Lessons for NZ

Storm clouds are gathering over international markets but Finance Minister Bill English has returned from the United States with a lesson for New Zealand:

 “We mustn’t get psyched out by all of this. We have to hold steady, stick with our policy mix, put even more emphasis on sharpening our competitiveness to sell abroad.” NZ needs to do more work on supporting the export effort offshore. English told Trans Tasman “we are positioning ourselves to crank up that effort after the election.”

That’s a very simple recipe which requires National to be in government after the election.

There is a high probability of that but no certainty. The election is eight weeks from tomorrow and the opposition will spend it grasping any negative statistic to try to persuade voters to vote for a change.

However, successive  polls and the latest update from iPredict suggest the public generally accepts that National has managed well in the face of an unprecedented series of natural and financial crises outside its control and are prepared to give the blue team a second term.

The high level of support is based on several factors, including the popularity of Prime Minister John Key.

Trans Tasman’s view is: While Key’s popularity is a phenomenon which will have a crucial influence in the election, voters have decided National are better economic managers, and they are convinced it’s not sensible to change direction in the middle of a global financial crisis.

Support for national is also helped by the lack of a viable alternative owing to Labour’s disunity and poor performance.

Another lesson for New Zealand is that a party which doesn’t manage to do a credible job of leading the opposition can’t be trusted to lead a government.

12 Responses to Lessons for NZ

  1. robertguyton says:

    English promises more of the same (buggar all) and you say,
    “That’s a very simple recipe which requires National to be in government after the election.”

    The delusion is great in that one, OB1.


  2. robertguyton says:

    Others see it similarly,

    “National has borrowed $37 billion in less than three years and delivered no growth for it. In fact, it has repeatedly failed to meet its growth projections and GDP per capita has fallen. That failure has now resulted in the credit rating agency Fitch downgrading our credit rating. Makes a lie of the Nats’ line that we’re in better shape than in 2008. Will Bill English resign?”

    From The Standard. Doesn’t support Bill’s spin at all Ele!


  3. Fabian says:

    And you trust the Greek-like King, self-appointed, Key? So full of his own glory. Every election hoarding so far, in the Auckland electorates, have his pic on them. Sure as hell does not trust his own MPs to stand on their own…says it all, really.


  4. homepaddock says:

    Robert – there has been growth, albeit small. But given the impact of the earthquakes and other financial shocks that’s a significant achievement.

    Fabian – Key doesn’t make those decisions, it’s the campaign team which sensibly decided to use the most popular PM in recent history on billboards.


  5. gravedodger says:

    @ Fabian 7 58
    And Labour are so uncertain who will be their leader there is zero exposure for their temporary leader on their’s.


  6. Peter says:

    I am afraid national party spiel is wearing a little thin. What with their inefficient government, inroads into personal freedom, attacks on property rights, ETS nonsense, national party Resource Management Act!!, road user charges, GST,. inability to curb local government excess, I don’t think English understands competitiveness, or efficiency or how to run a country properly. It always annoys me when politicians take credit for what is undoubtedly the result of hard work of New Zealanders. Far from wise advice, English sounds more like a poly in election mode.
    Here is a far sounder comment from Cameron Bagrie, ANZ economist, Straight Furrow, 27/9,”Risks are esculating globally and NZ’s pockets of real strength such as dairying will not make this country immune from danger. The global situation is fickle and deteriorating.”
    It is hard to believe that the sea of debt National has sunk this country into has in any way strengthened us. The fact that national appears to poll so well speaks volumes about the madness of crowds. And the lack of informed thought.


  7. pdm says:

    Peter – all I can say is be thankful Labour were not re-elected in 2008. The credit downgrade we have had today would have happened in late 2008 or early 2009 with disastrous results for NZ.

    At least there are some measures in place to keep the ship stable and ho[efully a far more active programme will be undertaked after this election to get things fixed – Partial Privatisations and a reduction in the size of Governments will be good starts with this..


  8. Fabian says:

    Homepadddock – ‘Key doesn’t make these decisions’

    Well, maybe he should! What is he man or mouse, puppet or leader? To me, it’s over the top to have him aligned on the hoardings with his staff. For crying ut loud, he ain’t God.
    But then he is a party puppet, mealy mouthed, leader or no. The man is about popularity, rather than reality. Like with Helen, his MPs don’t dare argue. Too much power in one pair of hands.


  9. mort says:

    perhaps if Blenglish actually changed direction from where Killin the economy Cullen had NZ headed then things might be a little less sorry.
    Credit down-grades, risk off scenarios, all point to a lower dollar, and higher service rates for the massive haemorrhage in funds, as well as the increased overall Govt Debt spells bad news alround.

    Blenglish and Keyster will have no excuse after this election. They need to correct the deficit problem.


  10. homepaddock says:

    Fabian – he’s a leader not a dictator.

    Three reasons his photo is on the billboards:

    * it’s the party vote that counts. Ticking the candidate might get him/her into parliament, ticking National will help get him/her into government.

    * He’s one of National’s assets.

    * Not everyone who likes/supports him realises they have to vote National to keep him as PM (I kid you not, campaigning MPs have found such people).

    Mort, the economy’s a supertanker, small moves of the tiller can result in big changes of direction but it takes time.


  11. Fabian says:

    Homepaddock –

    Kiwis in general are more intelligent than you seem to think and can actually think for themselves, believe it or not. Key being on all the billboards reminds me of adults holding their kiddie’s hands, not trusting them to speak or behave for themselves.
    Yes, the electorates are saturated in blue, Keysian, smiling blue. At least Labour MPs stand on their own two (billboarded) feet!!!


  12. homepaddock says:

    Take a look at Dim Post’s chart of the day staring them in the face edition

    Labour MPs don’t want Goff on their billboards because he’d be a liability not an asset, as Key is for National.

    The tragedy for Labour though is that Goff is only a very small part of a much bigger problem. He’s holding the poisoned chalice and until the party faces up to what went and is continuing to go wrong, the chalice will still be poisoned and changing who holds it won’t make a difference.


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