David Clark resigns as Health Minister following a 'frank' discussion with the PM, who agreed he was a 'distraction' from the covid response; Chris Hipkins to take over until the election

David Clark resigns as Health Minister following a 'frank' discussion with the PM, who agreed he was a 'distraction' from the covid response; Chris Hipkins to take over until the election
David Clark. Getty Images.

David Clark has resigned as Health Minister, saying he was becoming a “distraction” from the Government’s COVID-19 response.

Education and State Services Minister Chris Hipkins will replace him until the election.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had a “frank” and “open” discussion with Clark late last week, and agreed with his assessment of the situation - that he was a distraction.

Clark came under fire last Wednesday when he threw the Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, under the bus for mistakes at the border. A video of him refusing to take responsibility while standing alongside Bloomfield went viral online.

He said he wasn't pushed out of the role. Ardern wouldn't say what would've happened to him had he not resigned. 

Clark said he took “full responsibility” for the decisions made and taken under his leadership.

He also wanted to put it on the record that it was an “honour” to work alongside Bloomfield.

Clark offered his resignation during lockdown when he broke his own rules by going mountain biking and driving to a beach outside of his neighbourhood. 

Ardern didn’t accept his offer then, because the country was in the eye of the COVID-19 storm and continuity was needed.

Clark said the situation was more stable now, so it was an appropriate time to move on.

He will seek to be re-elected as the MP for Dunedin North, but will no longer be in Cabinet.

Ardern said she planned to reassess who was best placed to take the health portfolio after the election.

She said Hipkins had good operational experience with state services, even though he has no experience in health.

Hipkins said he "liked a good challenge". 

Clark and Ardern addressed media in separate press conferences. 

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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157 Comments

Wise move to get rid of the burden.

Phil Twyford should go as well.

And congratulate to Simon Bridge for becoming the foreign affair person for the National.

I can use 识时务者为俊杰 (Those who let themselves be guided by the current course of events are real heroes.) to describe Simon Bridge.

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Hahahah. If there wasn't enough reason to stay away from National, the thought of Bridges as foreign affairs minister is horrendous.

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I know right? Muller was saying 5 minutes ago that Bridges wasn't fit to be in government but now he's fit for what will be one of the most crucial government jobs in the coming years? Not very reassuring.

Hahahah. If there wasn't enough reason to stay away from National, the thought of Bridges as foreign affairs minister is horrendous.

Bring a bit of the 'aw shucks', folksy approach to diplomacy ( a little bit of Jethro Bodine [Clampett])

Oh yeah, that's who he reminds me of!

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it means he can visit the boss in Beijing to get the NZ branch orders more frequently, Muldoon would be turning in his grave to see what has happened to his national party

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Necessary now the middle man Jami-Lee Ross is gone. The "contribution" will now be safe and sound in a diplomatic pouch.

I wonder if Maureen Pugh, from the West Coast electrate, is going to be his assistant. Didn't he speak highly of her during one of his tantrums as leader.

Not a tantrum so much as an authentic look at the real Simon.

Ha, Todd caves in and Simon gets a boost and the baubles. Politics is a strange game. No permanent friends or enemies, even within the same party...

Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer.

Can we even credit Bridges as a worthy adversary even? I wouldn't be worried about him if I was Muller. Bridges pulled his own pants down, in public, several times. Muller didn't have to do it. Just let Simon Bridges open his mouth or loose at a keyboard and its an insta-cringe. Bridges has no instincts, he can't read a room. He's a liability not a threat.

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Not only that, Muller seems to have appointed Bridges as National Minister for the Chinese Communist Party.

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Funny how excited China is for Bridge / National.

That Chinese MP is a winner. Has great influence here and abroad. Can make or break the National Foreign Minister, even the shadow one. Right ?

People come and people go. Past governments have had the same situation happen on several occasions when MP's go rogue. The pressure just gets too much.

Yeah look at what is happening in Oz right now!

xingmowang,

I am curious. Is there anything the Chinese government does that bothers you? It certainly doesn't appear so as I have never seen you express any criticism of the CCP. Are you afraid to do so, or are you a true believer?
here's a small thought experiment for you. Imagine that the Chinese government decides that it would be in its strategic interest to occupy NZ. Unlikely? yes perhaps, but here's the question, what would you react?

Personally Xingmowang, I have no great issue with the Chinese people. I've always found them to be polite, respectful and in a lot of cases very inclusive. Let's face it.. the CCP has no desire, nor is there any strategic value in occupying NZ. The suggestion really is a moot point because I think the CCP has far bigger fish to fry. As to the question of "how would NZ react?", well it's a bit late. China is already our largest trade partner and has significant interest in our so called "strategic" industries. Bottom line is there would be a few protests and "knashing of teeth" but it woulbn't be a big deal. The horse has already bolted

Simon looks like he fits right in at the CCP! https://images.app.goo.gl/hWFuDVdscuWWnsuv8

Wow, meeting Guo Shengkun, the leader of China’s Secret Police while being chaperoned by a National Party MP who is alleged to be a Chinese spy? That's great publicity during an election year.

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Electoral theater to make someone look decisive, nothing more. Twyford still being there makes it all rather hollow.

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My impression is that Labour has such a lack of talent, they really can't be cutting too many MPs loose or they'd have no-one left. You have to really screw up, like Clark, to get the boot - whereas Twyford and Lees-Galloway et al can be bloody useless and linger like a bad smell.

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It seems to me that NZ, in general, has a lack of political talent, it's certainly not just a Labour problem. Some of the commentators and writers on this very website seem to be more passionate, engaged and informed than 85% of the politicians on offer. It's hard to know what goes on behind the scenes obviously but on the surface at least, most of them seem either disengaged, immature, out of their depth or incompetent.

I don't know much about the culture of recruitment into NZ politics or why there is such a current paucity of talent but I would love to hear some theories if anyone has any?

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I was discussing this recently with a family member who was an MP for several terms.
Her response was two-fold: first, being an MP is a horrendous job that very few competent people want to do, especially once they've seen it close-up; secondly, that leadership (of every party) are scared of competent individuals coming through the ranks because they're seen as a threat. Thus you end up with the leader and just one or two competent lieutenants; the rest of the leadership/shadow leadership shouldn't be too successful or they'll start getting ideas above their station.

I wondered if it was also something of the "tall poppy" and anti-elite culture here in NZ. Perhaps politics is considered to be an elitist profession on some level? Successful politicians in NZ never seem to be very "statesmanly" and seem to go to some lengths to appear very down to earth. Kiwi's don't seem to treat their politicians with the respect of office that many nations do either. It's all very casual and informal. If we are realistic about human nature, it would be to acknowledge that we seek and confer status on those we perceive of as being talented. Being a politician is a tough job, long, long hours, high stress and yet, it doesn't carry the kind of status that might be attractive to talented people, who can achieve more status (and higher salaries) in other careers.

How could you possibly respect any of the current Government lot if you base it on achievements?

ex-expat, i'm not referring to current politicians specifically but a more long standing theme.

I agree -- as a nation we're *very* paranoid about anyone who seems too 'clever'. JK was the absolute master of speaking like a semi-literate yokel while no doubt being very smart underneath. Articulating your ideas too clearly is dangerous in politics, because it means people might disagree with you -- safer to train yourself in the art of saying nothing. The problem is that there *just might* be a connection between being articulate and useful intelligence. I think our media are somewhat culpable in this, as they assume the public want an idiot, and the media-fearing political classes in their wake. I'm not so sure -- this horror of articulate, even intellectual leadership didn't stop Lange from being elected in the 80s. Not that he was an unmitigated success, but at least he could explain what he was doing and why.

I actually thought until a handful of years ago we were quite well served by our politicians, especially after living in Aus for a few years. They aren't that flash in your homeland are they Ginger? My wife who is Japanese says they are all idiots there in Japan...
So I think you are off the mark a bit here :)

Oh I wasn't comparing talent in NZ politics to the UK!!!! The UK is a whole mess of messes that I wouldn't waste anyone's time writing about. But I understand the UK mess and don't understand the NZ mess. Hence the question. There is a difference between how Kiwis interact with the politicians compared to some other countries, its significantly more relaxed and chummy. People throw dildos. PM's wear wellies, shorts and a tie. I'm not judging that to be a good or bad thing, but asking whether it contributes to NZ politics failing to attract talent. It may be totally unrelated, i was just asking. National failed to achieve several of their policies during their last spin on the merry-go-round, not least of all solving the housing crisis, despite having a whole decade to achieve it. So I don't judge that as an example of political talent either. IMO talent is what talent achieves, which is a healthy, happy, productive and fair society. Just being in the right place at the right time and munching on low hanging fruit (the alleged rock star economy fuelled by immigration and debt) is not what I consider to be evidence of talent.

You said NZ has a lack of political talent.

Lack of political talent in existing operational parties, yes. Not that there is no talent within the nation. I'm more just asking why major parties failed to delivery on their flag ship policies or struggle to fill key roles.

MMP might be one factor limiting flagship policy delivery.
I think another factor is a lack of depth of analysis of flagship policies. It seems to me that the parties put insufficient effort in to that, then when the detailed analysis is done things don't stack up...

That's being charitable. I would say it's saying anything to get elected knowing full well you can't pull off what you promised.

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Those of us who may have once thought about flinging their hats into the ring, have had quite long enough watching from the sidelines, to discern that it would be a huge personal mistake. Pity about the country and all. And as with Councils, it's the unelected and virtually unfire-able Staff who actually run the joint in any case. Politicians and Councillors are a set of fame-hungry buffoons around a very distant table, to staff. I've been on both sides of That fence, decades ago, and it has degenerated since into a Self-Serving Swamp on the staff side, and a set of Vainglorious Show-ponies on t'other.

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And now with media being run on an outrage-for-clicks model by and large it would only make the job of being a politician even less attractive.

Excellent post waymad! Anyone who has had to endure long tedious meetings in the course of their work that resulted in very few outcomes would never for a moment subject themselves to national or local politics! Life is to short!

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Having spent time in the Wellington environment, working among a number of government agencies, if you're competent you get punished for that as you're a threat to those above you - so they literally crush, silence, bully and abuse you until you no longer want to be apart of it (happened to a number of colleagues and self). So they leave and want to have no further involvement in political/bureaucratic environments. It breeds incompetence and corruption. I was actually quite surprised how corrupt NZ is/was after the time spent in Wellington - it changed my entire view on NZ and western society. My views were that we were for the good and lived in well run and free/competent society, but left thinking somewhat the opposite.

And NZ is mild by US standards. The confirmation hearing for Justice Kavanaugh in US showed that anyone aspiring to high office has to be truly nuts - because partisans will attempt to destroy you, and men in particular are easy targets no matter how perfectly they have lived their life, with the money and power in play someone can always be found to accuse them of sexual impropriety. At this point what sane man would ever want to be part of that process?

It's not enough to be smart, or well informed, you have to have the gift of the gab and present well, and it is bloody hard to juggle with kids - an electorate MP (most of National and a few of Labour) generally only sees their kids for a day or two a week, and even then will be pulled away on other things often. Few partners are willing to sacrifice their lives like that.

Thanks for the replies and insight. Great points all. Depressing though.

' Few partners are willing to sacrifice their lives like that.' I have often wondered about Clarke in relation to this. IMO he never really looked genuinely comfortable being trotted out as househusband No 1 for the photo ops. Haven't seen him for a while.

Seems quite happy to cash in on the clumsy dad stereotype when it comes to endorsing audiobooks.

Wow! One of the best comments I have read of late on Interest.
The old saying that...'nations deserve the politicians they elect' is well validated by the general cynical tenor of comments about our parliamentarians we get on this blog. In our system of representative democracy, how many kiwis take the time and effort to join a compatible political party, help fund the local branch, go to boring agm's, serve on local subcommittees, and take an active interest in selecting a candidate to stand at election time?
We ordinary kiwis were the folk who got agitated by the excesses of Muldoon and voted for MMP, a system bizarrely guaranteed to muzzle our local MP and reinforce the power of a highly centralised Party machine. It also reduces the influence of local electorates by making electorate size excessive in both population and geographic size, in favour of unelected list members whoes direct loyalty is to the Party hierarchy. Idealy we want representatives who represent us to Wellington, but have ended up with those who represent Wellington to the local electorate.
It is surely 'us' who need to get our act together if we want representative democracy to work.
A good read on the actual personalities of Parliament, and how it actually works, and how we the public can get it so wrong is, "Mr Ambassador: Memoirs of Sir Carl Berendsen" edited by Hugh Templeton.

:

If only not wanting to rule over others, were a requirement of anyone taking up such positions. There's certainly a lack of talent, but I see a far greater lack of integrity and true purpose in those who are very eager to be in positions of power.

You win the "Te Kooti award for contribution to grammar" for using loose in the correct context. Congratulations!

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Does Labour #2 Kelvin Davis do anything, or is he only minister for racist tokenism? Clark's replacement Hipkins is already juggling 4 other major roles: Minister for Education, State Services, Leader of the House and Ministerial Services, how can he devote the necessary time to MOH as well? How appalling is it that they have no one else they can call on out of all the the other 44 Labour MP's for this critical role during the greatest health crisis in 100 years.

The only thing I've seen him do is throw taxpayer money at publicly listed tourism operators, can't have the shareholders stumping up with the cash! Surprised THL doesn't have a share price of infinity, because clearly there is zero risk - NZ taxpayer will always bail you out.

..can he devote the necessary time to MOH as well?"
it is probably best that he cannot. He cannot count to 120.

Give it to Tracey Martin I say...she seems pretty switched on

Keeping your friends close and at arm's length at the same time. Brilliant ploy.

And that is why Clark will bounce back. Whatever his media handling failings (and much of it was beatups or foist upon him by a leader hungry for limelight) he has shown more competence in handling the toughest of all govt portfolios over the last 2.5 years than anyone other than possibly Robertson or Hipkins would have. Health throws up crises on an almost monthly basis and never produces any 'good news', you are managing a highly educated and perpetually annoyed workforce with never enough money to meet demands and endless sob stories being chucked your way by media.

Fair point.

He made a colossal mistake in his response re Bloomfield, but if the likes of Judith Collins can be rehabilitated then anyone can.

He made a colossal mistake with his handling of the CMDHB issues and should have been sacked then.

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Jacinda missed a big opportunity. If she had sacked him when he made his first blunder, it would have made her look decisive and accountable.

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I suspect he was told "Resign on your own, which makes Labour look OK and you can still run for MP. Don't resign and I kick you out, then you can't run for MP under Labour and will be booted from the party". I think it was quite clear from her body language that once the initial emergency was over JA was going to get rid of him.

If she showed some guts and sacked him straight away, she would have won a whole lot more respect than letting him flounder on and publicly roast Bloomfield, who was infact covering for Clark's balls up.

I actually agree with the PM's reasoning here. Yes he was a naughty boy that eventually paid for his mistakes, but at the time, there was probably nobody in a better position to run the response to a health crisis than the existing health minister. One wonders if he was distracted by his upcoming job loss and therefore was a source of some of the issues we had in the response...

By the way, the story has been updated since I wrote this original comment. Which appears to have been spot-on.

"at the time, there was probably nobody in a better position to run the response to a health crisis than the existing health minister". MAATE! which rock have you been living under? Clark was a fool. His only redemption is he should never have been offered the job but was so naive he took it!

Was the same model that John Key used and it seemed to work for his constituents.

Nah it would have made her look trigger happy like Trump...who would sack their health minister during the height of the lockdown?

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Make who look decisive?

Ardern didn't sack him. She doesn't have the temperament or skills to make tough managerial decisions.

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I don't know how you can hold that view of her when under her leadership, New Zealand took unprecedented, decisive and bold action to combat coronavirus, leaving us as one of the central examples of excellent crisis management. We're the envy of most nations in our handling and you shouldn't underestimate how important her clear communication was in enabling the country to buy in to the plan.

Yes, she is a good communicator.
But the decisions she made were easy, and were made easier by the fact of our geography.
Nothing tough about what she did.

Hmmm.. central crisis management?.. turns out not so good from day one. Clear communication?.. easy when there's no counterfactual. Leadership?.. well she didn't have much choice given the circumstances and the results were easily achieved given we only have one way into the country

wrong they also tightened the border for ships, before you had sailors wandering around if they had been onboard for 14 days
there is more than one way for covid to arrive

Ardern's govt had to be dragged kicking and screaming to border closures under pressure from the likes of Sir Peter Gluckman. Once they decided to do it they tried to make a virtue of it, " going hard and early ". The same with the quarantine - if it had not been for public pressure for the procedures to be tightened we would have had all sorts of untested people wandering about on compassionate leave. The govt has not been the leader, at every step of the way it has had to be dragged along by pressure from the public.

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Enjoying level 1? Guess why we're here, when most of the world is still in the crap?

In terms of geographic isolation and small population NZ is rivaled only by Iceland. If we hadn't dealt to Covid we would forever be the laughing- stock of the whole world. Dealing to Covid was always Labour's game to lose. Any half-competent government could have dealt with Covid given our 'natural' advantages. However, Labour deserves credit in that they were hamstrung by the corrupt NZF loonies.....Winston Peters would have had us partying with the Australians by now.

Funny this. Only a couple of days back I sent him an email giving some suggestion about introducing pre-boarding testing and negative result certificate for Kiwis wanting to return to New Zealand. Got a quick response from his office stating that they won't be looking at it now, as it is not conclusive.
Wonder whether I had anything to do with his resignation...

Good decision. You just can't keep staying in that role when everyone's lost confidence in you. Good for him to step down by himself instead of getting more humiliated by his own work.

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Goodbye, good riddance. The level of incompetence in the Govt cabinet ranks is mind boggling. But that's what happens when there isn't much to choose from. The elephant in the room however, IMO, is that neither major party has much depth. NZ gets another 3 years of ineptitude regardless of who is in. Pity we couldn't have a "Roman senate" style of govt. No "Party" affiliations, just independants all debating and lawmaking on each issues merits. Wouldn't get much done but it might be better quality

Yes and then they could stab the troublesome ones (Julius Caesar) and/or murder without trial (Catiline) and/or banish your previously most revered politicians, burn their house down and build a statue to shame them in its place (Cicero).

It would make for some great twitter flame wars I guess?

But I agree on the lack of politcial talent across the board.

Haha, yeah! and we could have a couple of "non affiliated" lions as "Speakers of the House" lol

Bahahah, and we already have the bread (wage subsidy) so then all we'd need is Joe Exotic and Carol Baskine in charge of the big cats for the circus.

Oh dear, someone has watched Tiger King. I thought you were better than that Gingy.

Nope. Not even remotely better than that. But I watched in utter horror.

With election pending, Clark took one for the team.

His slip ups were relative minor, and in his bubble, however politics has nothing to do with fairness or the quality of the member, but perception with opposition going after the weakest link.

The result is parliament is full of washed up lawyers or journalists, who speak well but are hopelessly inept in delivering anything. Parliament shouldn't be a career, and would suggest the way to bring back democracy is to limit the tenure of MP's to not more than 9 years.

There should be a citizens initiated referendum on MP tenure, because theres no chance in hell a referendum of this nature will come from the MP's on that.

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I think that video with Bloomfield did him in, not the transgression during the lockdown.

It epitomised the lack of accountability that politicians ultimately have, and rightly so, made the general public's blood boil.

Yep, feels like a big part of it, the video, we all saw the faces. I think the PM tried to explain it all away in Queenstown last week (talking of how they were of the same thinking), it didn't wash.
& now the PM dept have had to move to plan B.

https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300009641/inside-the-spinroom-wh...

The resignation less sure.
He was so close to the claim of being Minister of Health, during a pandemic, where at world's bottom few fatalities (economy not his problem).
That claim, could have been a key, a key to unlock UN/WHO, NGO nirvana, so close.......
and then the video, simile to camera, damn video.

I agree that MPs are a self serving bunch but experience is important. Remember that the electorate gets the type of Govt it votes for. Nz's electorate is either too ill informed, too short sighted, too gullible or far too impatient to ever have a truly effective Parliament.

H L Mencken springs to mind, Hook:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Mr Mencken was right about one thing at least... it's a theory. If the NZ electorate had an iota of sense or foresight we wouldn't have this godforsaken dysfunction called MMP. NZ was sold a complete and utter lemon and it swallowed the bait. Increased democracy?? Gimme a break!!

You don't believe in democracy? You would rather have governments elected by a minority, as happened under FPP?

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ABSOLUTELY!! If the electorate is too apathetic to vote they get what they didn't vote against. I don't see 5-7% of the votes counted choosing the govt as particularly "democratic" The last result speaks for itself. In an ideal world, we banish "List MPs" and reduce the Parliament to "Electorate only" numbers (maybe 71 Electorates). The single party with the most electorates gets to govern.... simple. No "loveydovey tactical deals", no Coalitions. This "Proportional Representation" based on voter turnout is a crock and nothing but a job creation scheme for frankly substandard and incompetent politicians

Agree totally Hook! MMP and list MP's are a scourge on our society! Unfortunately, in general the NZ population just doesn't give a s--t about elections. One only had to do very minor research on the German MMP system to see that we should not go near it. As usual our stupid media got sucked into selling the big con on how good MMP would be for NZ and what a disaster it has been!

And IQ tests for voters.

Oooh! experience. Dr Megan Woods has a PhD in History. Maybe she should be Health Minister

Well she's a Dr, so every chance I guess.

Mostly agree, though I'd say that MP's should be out of parliament if they spend more than 6 years as a government backbencher. We want to retain those who have skills needed to be successful ministers, and we need turnover to develop talent (Labour's biggest problem this term).

Clark got shafted due to Ardern wanting to front lockdown pressers and Bloomfield being (due to legislation) in control of quarantines/lockdown. His slip-ups were inconsequential media beat-ups, though he didn't manage media with sufficient paranoia.

None of that gets away from the fact the Minister of Health spent a pandemic at home.

9th floor obviously elbowed him aside to build Ardern's media profile with lockdown pressers that they inefficiently funneled all info through in order to provide Ardern with maximum exposure. He won't have had any choice in the matter.

A severe lack of leadership qualities and not even a thimble of bravery or self sacrifice

How does a Dr of Theology get to be a Minister of Health anyway???!!! I know..had to have a Dr of Something there and no other choice. LOL

Yes. A PhD in theology doesn't really qualify you for much except to perhaps retrain as a church leader or career politician. In the health ministry, I would expect most of the medical aspects are handled by the public servants that are bundled into policy for the minister to stamp.

Yeah you're probably right but I would have thought that some experience in the field would be a prerequisite qualification so the incumbent would at least understand the effects of policy.

Perhaps prayer is more his forte, hoping he could pray Covid away and not have to rely on his medical specialists. Now that any prayer hasn't worked he'll probably go to a retreat and wear a hair shirt.

Wonder if he'll go back to Selwyn College as Warden??

Was he at Selwyn? Big drinker perhaps.

I was, but before his time; in those days the drinking was totally over the top, think going co-ed might have toned it down.

Dr Megan Woods. Phd in History

Paul Goldsmith (National Finance) MA in History??

he openly admitted that he wanted to be a GP -- but failed his entrance exams .... sums up his credentials perfectly

One could ask how a commerce major could be the shadow house minister and an arts major the shadow finance minister?

I wonder whether Bridges was watching this and thinking, gee it is actually ok to have some humility and to step aside when you're letting the team down. But I'm guessing that probably isn't the case.

If he had an humility he wouldn't have accepted the new position. The man is a political car crash.

Don't know if I'd call publicly flaming the guy who picked up the ball after you've dropped it a display of humility

Note I used the term 'some' before humility. You could well be spot on though and perhaps it was just more of a push than an act of self awareness and good grace towards the team effort as opposed to personal/selfish interests.

Or maybe hes just blissfully ignorant and thinks he's done nothing wrong and has just resigned under the pressure.

Yes possibly that as well - imagine if Bridges did that when the writing was on the wall for him.

No fall guy now for Cinders to blame when the inevitable next MOH C19 stuff up occurs, Hipkins will be too new. Her advisers must have reckoned that the public mocking of incompetent Clarks was more damaging to Labours election prospects than the risk of being forced to spend some of her political capital in having to front a failure. Mind you, as Jacinda is telling us this morning, the world out there is a very dangerous place so mummy stepping up to protect us personally reassures me that all is well in her protecting embrace.

Hmmm MM, I hear echos of a Pink Floyd song in that last sentence

Ha, yes. Unconscious referencing. But I mean, who knew the world was such a dangerous place. We are just so jolly lucky to have mommy dearest who understands just how really really bad the world is and cares so much for us that she tirelessly repeats it and helps us understand the reduction of our national psyche to enfeebled submission to infantile injunctions is not a power junkie control mechanism, it is for our own protection.

Going by the last poll it would seem she read the national psyche (or lack of it) perfectly. There, there poor baby mummy will keep you safe.

" The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed ( and hence clamorous to be led to safety ) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary". H L Mencken

Don't worry the public are starting to see through the lipstick and gloss..

Who made you the spokesperson for the public? Perhaps your reading is confined to Kiwiblog?

A 9 point plunge in the polls might just be a pointer.

Don't worry mate you will still get your gold card

Bleedin old socialists, NZ is full of them.

Is it better to have a do nothing Minister or an overweening upstart hell bent on inflicting his great and unmatched wisdom on our health system???

Surely Woodhouse isn't that bad?

Woodhouse represents private medicine - and spent 9 years with his knee on Public Health's neck.

Kiwi there is nothing worse than indecisive incompetence. Better to make a poor decision than none at all, at least then we all know what doesn't work. Cabinet and Select Committees generally temper any infliction of great and unmatched wisdom

"There is nothing worse than indecisive incompetence". Except decisive incompetence. Too much self belief when making critical decisions leads to colossal f-ups. That was the story of WW1.

The events leading up to WW1 were varied and complex. However I'm assuming you're referring to some of the catastrophic FUBARs during the Allied response. In that you are 100% correct. However we luckily have the luxury of the Parliamentary process so the worst excesses are tempered somewhat. (hopefully)

The debate could be around having a puppet Minister and just letting the underlings keep on running the show

Did you mean puppet or MUPPET!

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Its time to call a spade a spade .

This herd of cats masquerading as a Government has been absolutely shambolic since day 1 .

To call it a circus is an insult to all the clowns of the world , at least in a circus the clowns are entertaining.

NOTHING , absolutely nothing has been achieved by them , as they bumble from one crisis to the next .

Not only have they made a horses breakfast of our economy , they have not achieved one of their Election promises .............NOT A SINGLE ONE

Frankly they are a disgrace and an embarrassment to us as a country

We have to get rid of them

You're mostly correct. However, I recall they did promise to set up a Tax Working Group, and they did. :)

BOOOHAHAA... yeah, and disregarded every recommendation it made - thankfully

Which funnily enough is exactly what the previous four way coalition did with the tax working group they set up.

But that's diffrunt hey coz they had a man in charge, and he'd worked as a bankster before...

It's different because Labour savaged National for 'looking after their rich mates' and inaction on tax reform in opposition and kept pointing to their twice-rejected Capital Gains Tax as some sort of miracle cure, only to get in, reverse National's tax changes and then change almost nothing. So, prey tell, which 'rich mates' are Labour looking after?

They are pandering to whinging boomers for political society. The welfare generation.

Yep lets hope the majority of voters and now getting nervous at the inability of this government delivering anything, as it's going to be their jobs and livelihoods on the line. This election, unlike any other, will determine a huge number of peoples lives within the next 6 months. We just wrote up another 40 letters yesterday so I am starting to get rather vocal about the inaction of this government, when so many good people are being let go with a damn bleak future out there.

It must be quite depressing to have to tell people they have lost their jobs, certainly not something I would do lightly. Fact is FCM, neither of the parties we have to choose from are capable of changing anything realistically, and certainly not in 6 months. Building roads will only boost offshore companies presence here (we don't have the capability in NZ anymore) Building cycle tracks is just straight BS. NZ is totally up S...creek and will remain so for at least the next 18 months - 2yrs. Unfortunately no-one can change the fact we were too reliant on Tourism and offshore Education. I completely agree with you that this Govt hasn't got a clue. If nothing else, this Covid shock hopefully might get NZ Inc looking at more manufacturing, owned and staffed by NZ interests. Unfortunately NZs track record in that isn't stellar and I can't see much changing.

I agree Hook however virtually everyone overlooks the fact that we still have a high functioning group of primary industries that are just getting on with business! Instead of wasting money on tourism ( a dead industry for many years to come) the government should be helping these industries to become even more productive. Instead they keep on throwing up roadblocks.

I'm not certain that this is this particular governments fault regardless of current good/bad management - its the result of years or decades of kicking the can down the road and expecting good outcomes.

I agree IO. the rot started decades ago. The buyout of some of our most profitable companies, the offshoring of our manufacturing base and the general vilification of personal financial success (unless you're a sporting success) The best thing that will come out of this upheaval is that NZr's will be forced to take a good long hard look at what drives our lifestyles here and what will maintain and enhance it. It speaks volumes about a country's general grasp of the world when sportsmen/women are promoted for Knighthoods and scientists, researchers and innovators are discounted, discredited or dismissed. "Tall poppy syndrome"?? Bah! it's jealousy.. pure and simple

Also agree.

Yes I agree

A Canadian pension fund has just purchased 24.9% of Dairy Holdings, NZ,s largest dairy farmer and Fonterra's largest shareholder.

When was the original application made and when and how was it approved by the relevant authority ?
Any conditions for the purchase, like jobs, development, investment, etc ?

The problem is the lack of a viable alternative, especially for younger Kiwis.

The present government has not delivered on some of their election promises and campaigning, as the government before them also failed to. However, today's opposition only has worse to offer younger generations of Kiwis.

What industry if you don't mind me asking?

FCM - cracked record, getting a bit tiresome.

Can you find someone else to 'blame', perhaps? I haven't voted Labour since Labour left Labour (1984) but your attacks are beyond reasonable.

You still here pdk, thought you be would be on plane to States to catch covid and bring it back to NZ to rid the country of homosapiens.

Well, at least they implemented the FBB...but yes, generally agree

*A* Foreign buyer ban, not the one that they campaigned on.

What did National do for the economy other than continuing the wealth effect via housing speculation and mass immigration?

Labour did ban foreign buyers (with few exemptions) speculating in residential property which they said they would do prior to the election even though National said it could not be done

10
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This pandemic should have been Clark’s time to shine and a defining moment in his career but instead while Blomfield stepped up for the people Clark hid away in Dunedin, went mountain biking and then threw Blomfield under the bus.

The only right thing he’s done is resign, albeit about 6 weeks too late.

History suggests if you are made Health Minister you have beenthrown under the bus.
Jim Bolger told his MPs if they did not behave they'd get Health.......

Question I would have liked the media to ask.

Does Labour really have so little depth, that the only option was Hipkins?

About TIME, he had to go, with the general election in September, he was a liability and an embarrassment to Labour. National would have used this to their advantage, it may have showed Ardern as weak, if he did not go.

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