Stuff’s 2022 predictions

Below are Stuff’s 2022 predictions, along with my comments on them.

  • Omicron will continue to frustrate reopening plans. Double-jabbed Kiwis will not be able to skip MIQ and enter the country in the first quarter of the year, as previously planned. DPF: Agree. The Government is not going to let us return to normal.
  • Everyone who is currently a leader of a political party in Parliament is still the leader by the end of the year. DPF: Agree but if there is a change it will be the Greens
  • New Zealand’s external borders retain some Covid controls by the end of the year. DPF: And by the end of 2023
  • After two years of no foreign travel, Jacinda Ardern will visit Europe, the USA – and possibly even China. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will make numerous trips, and the most-travelled Cabinet minister, Damien O’Connor, will likely surpass his current record of three trips in a year. DPF: Not sure Ardern will visit China.
  • The US Democrats lose full control of Congress, either by losing the House, just a single Senate seat (maybe Nevada), or both. This hobbles the Joe Biden presidency. DPF: Timid prediction. I have predicted they will definitely lose both.
  • With the community having been exposed to Omicron, an area of the country will have a period of lockdown restrictions greater than the “red” traffic light curbs. They will be more akin to the “European-style” lockdown than what Auckland lived through in 2021. DPF: Interesting and plausible.
  • People will be able to buy rapid testing kits at supermarkets and pharmacies. The cost will cause some controversy. DPF: Should gave been available nine months ago.
  • The centre-left bloc of the Labour and the Greens remain ahead of the centre-right bloc in polling by the end of 2022, but the difference will be a lot smaller than it is now. DPF: Well the difference now is only 6% so for it to be a lot smaller must means 1% or 2%.
  • Jacinda Ardern’s Cabinet reshuffle sees Nanaia Mahuta lose the local government portfolio. Moving Mahuta away will help to dampen the vitriol from those riled by the prospect of Māori involvement in governance of water entities, and allow her to travel more as foreign minister. DPF: Plausible, but who to replace her?
  • The Government will not back down on its overall Three Waters reform plan, however. DPF: I think they will beack down on equal co–governance.
  • The reshuffle also sees Labour’s Deborah Russell become a minister, and Jan Tinetti promoted. DPF: Hopefully
  • At least two National MPs will announce they will retire at the end of this term. Among the contenders are: Michael Woodhouse​, Todd McClay​, Ian McKelvie​, Stuart​ Smith, and Jacqui​ Dean. DPF: More than two I’d say.
  • Labour’s Rongotai MP Paul Eagle will announce a run for mayor of Wellington. Those on the political left in Wellington will despair, but the Labour machine will get behind him. DPF: And he will win, despite breaking his word not to run.
  • Auckland will see a new mayor elected. DPF: But who?
  • Christchurch will elect Phil Mauger​ as mayor. DPF: Bold call, hopefully right.
  • Christopher Luxon will continue to struggle to pronounce te reo well, but will show improvement by the end of the year. DPF: What a silly one to include.
  • The massive rise in house prices seen over the past 24 months will not continue. DPF: They should define massive. A 10% increase is still massive I’d say, even if down from 30%.
  • The He Waka Eke Noa (Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership) process does not result in any proposals that would seriously bring down agricultural emissions, leaving James Shaw furious. But this won’t be enough of a trigger to send agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme early in 2023. As has happened so many times before, the issue will be kicked down the road. DPF: Of course
  • Jacinda Ardern’s wedding will attract some small political strife, with people accusing her of distracting from the real issues (despite holding the wedding outside an election year) or neglecting her job. DPF: Also a silly inclusion.

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