Hooton on the Government

Matthew Hooton writes:

More important is how clumsy, incompetent yet arrogant the coalition has proven to be.

Jacinda Ardern is, of course, a political superstar, internationally more so even than domestically. So too is Winston Peters in his own unpredictable way.

Beyond the top two, David Parker is highly competent although completely overloaded, and Grant Robertson is doing a reasonable job minding the till.

But the rest of the line-up is dire.

Andrew Little was earlier picked as a top performer but the Angry Andy persona that ruined his shot at the prime ministership has now caused problems with both Australia and the Ngāpuhi settlement process.

The third-ranked Kelvin Davis is embarrassingly out of his depth.

David Clark and Chris Hipkins have mismanaged their relationships in the health and education sectors. Welfare minister Carmel Sepuloni seems to regard success as increasing the number of New Zealanders on the dole. Iain Lees-Galloway’s plans for something like 1970s national awards is behind the sharp fall in business confidence.

Clare Curran, the so-called Open Government Minister, has become something of a national joke. Even more comical is Phil Twyford’s KiwiBuild, which seems to involve nothing more than him buying houses that were going to be built anyway and on-selling them through a socially unjust ballot system. Is it better or worse if he makes a profit or a loss when doing so?

Meanwhile, the very nature of Shane Jones’ provincial growth fund will surely soon deliver a wasteful spending scandal.

It’s the least impressive Government in a generation. You have a Number 3 Minister who can’t even answer questions in the House. Look at the heavy hitters of the previous Governments:

  • 4th Labour: Lange, Palmer, Clark, Douglas, Caygill, Moore
  • 4th National: Bolger, McKinnon, Richardson, Birch, Graham, English, Smith, Creech
  • 5th Labour: Clark, Cullen, Wilson, Mallard, Maharey, Goff, King, Sutton
  • 5th National: Key, English, Brownlee, Joyce, Bennett, Power, Collins, Ryall, Finlayson
  • 6th Labour: Ardern, Davis, Robertson, Parker, Clark, Sepuloni, Twyford, Hipkins

One of those is not like the other four!

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