Basics beat side shows

National’s three-point rise to 50% in the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll has come as a surprise to some commentators.

Labour’s four-point fall to 28% was probably not.

It is only one poll and anything could happen between now and the election but Kiwiblog shows where the two parties were at the same time in the last election cycle:

In April 2013 National was at 43% and Labour 36% – a 7% gap.

In April 2016 National is at 50% and Labour 28% – a 22% gap.

He points out that Labour leader Andrew Little is on only 7%, three points behind Winston Peters.

This isn’t a strong position from which to launch a winning election campaign.

In another post, Kiwiblog looks at party favourability:

. . . National is viewed favourably by 58% of NZers. That helps explain why 47% voted for them.

Labour is viewed favourably by just 35% of NZers. . . 

National has the least unfavourable – only 28% of NZers dislike National. This will come as a surprise to hard left activists who live in a bubble where 100% of their friends dislike National. . . 

Labour is on 41% for unfavourability.

National at +30% is the only party to have net favourability:

PartyNetFav

National’s continual popularity confounds its critics and many commentators.

There are several reasons for it and one of the biggest is that the government focuses on the basics while Labour gets distracted by sideshows.

That doesn’t mean everything the government does works well. I am tribal National and there are some things the government does I don’t like and some it doesn’t do I’d like it to, but those things don’t matter as much as the basics – the economy, education, health, welfare, and security.

And of course, one big reason National is doing so well is that Labour isn’t.

National can’t rely on that if it wants to win a fourth term, a viable government needs to be there for better reasons than a hopeless opponent but Labour’s continuing focus on side-shows and showing its incompetence in opposition keeps demonstrating it is not a viable government-in-waiting.

 

 

 

 

26 Responses to Basics beat side shows

  1. Mr E says:

    I said some time ago, the left would get dragged into much ado about nothing. The flag debate is another example.
    I think while they get dragged into silly little debates about not much, they lose credibility and miss the opportunity to gain credibility.

    Mean time the government makes sensible changes and gains respect.

    I held high hopes for James Shaw. Not so much for Andrew Little.

    Sadly they can’t get out the starting gates.

    Like

  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Mean time the government makes sensible changes and gains respect.”

    I’m afraid history will tell another story:

    The health and resilience of our economy, our people and our environment are the important stuff any government should have as overarching priorities. The National Party is approaching eight years in government and its record in these three key areas is not particularly good. Our rivers are becoming increasingly polluted, we have one of the lowest GHG reduction targets and almost 1/3 of our children live in relative poverty.

    National Governments do not have any historical reputation for championing social causes or lifting environmental standards, but they survive because of the perception that they can be trusted to manage our economy.

    Displaying some rational economic vision and leadership is important for our ongoing survival as a nation in an often turbulent global economy. The Great Financial Crisis came about because of loose regulations and giving too much rope to financial institutions. New Zealand came through that crisis relatively unscathed but I would have thought that the lesson to be learned from the GFC would be to avoid regulatory regimes that encourage exploitation and greed.

    New Zealand has developed into one of the most accessible economies in the developed world and it is either through extreme naivety, or putting profit before being a good global citizen, that has allowed us to become one of the worlds popular havens for avoiding tax and laundering criminal funds. The National Government ignored 2013 IRD advice about closing loopholes and has even promoted the profits available in the foreign trust industry (around $24 million a year).

    We also have increasing numbers of foreign investors who are able to buy New Zealand houses and farms for easy capital gain. Obviously this overseas pressure lifts the price of our houses beyond the budgets of most New Zealanders, making us the most unaffordable housing market in the world. A buoyant housing market that provides good returns for investors (foreign or otherwise) is more important than affordability for this Government. It is also concerning that investment into property is encouraged rather than into productive industries that would increase employment.

    Governments should also have a role in determining and supporting broad economic priorities for the country that will generate useful (and hopefully sustainable) economic activity that will benefit the the majority of its citizens.

    In 2008 the National Party came into power wanting to emulate the Australian economy. National’s “Brighter Future” included increased mining (sexy coal) and oil exploration. Australia’s economy had boomed through its coal exports to China and the oil industry was highly profitable. Despite the fact that climate change was a growing issue, and the shift to clean renewable energy was well underway, the National Government opened up vast areas of our territorial waters and conservation estate for exploration. Solid Energy was encouraged to borrow and think big and oil companies were given tax breaks and subsidies to see what they could find.

    The promotion of a future in fossil fuel crashed and burned. Solid Energy collapsed spectacularly owing hundreds of millions and losing hundreds of jobs. Despite tax cuts, subsidised seismic surveys and letting oil companies set their own safety rules the collapse in oil prices and fracking has made off shore drilling unprofitable.

    National’s generous 2009 and 2010 tax cuts hugely benefited the already rich and were supposed to encourage investment in growing employment. The fact that tax fraud costs us around $8 billion a year and most of our wealthy benefit from untaxed capital gain didn’t influence the decision. Little of the tax windfall created more jobs and most was obviously spent on luxury cars and even more property. The average size of the houses we are building are the third largest in the world. The tax cuts also caused a loss of around $2 billion a year in tax income and this loss has had to be made up by demanding more in dividends from SOEs, selling state assets, reducing the investment in Kiwi Saver and cutting expenditure.

    National stopped funding the Buy Kiwi Made campaign and Government procurement increasingly favoured cheaper overseas manufacturers. New Zealand has consequently lost previously successful manufacturing businesses, like Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops, that employed skilled labour.

    In 2011 the National Party promoted a major $11 billion investment into motorways despite no prior cost benefit analysis. Few of the motorways have proved to be cost effective since and instead there has been growing demand for investment into more efficient public transport systems, especially in Auckland.

    National abandoned its previous goal of matching Australia by increasing average incomes and Bill English began promoting the advantages of a low wage economy. Over $3 billion is now being spent on the Working for Families tax credit that is necessary to compensate for the low wages that many families struggle to live on.

    In 2014 the National Party campaigned with a goal of doubling the value of farm exports with a major focus on increasing dairy production. $800 million was budgeted for irrigation schemes so that dairy farmers could grow herd numbers and intensify the industry further. The advice to spend more on research and development and concentrate on adding value was ignored and growing imports of fertilizer and feed supplements supported a higher input (but more vulnerable) industry, but greater volumes of milk.

    Obviously little was learned from the Solid Energy debacle and a glut in the global milk supply saw the bottom drop out of the dairy markets and many who had been encouraged by the Government to invest in ongoing expansion were badly caught out. We have also been left with costly environmental damage (compacted land and polluted rivers) with little income to manage it.

    This National Government will go down in history as the one that increased public debt by over $50 billion and substantially increased inequality. It will be known as a Government that was plagued by conflicts of interest and growing our levels of corruption. The historical evidence will also show an inability to build a resilient and sustainable economy and an unhealthy enthusiasm to support sunset industries and ‘boom and bust’ economics. Rather than lead and manage the economy for the benefit of all it chose to let it be exploited by a privileged few.

    This National Government can’t be trusted with the important stuff.

    Like

  3. Name Withheld says:

    I held high hopes for James Shaw.
    Not too high I hope….
    The mans an……….
    economically illiterate moron.
    And yet some would trust him “with the important stuff”

    James Shaw is a bigger nonentity with every passing day. He, on occasion, even enables Turei to sound halfway rational.

    Like

  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW… based on David Farrar’s 2 pennies worth…chuckle 😉

    What the Green Party doesn’t do is release policy that isn’t thoroughly researched…unlike National’s $11 billion RoNs or the $69 million Northland bridges nonsense (you may remember the proposed replacement of a recently built bridge and the widening of another in an isolated area that would have mean’t cutting down significant trees).

    Even Slater and Hooton thought that the policy was ill-considered:
    “Of Mr Joyce’s 10 new bridges, seven were not even mentioned by the Northland Regional Council in its recent Regional Land Transport Plan 2015-2021. No cost-benefit analysis in favour of the pro­jects has been released because none has been carried out. The announcement of the expenditure of $69 million of public funds was not even made by a minister but by National’s by-election candi­date, Mark Osborne, most recently a mid-level bureaucrat at the Far North District Council.”
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2015/03/matthew-hooton-on-northlands-bridges-too-far/

    This is the Greens Kiwi Bank policy:

    Click to access Repurposing%20Kiwibank%20%28Green%20Party%20Policy%29.pdf

    Like

  5. Name Withheld says:

    So basically selling 45 percent of Kiwibank for $495 million today could mean buying it back in five years for double that amount.

    This argument is even worse!

    James is worried Kiwibank may be successful and grow in value. So any future purchase of shares would cost the Government more to buy them back.

    But they will be buying them off two funds they 100% own!!

    Let’s say the shares cost $400 million more. NZ Super Fund and ACC gain $400 million and the Government spends 400 million (more). The net change for the Crown is zero!

    “Chuckle” indeed.
    But your reply?
    “Quick…look over there..a squirrel!”

    Like

  6. Name Withheld says:

    It will be easier for the Super Fund and the ACC Fund to sell off their shares in Kiwibank than it would have been for the government to privatise the bank. These funds’ decisions aren’t made by ministers, whereas with 100 percent Government ownership ultimately any decision to privatise Kiwibank would have been made around the Cabinet table.

    Part of the deal will be that ACC and the Super Fund can’t sell their shares for at least five years though. After five years, the Government will have the have the first right to buy back Kiwibank shares if the Super Fund and ACC want to sell them. And Bill English has promised to exercise that right if it comes down to it.

    But Bill English almost certainly won’t be the Finance Minister in five years’ time. Labour and the Greens have both promised we’d buy Kiwibank back if there’s a threat of it being privatised. But who knows what a future National Government might do?

    It amazes me James can not see the flaw in his argument.

    Under the status quo any decision to privatise Kiwibank would be made around the Cabinet table.

    Under the Cullen proposal any decision not to buy any shares offered by the two funds would be made by a future National Government. And how do Governments decide things? Around the Cabinet Table!!

    1/10 for logic.

    What the Green Party doesn’t do is release policy that isn’t thoroughly researched
    Who does the research.
    The squirrel??

    Like

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, you don’t understand how crown entities and the Government operates. Essentially they are all under the crown umbrella but operate as separate entities and manage their own budgets. If the Government were to buy back the shares it will be using money from the same source that pays for schools and hospitals. Farrar is twisting the facts in an attempt to discredit the Greens and you bought it 😉

    Like

  8. Paranormal says:

    Dk you have failed to learn the lessons of the polls and you’ve gone off on another of your rants. Problem for you (but good for us) is that repeating it ad-nauseum is not helping the left. Look at the polls. Voters just don’t believe you. They see:
    – the environment is not that bad, and improving in most areas (despite your dire rants)
    – Global warming is a myth – (33% increase in CO2 in past 20 years and yet temperature has plateaued – something doesn’t add up)
    – Overall prosperity is good and growing following the GFC. Those that want jobs or training are in demand
    – We need overseas capital to continue to grow, and
    – Poverty(TM) is relative and is based on a spurious measure. The public are aware of the millions thrown at the ‘poor’ for no positive outcomes.

    If the left want to be a future government they need to show a little positivity rather than this continual ambulance chasing. Continuing your rants, and all power to you, will ensure the left remain on the opposition benches.

    The sad thing is whilst the left continue with their severe KDS, the public are poorly served by the opposition.

    Like

  9. Paranormal says:

    DK @ 5:52, how does a crown entity that realises a capital gain treat that in their accounts? You’ll find that you either “don’t understand” or do you understand and it is you who are twisting the facts, or would that be spinning?

    Like

  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, back up all that you have claimed and you will have some credibility. If you go to my blog you will see the official sources for all of my claims.

    Even Paula Bennett is progressing urgent action to deal with rising sea levels. You must be one of the few remaining deniers. 😉

    As you know the Greens have practical solutions to most problems and the only negative comments are related to this Governmen’ts appalling leadership. Any positives in our economy are despite the Government, not because of it.

    “how does a crown entity that realises a capital gain treat that in their accounts? You’ll find that you either “don’t understand” or do you understand and it is you who are twisting the facts, or would that be spinning?”

    “http://www.ssc.govt.nz/crown-entities”

    If you can find where I was in error I will withdraw and apologise 😉

    Like

  11. Yes, it’s funny how DK goes off the point immediately instead of answering the question or addressing the point.

    I call nonsense on his assertion: “What the Green Party doesn’t do is release policy that isn’t thoroughly researched…”

    The Green Party wants to kill 180,000 dairy cows according to it’s 2015 Climate Plan. Perfectly healthy cows! This probably would also mean the 90,000 heifers from the 180,000 cows would unnecessarily become bobbies. We are trying to have less calves bobbied. Not more. And killing productive, healthy animals is disgusting, quite frankly. Every time someone tries to say how great they think the Greens are I point this out. They then usually say “oh but that’s not policy” and then I get my phone out and text them the link.

    The Greens are immoral.

    Like

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    “The Green Party wants to kill 180,000 dairy cows according to it’s 2015 Climate Plan.”

    James, I suspect you mean decreasing herd sizes to sustainable levels. Interestingly that is already happening through economic necessity.

    Farming is largely about killing animals isn’t it? The sheep industry thrives through that practice and most cows are killed well before their natural life span is reached when their milk production slows.

    I think you need to talk to the farming industry as a whole if you object to killing healthy animals. What a bizarre comment 😛

    Like

  13. Mr E says:

    “James, I suspect you mean decreasing herd sizes to sustainable levels. Interestingly that is already happening through economic necessity.”

    We’ve never needed the Greens – in other words. Farmers are quite capable of reducing herd sizes, without Government intervention. That is evident to even you Dave.

    Regardless the Greens approach is wrong. Science shows us higher stocking rates can lead to reduced environmental impact.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/77887879/more-cows-could-reduce-nitrate-leaching-say-researchers

    It seems time after time after time the Greens release a policy and moments later it is out of date.

    The Carbon tax policy – released on the basis of a $7.10/kgMS level. Moments later – out of date and economically devastating.

    The Solar panel policy – designed to make solar panels a viable option, when an already healthy market existed for the installation of solar panels – out of date at conception and containing obvious errors.

    The Climate policy – written when cow numbers were already on a decline. Not needed, and fundamentally flawed.

    The Greens may very well claim that they have write evidence based policy, but in my opinion it is often sloppy, wrong and out of date moments after it is written. Their evidence seems to be cherry picked and proven wrong they seem to blindly soldier on with their fingers in their ears.

    I have noted that Dave is endorsing the death of livestock. I wonder how that goes when he is attending meetings of the local vegan society.

    Like

  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Science shows us higher stocking rates can lead to reduced environmental impact.”

    Oh dear, Mr E, you need to read your article properly:
    “The big buts or provisos are that nitrate leaching decreases in a higher stocking rate scenario provided feed is not purchased to keep cows milking longer into autumn, and only if the number of lactating cows is decreased between the high-risk leaching autumn time of March to June.”

    There are clear economic disadvantages of maintaining large herds that are not producing milk 😉

    Also, as you would know increasing herd sizes has meant that they can’t be sustained by farms resources alone which necessitated importing 2 million tonnes of PKE last year. There are many other impacts caused by larger herds, including compacting the soil.

    Click to access nzgrassland_publication_2237.pdf

    The solar policy is also necessary when power companies are feeling threatened by decreasing profits and are trying to make solar installations less attractive through higher charges.

    Herd numbers are being decreased because of economic reasons not because of environmental sustainability and many farms will still be operating with larger herds if they are financially able to do so.

    As for your little dig at Vegans, it is something that they need to deal with as well. If domestic animals that are bred for human consumption are no longer needed, maintaining herds on farms for no economic return is a conundrum 😉

    Like

  15. Name Withheld says:

    The solar policy is also necessary when power companies are feeling threatened by decreasing profits and are trying to make solar installations less attractive through higher charges.

    Higher charges??
    The price for grid connect solar power system is now less than 1/4 of what it was seven years ago.
    Did you not run this by the squirrel before going to print?

    Power companies threatened?
    You really mean commentators speculate that power companies feel threatened by renewable alternatives.
    Just ask the squirrel.

    However I expect somewhere in your muddled green thinking, do you actually meant power companies were offering decreased prices for buying back power from solar installations.

    No?

    There is another alternative of course…..
    Do you mean some Lines Companiesare asking solar users to pay an extra charge to make their contribution to the maintenance of the supply grid more equitable?
    Hard to say when the squirrel is not on duty to “release policy that isn’t thoroughly researched”
    And by the way.. It will be pointless going to you leader for answers.
    He’s just a muddled as you.

    Like

  16. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I read that Dave, and read your Sept 2015 discussion document. And I concluded that your policy on Climate changed does not include reductions of feed supplements, nor does it specify when cows need to be reduced. It suggests cow number reductions only. And therefore you policy is pointless.Science says so.

    “Also, as you would know increasing herd sizes has meant that they can’t be sustained by farms resources alone”

    Nonsense. Some farmers increase herd sizes without increasing feed or nutrient inputs. You are making the same mistakes over and over. The same mistakes the article is all about.

    “The solar policy is also necessary”

    Nah it isn’t. The solar industry is growing at an impressive rate. Reportedly an exponential rate. It aint broke, it don’t need fixing. Stop needlessly trying to waste tax payers money.

    “Herd numbers are being decreased because of economic reasons not because of environmental sustainability”

    Nonsense. For some farmers the decision will be partly environmental.

    “As for your little dig at Vegans” – I didn’t dig at vegans. I wondered how you fronted to them when you are pro animal death. I still wonder.

    “maintaining herds on farms for no economic return is a conundrum.”

    No it isn’t. If herd size is low when payout increases farmers won’t be in a good position to make returns. Some farmers are holding out for this reason. Volatility is the new norm for the Dairy industry. Weathering low returns to be in the best position to make from good returns is what many dairy farmers are working actively on.

    Like

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I think on most of the points you have made we will need to disagree as you are determined to hold the positions you have despite the evidence. To make the claim, for example, that science supports increasing herd sizes is clearly nonsense, even from the article you linked to.

    I would have thought that the millions spent on subsidising the oil industry is a greater waste of money than supporting solar. We need to put this in perspective:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/71799723/Government-grant-slammed-as-subsidy-for-oil-and-gas-explorers

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/291046/pm-accused-of-fossil-fuel-double-standards

    You would have seen in the Southland Times today the article supporting organic dairy farms that are currently very profitable with smaller herd sizes.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78814964/southland-taste-for-organic-milk-low-but-improving

    It seems that the Green approach to dairying is growing in support 😉

    Like

  18. Name Withheld says:

    The solar policy is also necessary when power companies are feeling threatened by decreasing profits and are trying to make solar installations less attractive through higher charges.

    No attempt to explain this breathtaking bullshit then, Mr Kennedy?
    How typical of the green approach.
    “Spray and walk away!”

    Like

  19. Name Withheld says:

    Good grief, NW, Mr Kennedy, you really are a cretin, aren’t you?

    Unison Networks Limited, trading as Unison, owns, manages and operates the electricity network that serves the Hawke’s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua regions.
    Unison Networks is wholly owned by the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust supplying over 110,000 connected customers with approximately 1,550 GWh of electricity per annum, making us one of the larger <b.electricity distribution businesses in New Zealand.

    Not a “Power Company” then?
    But they are what I tried to help you out with (in vain) in my earlier comment.

    There is another alternative of course…..
    Do you mean some Lines Companies are asking solar users to pay an extra charge to make their contribution to the maintenance of the supply grid more equitable?

    Idiot!

    Like

  20. Name Withheld says:

    making us one of the larger electricity distribution businesses in New Zealand.
    Do you actually know the difference, Mr Kennedy.
    Not a greens energy spokesman I trust?

    Like

  21. Dave Kennedy says:

    Yep, you got me with that one NW, I did lump the line company in with power companies…so here is a link regarding power companies http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/258787/'outrage'-at-solar-power-buyback-cuts

    And you are right I am not the energy spokesperson, that would be Gareth Hughes:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2015/10/southland-sun-supplies-solar-success.html

    Like

  22. Paranormal says:

    So DK, if those nasty power companies are anti solar, how do you explain this:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1601/S00248/mrp-buys-solar-power-installer-what-power-crisis.htm

    Like

  23. Name Withheld says:

    Yep, you got me with that one NW,

    No….I didn’t, “get you with that one” as you so crudely put it.

    You spouted your usual lies, easily seen through, and I called you on it.
    Simple as that.

    Your “outraged” RNZ link I covered also. But of course that involved decreased prices I am sorry to have used such big words that you find difficult to understand.

    However I expect somewhere in your muddled green thinking, do you actually meant power companies were offering decreased prices for buying back power from solar installations.

    By the way I thought…
    Clint was your energy spokesperson..

    Like

  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, MRP deserves a pat on the back, they see the writing on the wall and are more enlightened than the rest.

    NW, you obviously can’t have a civil discussion, you always have to attack the man not the message. Anyone can catch politician’s out, they are human and have the occasional mental block. I can link you to many that our current PM has had over the years. 😉

    You may have heard this speech that has had more hits (over 40,000 including all versions) than most.

    Like

  25. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “I think on most of the points you have made we will need to disagree as you are determined to hold the positions you have despite the evidence”

    I’ve not seen you put evidence against the following claims.

    The research delivered on the carbon tax suggested dairy farms could afford it. It was based on a $7.10kgMS payout. A figure higher than any long term average. A figure higher than banks would ever lend on. I think the research is therefore sloppy, pointless and economically savage.

    The climate discussion paper suggest a a reduction of cows on dairyfarms. But it only suggests cow reduction and science suggests reducing cow numbers without considering the other variables is wrong, pointless. And in some cases it will hurt the environment.

    The solar industry is growing exponentially without the intervention of Government. Government intervention is not needed. Suggestions of subsidise, may well hurt this free market, if consumers hold of on the off chance (extreme off chance)

    You say to others – put your views forward so we can debate them.
    You are saying to me – you don’t want to debate these issues. Why is that?

    “To make the claim, for example, that science supports increasing herd sizes is clearly nonsense, even from the article you linked to.”

    The first paragraph “New research has exploded the “simplistic” assumption that the more dairy cows on a farm the higher the nitrate leaching. It also suggests an increase in cows could actually reduce nitrate leaching. ”

    Nonsense indeed.

    “I would have thought that the millions spent on subsidising the oil industry”

    Why introduce oil into the fray? Distraction? Gazumped?

    “You would have seen in the Southland Times today the article supporting organic dairy farm”

    Why introduce organics into the fray? Distraction? Gazumped?

    Like

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