Saturday, November 25, 2023

Karl du Fresne: There's no reason why this government shouldn't go the distance

Notwithstanding everything pessimistic that I’ve said over the past few weeks, I rather like the look of this new government.

At first glance, there are some extremely encouraging policy commitments (enough for my wife and me to punch the air several times while watching the news last night) and some promising ministerial appointments.

It’s especially pleasing to see ACT’s Nicole McKee in cabinet and Karen Chhour with a significant responsibility (children and family violence), albeit outside cabinet. Andrew Hoggard, too, should bring some useful real-world experience and insight to agriculture, although his responsibilities are narrow.

The solution to the deputy prime minister conundrum was, as Peter Dunne put it, elegant. David Seymour will be able to spend the first 18 months getting to grips with his ministerial priorities and Winston Peters, the Great Tuatara of New Zealand politics, will be able to wind down in the latter half of the triennium, perhaps with a view to retirement. (Ha! We shall see.)

The three parties have found enough in common to agree on a way forward. It’s reasonable to conclude that between them, ACT and New Zealand First have stiffened National’s spine and given Christopher Luxon’s party the moral courage it previously lacked to confront pernicious ideological issues.

The crucial thing now is for the three coalition partners to set egos aside and focus relentlessly on the imperative that brought them together: namely, the urgent need to undo the damage of the past six years. If they can do that - and I realise I'm eating my own words saying this - there’s no reason why this government shouldn’t go the distance.

Karl du Fresne, a freelance journalist, is the former editor of The Dominion newspaper. He blogs at - where this article was sourced.


Anonymous said...

Does this mean you regret failing to support our democratic system by actually voting?

hughvane said...

Not only "tuatara", but chameleon, and the new PM will have his work cut out each week determining which particular colours his deputy Mr Peters is wearing at the time.

I wish all of the new, and some not-so-new, appointees well in the enormous task they have of repairing and reconstructing our severely-damaged country.

Anonymous said...

We simply couldn't have dreamed of these common sense wins for civilisation the last 6 years, up until yesterday. The irony of Seymour bagging Peters, and yet without Winston, ACT (I voted ACT) would not have secured anywhere near the wins this gives for NZ's future. We couldn't have wished for more. Please get to work now Luxon as you've promised. Peter

Anonymous said...

I actually watched TV1 and TV3 for once. Day 1 of the new govt, and TV1 and TV3 are on the offensive focusing on anything they think is negative about the policies. Not one positive statement, not once. The MSM are going septic.

Basil Walker said...

We as a nation have to celebrate the victory of common sense and pragmatism for the incoming government
This is New Zealand's first real positive direction this century.
People are energised , positive and thankful . We must celebrate.
Basil Walker

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly agree with your sentiments. On reviewing the coalition agreement points I am close to deciding to return to my ancestorial home (to remover all doubt, I am talking about NZ!).

I miss NZ terribly. Not the Aotearoa that I left, but the NZ that 5-generations of my family helped to build, including service at Gallipoli and WWII. I sincerely hope that the new government can sort things out