Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Barry Soper: This Government is running out of fingers to plug the holes in the dyke


This Government is running out of fingers to plug the holes in the dyke. 

Observe the body language of the Prime Minister and it's obvious the pressure she's under, she was fidgeting with her face mask to such an extent in Parliament's debating chamber yesterday that the audio had static. 

It's as though the stable door's been ripped off its hinges and the horse is no-where in sight. Everyone's being caught by surprise with the Government being about as transparent as a brick wall. 

Take the last 24 hours for example. 

No doubt reeling from the latest One News Colmar Brunton opinion poll where Labour's seen its rating shed ten percent in less than a year, even though it remains on a relatively respectable 43 percent, it won't be happy. 

The Covid cushion is losing its stuffing, lockdowns usually sees the party getting a sympathetic bump in the polls from a frightened, insecure public. But with one death in 1185 cases in the current outbreak it isn't creating the climate of fear that they've relied on. 

So, they've moved into overdrive to take our minds off the recovery road. 

Interest deductibility for property investors, announced without detail last March, has suddenly got the detail and it'll be in place from Friday - no more tax relief there. 

No sooner had they dealt with that, they dropped another bombshell, again in the property arena, with commercial property owners being left punch drunk with Justice Minister Kris Faafoi putting in some time at the office and announcing leases were being changed. 

Faafoi, who doesn't have a legal bone in his body, is making changes to property law, inserting a clause allowing a tenant to pay a "fair proportion" of their rent where Covid has impacted on their business. It avoids the Government having to step up to compensate the struggling tenants. 

And that, without any consultation with the landlords, came into effect last night!    They tried to do it last year but the man who is made up in equal parts of legal and political bones, Winston Peters, stopped them from doing it. He rightly argued the sanctity of contract law but when you have an outright majority as Labour has, they can do what they like. 

In the coming days they'll be at it again. Nanaia Mahuta's taking the axe to the three waters law, where 67 local body councils own the infrastructure that ratepayers have paid for over many years, which will be claimed and turned into four bureaucratic behemoths. 

There are only a handful of councils that agree with the change, the majority see it as theft, but the Local Government Minister's shown opposition's of no consequence - remember the Maori electoral wards that are now part of the makeup with all objection being legislated away. 

And the brick wall transparency was again at play by the end of the day. Trade Minister Damien O'Connor's off overseas again this week, this time to the United States and to Europe. Few would argue with a minister travelling to promote New Zealand's wares but you can argue with the way we found out. 

The news of his trip was tweeted by the United States' Charge d'affaires Kevin Covert. MIQ spaces will be awaiting his return, no need for a lottery there. 

Expect the Prime Minister to head off overseas in November as well. A tip off to the up-coming travel was checked out with her office with a spokesperson saying "no travel has been confirmed and would be dependent on the domestic situation with Covid." 

Now they're political weasel words which we are having to listen to daily. 

Ardern will be hoping the dyke will withstand the pressure between now and then.

Barry Soper is a New Zealand political journalist, and has been featured regularly on radio and television since the 1970s. Currently, Soper's main role is political editor at Newstalk ZB, a radio network in New Zealand.


DeeM said...

This government makes a big deal of public consultation then always rides rough-shod over large scale objections and dissent. If we had a decent MSM they'd be much lower in the polls because the public would know they can't trust them.
The media will ultimately be to blame if Labour get re-elected in two years. They have ran interference for them and seem happy to support an administration that bullies and then legislates over the heads of local government and public opinion. The NZ media sector needs a massive overhaul and should be held accountable for its complete lack of journalistic standards and integrity.
Truly the most duplicitous and deplorable media-government combo I can remember.

Ray S said...

All this travel, right in the middle of a "climate crisis".
O'Connor, the PM and the biggest hypocrite of all, Shaw.
All with MIQ reserved for their return no doubt.
With a bit of luck, Shaws wont be needed.

With MSM bought and paid for, there is nobody to hold govt. to account. National and ACT provide some challenge but anything we should know about is not reported. The main opposition parties struggle to get air time on local TV.
Three waters is a given I fear, who dreamed that up I wonder. Mahuta is knee deep in there somewhere, in the implementation and outcome.
Changing lease arrangement, interest deductibility (its a cost), Maori wards fiasco, it goes on and on. No MSM investigations.

Gail FitzGerald said...

The Three Waters policy is terrifying. It's almost unheard of for everyday European New Zealand citizens to take to the streets in protest, being for the most part conservative in nature, but recently there was a protest against the Three Waters outside the Nelson Council premises, and not so long ago the Farmers protesting, in part with the proposal to tax anyone who drives a utility vehicle. But I became aware of much more frightening information by going to the Groundswell website and the implementation of land grabs where SNA (significant natural areas) are preventing farmers from accessing 50% and upwards of their own land, without compensation. The advice given and learnt from experience, is to deny access for their land and farms to be surveyed because that information then goes into the public domain and for example if someone objects to a new cowshed or improvement, it can be objected to, and to challenge any such objection, take it to court however, most are not in a financial position to be able to afford that. It's given me a whole new appreciation where my food comes from.

Terry morrissey said...

Mahuta's sister appointed to the Maori Health Board.
Who is the minister for blatant nepotism?I'd say another one for Ardern.

Alexandra Corbett Dekanova said...

Media are generally hopeless with some exceptions that are fewer and fewer. I hate to say that but we all should turn to facebook, twitter, instagram etc. These are now opinion influencers. Maybe more people will be informed at least.
Alexandra Corbett Dekanova

Jani e said...

These are unprecedented times we are living in. If the law doesn't suit the government or is challenged in court they simply change it retrospectively. Amazing!

If this becomes the norm then we will have no rights at all. They have done this with health legislation, individual rights and the Maori ward issues.
It looks like they will disregard the various councils on "Three Waters".

Ratepayes apparently have no rights anymore. Referendums don't mean anything, they are simply overruled.

The media, which were once the peoples voice are now the governments voice.
Over the last couple of years the media have been silent and complicit.

In Australia protesters are targeted with rubber bullets and pepper spray for having a contrary opinion.

Of course, many have seen all this unfolding but what's to be done? Usually at a time like this it would be a new, strong leader emerging. Unfortunately, David Seymour is the best we have and even he is hamstrung to a certain extent,

Unknown said...

Hi Barry
can you get Heather to hilite this in her program

James Shaw relies on the public having a very short memory

Apart from the current Glasgow debacle not very long ago James stole tax payers money, around ten million to give to his mates Green School in Taranaki

Michael and Rachel Perret

The school operates on some weird crackpot principal of crystals

Can you remind the public of what a dishonest low life this person is who just thumbs his nose at us


Anonymous said...

It’s obvious that Shaw wishes to be the voice of NZ at COP 26

One can only hope that he engages his brain before he puts his mouth into gear.
The ‘Green School’ fiasco an example of his lack of wisdom