First confidence test fail

October 24, 2017

Winston Peters used his speech announcing who he would anoint as Prime Minister to give a lament about how dismal the outlook is.

We in New Zealand First believe that an economic correction, or a slowdown, is looming, and that the first signs are already here:

– In the housing market slowdown
– In Reserve Bank and trading banks nervousness
– In the cessation of hot money into our economy
– In property ownership concerns
– In receding consumer optimism, and
– In ebbing retailer confidence

There were great risks in whatever decision we made and despite our having had no influence on these risks, some will attempt to heap the blame on us.

That those blame caricatures are both spurious and misplaced, won’t stop attempts to misdescribe the cause of events.

That’s why we are putting this scenario out front, right now, so that such attempts will fail.

No-one can blame Peters and his party for events beyond their control.  But now they’re in government we can hold them responsible for how they prepare for and react to them.

It won’t be ‘misdescribing’ at all to blame him and the government he’s part if they don’t take a prudent approach to preparing for a gathering storm.

National inherited a projected decade of deficits when it came to power in 2008.

New Zealand was already in recession and then the global financial crisis hit.

It then faced other natural and financial challenges including earthquakes, droughts and a dairy downturn.

No matter what was thrown at them, Prime Minister John Key and his deputy and Finance Minister Bill English projected calmness and confidence. They promised to protect the most vulnerable and were open about making tough decisions.

Thanks to their efforts, and of course all those of the individuals and businesses who contributed to economic growth,  the incoming government has inherited a far sounder financial base and outlook.

Peters by sorry contrast has failed his first confidence test with his gloom and doom but don’t-blame-us speech.

This is reflected in a reader survey by the NBR.

Asked if they expected their businesses to thrive, survive or nosedive, 50% opted for survival with 35% picking nosedive and only 15% picking thrive.

That’s not a scientific survey but businesses need confidence to take the risks to invest and Peters has given them none.

Is this really what NZ wanted?

September 26, 2017

Preliminary election results give no certainty as to which party will lead the next government.

Prime Minister Bill English led National to 46% support, an astounding result for a party seeking a fourth term in office.

But that 46% is only 50 seats which is not enough for a majority government.

Labour’s 35.8% was far more than its supporters could have hoped for before its leadership change but even further away from a majority. It would need both New Zealand First and the Green Party.

This means that Winston Peters, and it is the leader not his party who counts, has almost all the say on what happens next.

NZ First got only 7.5% of the vote. Polls before the election showed that its supporters were fairly evening divided on whether Peters should choose National or Labour should it be in the position to do so.

A criticism of First Past the Post was that voters in marginal seats had too much power.

But MMP has given more power to fewer people by allowing a minor party to choose the government and half of  its supporters will be disappointed regardless of whichever it is.

Is this really what New Zealand wanted?

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