wisely.

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  69. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    it was the voting public who returned Winston to parliament 3 years ago. If the public return him a second time then…

    That's a very pertinent point. I'd love Key to rule Peters out but making 5% one to return to NZ First to Parliament and a second time to stay there if they reach 5% this election then the voters have indicated NZF should be considered. So Key should consider them.

    However Key's indication he may negotiate with them could be a poisoned chalice for NZF – their vote last time was boosted by those who didn't want Key but didn't think Labour was up to it. They may be less likely to repeat this if NZF look like possibly cosying up with National.

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  70. Nostalgia-NZ (5,221 comments) says:

    Good point Pete George about the vote weakening for NZF because of a coalition not being ruled out. Have to give credit to JK for that.

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  71. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    After John Key’s heads up for possible coalition partners Dave ‏@caffeine_addict has detailed all the party preferences.

    John Key: “Yep!” to Peter Dunne and ACT, “Yes” to Maori Party, “Yeah OK”, to Colin Craig, “maybe” to Winston Peters.

    Dunne: “Yep!” to Key, “Yes” to Maori Party ” Nope ” to Winston and Colin Craig, “maybe” to Act.

    Colin Craig: “Yep” to everyone. Winston:”Yep” to everyone who agrees with him, “Yes” to those that might, “OK, then ” to those that won’t.

    ACT “Yep” to Key, “Yes” to everyone else, if Key agrees.

    Maori Party “Yes Sir” to Key, “Yes” to Dunne “No” to Winston, unless Key says yes, “Whatever” to Colin Craig.

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  72. KevinH (1,229 comments) says:

    It is entirely possible that Epsom will support Act again, however outside of that Act won’t poll higher than 2% thereby placing Act in the same political category as United Future, a one seat party and largely irrelevant to the wider electorate.
    NZ First will pick up the disaffected Labour vote; Labours traditional supporters are aging and may look to Winston instead of David Cunliffe, whatever the result Winston is in the position to go both ways depending on who can offer him the best deal. ( I can hear DPF throwing up).
    The Conservatives don’t look to be in the hunt and may need more time to gather momentum.
    The Maori Party are odds on to retain the 3 seats that they hold presently, their situation will be unchanged as will Mana in the North.
    National can still grow their vote as the election nears and that will be their primary focus, accentuating the positive results of the last 3 years.

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  73. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    ^^^ Dunne said nope to Winston in 2005 as well, and ended up becoming one of Winston’s co-ministers.

    In saying that though, Dunne also said “nope” to the Greens, so it was a choice between no Greens, no Winston or no baubles.

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  74. Daigotsu (459 comments) says:

    “bashing, kicking, caning are not acceptable and never have been”

    Caning students was legal until the late 80s. It was very rarely practiced but there was no law against it.

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  75. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Shazzadude – that’s pretty much what Key seems to be saying, Winston may be potential trouble to a coalition but Greens are potential trouble to the financial wellbeing of the country. So NZF are the least worst option if it comes to that choice.

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  76. Nostalgia-NZ (5,221 comments) says:

    Not sure about Labours traditional disaffected voters supporting NZF, I would have thought to the Nats considering it is the Nats who are in the centre. In some ways the election looks to be being handed to National on a plate, the primary reason because Labour continues to be confused about it’s identity as JK has shoved them further left where they are ingested by the Greens. Part of that is that the unions drag the chain. If Labour had the guts they’d kick the unions and the Greens to touch recognising the changes in our society, and present policies that firmly touch the middle. It shouldn’t be Labours concern where the union vote goes, they should be concerned about the centre vote. Only my view of course, meanwhile Cunliffe watches from the side lines surrendering the position to Key of who might ‘rule with who’ – having waited for Keys announcement.

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  77. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Caning students was legal until the late 80s. It was very rarely practiced but there was no law against it.

    Very rarely practiced? What era are you referring to?

    I went to boarding school in 1972 and was caned by all six house masters. Two of those were in a mass caning of about forty boys, a long queue with two teams of two masters taking turns. I pinched a souvenir (well used) cane and left the House with it down my trouser leg.

    Prior to that at primary school the strap was common. I got the strap twelve times in my first term of Form 1, the group of boys I was in kept a tally. The highest was about eighteen, while one boy (out of eight) got none.

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  78. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    Ha Caning !

    I was the last ever student to be caned at Awatapu College in Palmerston North :-)

    In about ’84? 85?

    For the heinous crime of patting my woodwork teacher on the head ! ha!

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  79. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    in my view ACT is in the best nick it has been in years.. 3 or 4 % should be doable.
    More than one decent articulate rich white guy to spread the good word :-)

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  80. Colville (2,272 comments) says:

    PG.
    I know a bloke who knocked his form teacher out cold after getting the cane.
    He (the student) “retired” from school to some applause the next day.

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  81. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    NZ First was only excluded for the asset sales term.

    National would only use them for confidence and supply, as NZ First would require asset buy back if in coalition.

    If the Conservative Party made asset buy back a condition they would drop to where NZ First is ranked. But Colin Craig ranks smacking ahead of public ownership of assets – despite referendums on both. Go figure.

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  82. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    Colville: “in my view ACT is in the best nick it has been in years..”

    Most delusional thing I’ve read all day.

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  83. deadrightkev (472 comments) says:

    Act is already tucked up in Epsom and out of harms way so Key can focus on the unknown quantities like Colin Craig.

    Who believes that Boscawen all of a sudden popped up as a contender? Sheesh. He is standing because Hide decided not to and the other two Act wannabes are too risky a proposition, or they aren’t on the side of the poisonous apparatchiks that hover inside the party keeping it at 1%. Boscawen will already have a ministerial car and baubles arranged. Wake up people.

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  84. kiwi in america (2,455 comments) says:

    Key’s preference line up makes sense. Much as it would be nice to absolutely rule Winston Peters out entirely, Key is a pragmatic strategist and may have some out of government/Cabinet but cross bench confidence and supply deal he can offer Peters if absolutely needed. I note that the ever negative Matthew Hooten on 9 to Noon on Monday expressed cautious optimism that a National 3rd term was possible based on the lie of the 3rd party land. Dunne seems safe now especially after the boundary changes in Ohariu. If Key nods at ACT’s new Epsom candidate (hopefully sans the cup of tea ritual), Nats there will vote for him/her. I’d put money on McCully vacating East Coast Bays for the list opening the way for Colin Craig, and barring no more serious verbal gaffes, the Conservatives should easily better the 2.7% they got in 2011 (might reach 5%). National only have to hold current polling with the above mix and they will be able to govern without Peters and the MP.

    Winston will always find an issue to rark up his supporters (the modern version of Rob’s mob) so my money is still on him crossing the 5% threshold. Cunliffe has fired all his bullets and has done nothing more that pinch some of the centre left vote back off the Greens. His caucus is not united behind him because of his failure to lift the centre left to a poll leading position which means a good chunk of the ABCs will not bust their balls for him in the campaign. Labour’s big policy announcements have failed to fire, they’ve got no money and with a strongly improving economy, how will lurching to the left persuade middle NZ to abandon Key in the midst of rising confidence and improving economic numbers. Enter Krim Dotcom who will just steal the impressionable youth vote (that bothers to actually vote) away from the Greens leaving that vote in the sub 5% no electorate wasted vote file. If an internet party takes 1.5% off the Greens that’s close to 2 MPs the centre left don’t get.

    Hone Harawiri will scrape back in despite being Parliament’s rudest and laziest MP. I’d give the Maori Party 2 MPs at least because Te Urerua Flavell will win and they’ll get a 2nd off the list because they will be out of overhang territory.

    Lots of water to go under the bridge. If Anadarko spill oil from their exploratory well and it washes onto beaches 6 weeks out from polling day, the Greens may manage to top their 2011 result and push Labour over the top. There will be no teapot tape fiasco to assist the left leaning media and National’s internal GOTV effort will not be cruising to majority government as they were in 2011. Cunliffe is unlikely to land any big hits on Key in the debates especially with so much negative baggage from the primary that Key can throw at him.

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  85. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Despite some media coverage talking up the possibility as Key said yesterday relationship with Mr Peters’ party remains”most unlikely”.

    And Peters confirms his entrenched contrariness saying he won’t give voters any idea what he might do if he gets the chance to get involved in negotiations post election. It’s not as if he could be trusted anyway.

    Key and Peters

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