Key sees new moves to reduce child poverty; rejects 'Koru lounge talk' of using outright majority of to 'veer to the right'; Labour in chaos

Key sees new moves to reduce child poverty; rejects 'Koru lounge talk' of using outright majority of to 'veer to the right'; Labour in chaos

By Bernard Hickey

Prime Minister John Key is pushing ahead with government-forming discussions with support partners, despite calls for National to use its outright majority to veer to the right and enact tougher economic and social reforms.

His comments came as Labour descended into an all-out brawl for the leadership, with David Cunliffe refusing to step aside and trying vainly to gag his leadership rivals.

Key emphasised his plan to 'hug the centre' when he told TV3's John Campbell in a 22 minute interview that he had asked the Department for Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) for more advice on reducing child poverty, particularly for those kids who were living in poverty despite also being in working households.

"This is one of the things I started to talk to Bill (English) about today. There are some children in situations where they may not be working, but they may be, working and benefits-based households, where we may not want to narrow the gap between welfare and working for the incentive reasons, but they still are victims aren't they?," Key said in the interview broadcast on Monday night.

"They live in that household and they are doing it tough. We have to work out -- are there things that we can do around provision for them, over and above what we're currently doing? Can we challenge ourselves on that? And in doing that, that we don't narrow those incentives," he said.

Asked if this was something new, Key said he had been talking to Bill English about it and thinking about it for some time.

"I still think there's more we can do. It's not necessarily at the benefit level. It's got to be (directly) into those youngsters. In a way, things like free doctor's visits are about that stuff and making sure all those things are wrapped around those youngsters," he said.

"Is there more we can do as we up-skill people? There is a legitimate concern from New Zealanders right across the income spectrum about helping people. They just will want to see that they want to help themselves. They do recognise that there are others that need more support. What they will want to see from the Government is that we deliver that support without entrapping people in long term dependency," he said.

"They want to see both sides -- the Government and the individuals themselves -- working our way through that issue. My sense is we can do more there. We just need to work on that issue. I've said to DPMC this morning I want to see more advice in that area of things we could do."

'No right turn'

Key has also been adamant in repeated post-election interviews that he wanted to form confidence and supply arrangements with ACT, United Future and Maori, as he had done in 2008 and 2011, despite there being no Parliamentary need for it.

"I like the concept of building a bigger majority. It's not just a matter of security, although that's important. I do genuinely believe the set-up we had in the past added to the depth and hopefully understanding and reach of the Government, so I'd like to have the Maori Party back, I'd like to have ACT back," he said.

"Just passing everything by the barest of majorities isn't the right way to govern, and I certainly don't think that would deliver a potential fourth term National Government," he said.

He has also warned against any signs of arrogance and rejected suggestions that National use its position to push through more right-wing reforms.

He referred in his Campbell Live interview to discussions he had already had with people in the Koru lounge suggesting National push ahead with more aggressive reforms and "veer to the right."

"I said to them the same thing I'd say in public. We need to hug the centre ground. We're a broad based party," he said.

The New Zealand Initiative's Oliver Hartwich was one of the first to argue that Key use National's unprecedented outright majority to pursue more aggressive reform.

"The Prime Minister should see that now is the time to go about those reforms which he may have wanted to implement in the past which he could not do. Now he has the political mandate, the parliamentary majority and political capital to achieve whatever he sets his eyes on," Hartwich said in this piece published on

"The question is, will he go for it? Or will winning his fourth term hold him back from becoming a bolder reformer than he has been so far?," Hartwich said.

Meanwhile, Key told reporters before a 'super caucus' meeting in Wellington that he may not name his new Cabinet until after the return of special votes on October 4.

Cunliffe staggers on and lashes out

Meanwhile, Labour's implosion continues apace after its worst election result in 92 years.

David Cunliffe held an at-times bizarre news conference before Labour's first Parliamentary caucus meeting on Tuesday morning.

He first welcomed Labour's new Maori and Pacifica MPs as a bright spot in an otherwise "terrible result for Labour."

He said he took responsibility for the result, unlike in his widely criticised election night concession speech, but that he would not resign.

"We are all gutted at the loss of a number of excellent colleagues and we are all deeply concerned by the result of our party vote. I want to be clear that I, as leader, am responsible for that result," Cunliffe said.

He said he expected there to be a wider leadership contest in front of Labour Party members before the end of the year, but he refused to say what would trigger it, given he would not resign. The most likely outcome is a vote of no confidence from his fellow MPs, although most think that is unlikely on Tuesday. Cunliffe refused to agree to suggestions from journalists that he wanted to hold a no confidence vote that he would lose.

'We must stop the infighting'

However, Cunliffe was critical of front bench colleagues who he said had reneged on a Sunday meeting agreement not to comment in the media. David Shearer and Grant Robertson went on to discuss the poor result for Labour and the possible next steps on Sunday and Monday.

"We must stop the leaks. We must stop the in-fighting. It's not good enough. Our supporters and our members deserve better," Cunliffe said.

"We had a meeting of our front bench and senior party office holders on Sunday. We agreed that we would stay out of the media pending the review and caucus discussions and I have done that. Others have not," he said.

Almost immediately after the news conference, Phil Goff and David Shearer spoke to the media in open defiance of Cunliffe's ban on other candidates speaking openly.

"I've got skin in this game, being a former leader, I can talk about the future of Labour," Shearer told reporters.

Cunliffe said he would not apologise to his colleagues for the result.

"No, because I know I have done everything that I personally can to achieve the very best result of which I am capable and which the party is capable. I've worked tirelessly. People are telling we did okay in the debates. People are telling me we did well on the ground. All I can say is I have done my best," he said.

Asked what went wrong, he said: "Obviously a lot of stuff did. In my view we have a number of issues that we need to work through. Issues of funding, issues of capability and potentially issues of strategies.

Labour's caucus meeting finished shortly before 6 pm after seven and a half hours.

Cunliffe spoke briefly to the media who had been waiting all afternoon, saying only that an independent review into the Party's performance would be launched. He announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni had been unanimously voted in as senior and junior whips. Hipkins has been critical of Cunliffe in the past.

Cunliffe refused to say what had been discussed in the meeting and said the discussions would remain confidential.

"We have already made a decision that we have got a number of issues to consider and we will not be commenting on our confidential caucus discussion either now or in the future," he said.

Tweets of the day

Toby Manhire

David Cunliffe is definitely not seeking a no-confidence vote unless there is a no-confidence vote in which case that is what he was seeking

Is Kevin Rudd available? #NextTopNZLabourleader

Claire Trevett:

Straight from saying all his MPs should shut up (except him), Cunliffe walks downstairs to find Shearer and Goff holding court.

Jessica Williams:

As the Cunliffe press conference wrapped up, someone outside was playing The Last Post. Really.

Patrick Gower

Worst I have ever seen Labour. Worst.

Peter Dunne in response to Gower

yes, even in the aftermath of 1990 landslide defeat with mad Mike in charge, things weren't this chaotic or disorgansied

(Updated with more details from Cunliffe news conference, Tweets of the day, results of inconclusive Labour caucus meeting)

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Updated with more details from Cunliffe news conference, Tweets of the day

It is interesting that property gamblers dont want a CGT, but then that is like a turkey voting for Xmas. "heavily" no about 15%, hardly heavy, 1/2 the tax rate of PAYE for instance.

middle NZers retirement goals would only get hit heavily if they 1) had investment properties, and 2) didn't rebalance their retirement investments given the changing tax treatment.
most of 'middle nz' doesn't own investment properties.

Correct , middle New Zealand does not want CGT  but for a whole host of reasons, not just retierment goals

  • Firstly its a socialist - style  resentment tax against those who have risked their capital savings  and forgone consumption ( someone like Bernard Hickey understands this as  he took risks in starting this business  and likely hocked his home to do so )
  • Secondly , we are hoplessly short of real investment capital in NZ  , our Capital markets are pathetically weak , and its why we could not  afford to buy Crafars Farms or the other  farms up for sale , as well as businesses which are owned by Ozzies . Do we want to eaken Capital markets further ?
  • Thridly , the NZ Super  is just not enough for a comfortable retirement so we need to save more and invest more .
  • Fourthly , the Government does not need the money , so why should it take it away from those who have saved and invested  ?
  • Kiwis understand that if you want less of sometihing you tax it , do we really want less rental  housing stock ? Who is going to provide housing stock ? HNZ ? I doubt it somehow
  • Kiwis also understand that any tax is paid by ( or passed on to )  the consumer, in other words you and I , not the "rich" or "big business" or the farmer, or the "carbon producer ' , but you and I end up paying 
  • Kiwis also understand that CGT has never reduced house prices anywhere on earth , so its foolhardy to expect this to occur

There is a difference between what voters want (short term and personal greed) verses what the country needs to go forward - 10 years + of planning.
There are still issues over inequality, tax fairness, exporting anything more than milk and logs, etc that were raised during the election but obviously it is hard to persuade the public to think about it.

You will also have noticed that more than 99% of us rejected ACT yet it looks like their one rookie mp could end up with a cabnet position in order to "give them more profile" what is up with that and to oversee charter schools which were only going to number a very few. Cynical manipulation of the highest order

If the rookie MP has the contects and skills... then fine.  otherwise wtf.

Can someone in Labour please ask if these three people if they would like to take over DC (in this order):
1. Julia Gillard
2. Kevin Rudd
3. Helen Clark
All three are doing BA at the moment!

The problem isnt DC as such its the party internals and its policies IMHO. 
Like UK Labout in the 70/80s it needs a clean out of the multiple minority factions who so busily having their say forgot about the large block of voters they rely on.

Possibly a record. Labour appear to have lost the 2017 election already.
(Disclaimer: long-time leftie speaking)

Agree, I almost voted NZF this time.
(Disclaimer: long-time Greenie speaking)

they lost the 2017 election last year when the unions and the rabble put Cunliff in as leader.
they might have a shot at the 2020 election if they cull some dead wood(goff,king,mallard etc) and promote some of the new breed (Nash,Davis )

I like Jacinda, she's a cool DJ.. More (pragmatic) people like her should bring back the voters to Labour.

Yes, I reckon after another couple of wrong choices, Jacinda will be there just in time to win the 2017 elections.

Yes, pragmatic. Would go a long way in an increasingly complicated and fast moving world.

They basically need to emulate what the nats did after English - first, shut the hell up. Then accept they probably won't win 2017 but put in a tough, experienced campaigner and reasonably good scrapper/debator to claw back some ground. While this is happening, bleed in a middle-of-the-road populist (most likely Nash) for 2020. P.s. don't bother with Jacinda, she's not leader material.

Key needs to recognise that a little more right leaning is going to be a is over all the compliance and regulatory hoops that they must shuffle through........if the Nats don't make changes in this area I reckon there will be a bigger swing to the Right at the 2017 elections.....people in business and their staff are fed up with all the compliance and regulation.......and I don't think they are going to be distracted by all the social issues. Some of the social issues will always be there.....National just needs to get on with it and address the compliance and regulatory environment and many of the other problems will reduce as the flow through happens.
If you get people excited about a future of their own making instead of the miserable existence of being State reliant, a snowball develops. The only people who are getting any real benefit from NZ's poverty is those who are administering the public system of handouts.

CM Jacinta has no moral right to even put her name forward as Leader. She cannot win a seat and has to rely on the list. The same for Andrew Little who actually admitted on the weekend he could not stand for leader as he cannot win a seat either.  Many in the middle would not warm to Jacinta. Being a woman has nothing to do with it. She has not done anything in her life other than work for politicians and then being one, unelected of course. If she was such a wonderful prospect as leader surely she could win a seat in an election. She should get out into the real world and get some life experience and then come back and win a seat and prove herself popular enough to be a leader. There is no one currently in the Labour caucus capable of being a leader to bring them back. This will be a long painful experience for them.

'she cannot win a seat'?  She reduced nikki kayes majority, despite boundary changes that favoured National.  Do you think she couldn't win New Lynn, Mt Albert, or Mt Roskill?  You think it's purely Cunliffes natural charisma that keeps New Lynn red?

How many elections? How many defeats? Even after the dirty politics. A win is a win, a loss is a loss. If she is so fantastic why cannot she win a seat? Because she has done nothing in her life other than politics. The public want well rounded  people who have experienced a lot more in their lives than just politics. She should get off the list, buy a business or start one up, employ some people , borrow some money, take a punt then come back and stand for a seat. Then she will get my vote. She will have a lot more to offer the public and will also now know what the average person experiences each day

new lynn isnt red.
party vote in NL was in favour of National.Cunliff only got in due to hisprofile.
same for Robertson..labour ran third to national and the greens in wellington central?

Wow they did get a hiding. As I said there is currently no one in the Labour caucus with the ability to lead it against National, especially the list MP's who have no mandate. This is a pity as we need strong opposition.

at 40% of the vote, National were below average in New Lynn, they were the largest single party, but the right was still beaten by the left, it's a left leaning safe Labour seat.  Auckland Central has never been a safe Labour seat.

also ..all we hear is the common excuse  "boundary changes favoured national"
well they ALL cant favour national  surely..
i think labour are in denial and the reality is that the electorate favoured national  .period.

We have MMP now where the party vote is the more important one, she certainly has more right to leadership than David Seymour has to any sort of cabnet posting.

She is being blooded, when she gets more senior she'll be handed a safer seat, as pre normal.
Good looking, bet she's going for PM inside 20 years.

She is already blooded and is very senior in their caucus Steven. She could win an easy seat but she cannot win a challenging one. How about Ruth Dyson for leader. She is well blooded and very senior and she can win a seat.

It's not like she has had a drubbing in a well contested seat, a slight swing and she is in like Flynn. That is what I really really like about mmp you can stand 2 good candidates against each other and have a fair fight over a seat without running the risk of losing them altogether should they not win in a hard to win seat. Much better than having the seats pretty much pre-decided for the voters by not pitting the best against the best as was the case under FPP

She has backed the wrong horse. There will not be a swing to Labour for many terms. Even worse for them never. And there is a good chance Labour will actually split into two parties unless they sort their current mess out.

Only a couple of days in and already the third term arrogance is out for all to see.

A nice line from John Armstrong on Labour;
"Barely three days have passed since the election and Labour is already even making a mess of how it handles the mess it made of the election."

The messier and bloodier the better, needs to be one huge cleanout and fast or labour is un-electable in 2017.

Labour does need some help on the strategy side in determining first what it reasonably should stand for as a priority in the modern world. It should pick a priority or two that is of course consistent with its values, but that also is saleable to and resonates with the centre of New Zealand. Arguably this time it tried to bite off everything the various factions in the party believe in, and tried to promote them all. Any one voter only had to find one of those things they were uncomfortable with, and the voter would look elsewhere.
I actually don't think the result was as disastrous as the Greens result, where it seems to me it is clear the Greens will max out at about 10-12%, being the percentage who are willing to push the country well ahead of the mainstream on green issues. We are all greener than we used to be, and will no doubt get greener still, but it takes time to evolve.
The platform that I personally like about Labour, and the main reason I voted for them, is that the inevitable outcome of National's policies is that we become as a nation of current residents, tenants in our own land. National must have the country selling assets or indebting itself to fund their model, and keep their supporters with the current lifestyle they enjoy, even if like a frog in a pot, their wealth is slowly being eroded. Labour (and NZ First and the Greens) were all willing to address that paradigm through specific focus on the current account. Many things like quality employment flow from that focus. So that is the area I personally would address. I'm not sure child poverty- as important as it is- will get the centre over the line, just as a CGT isn't an easy sell, nor strictly, a critical sell, even if it makes sense.
Whether in the end it is Cunliffe, Shearer or Parker or Robertson or someone else leading the party, I'm not sure is all that critical. They are all capable enough- I actually thought Cunliffe did do a good job this time, although I understand he is easy pickings for the media given the result.
Labour shouldn't let Act supporters decide who their leader should be.

Agree, Labour seems to have forgotten what Tony Blair and Helen Clarke learned/knew, and I think John Key gets, hold the centre, hold the Government.

But if everyone holds the centre, does it mater anymore who you vote for?
In Holland, the equivalent of National and Labour have formed a coalition government. Drove out the Christian Democrats.

Yup, it was a master stroke of Key, first day after the election, change your mind and admit that child poverty is an issue that needs addressing.  Hugging that centre-line.

Seriously , CGT is  very dangerous when we dont have a compulsory Kiwisaver as an altenative investment vehicle for us Baby boomers who dont want to rely on the NZ Super or burden the State  .
I will have to drip-sell my share portolio when I retire and stop earning one day , and then pay CGT on any gains .
It wont ake long until I have nothing left if they take anything from 15 % to 33% (or more) in CGT.
So Labour want me to be a burden on the states resources ?

DC, I wouldn’t have minded him, even though he double parked in front of our house way back and we couldn't get out (remembered the silver Skoda you had David? and you trotted off to Pandoro to get a coffee?)
Anyway we have more pressing issues to get NZ going; and he went off to smaller, trivial issues like apologising for being a man, that put me right off for voting Labour.. I am sure DC is reading this!!!

FYI updated with inconclusive result of lengthy Labour caucus meeting.
Labour's caucus meeting finished shortly before 6 pm after seven and a half hours.
Cunliffe spoke briefly to the media who had been waiting all afternoon, saying only that an independent review into the Party's performance would be launched. He announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni had been unanimously voted in as senior and junior whips. Hipkins has been critical of Cunliffe in the past.
Cunliffe refused to say what had been discussed in the meeting and said the discussions would remain confidential.
"We have already made a decision that we have got a number of issues to consider and we will not be commenting on our confidential caucus discussion either now or in the future," he said.

7.5 hrs?  for a meeting?
could you run a business like that??  Let alone a country?

If you have a meeting, then the work is done beforehand.  The reports processed, the information spread, the ideas collected disseminated and people sponsiring the ideas identified.

Meetings that take 7.5hrs show very poor organisation.  How were they supposed to achieve anything?   If they have topics to discuss and information to get/spread, get an internet/intranet forum.  You can't get work done in meetings.  so an entire caucus unable to get work done for an entire day...

From a right-of-centre viewpoint , I agree that NZ Labour ought to have a long hard look at itself .... even if it took right up until the next election before they sort out their leadership ... .. it would all be very worthwhile ...
... and for what it's worth , from the right , we reckon that David Cunliffe is doing an absolutely bang-on slap-up job , and we're endorsing him to carry on as the NZ Labour party leader ....
Go you good thing ! ..... heh heh heh ..... heeeeeeee ...... heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ...

Describing yourself as right of centre is like describing attila the hun as a commie.

Oh behave he didn't say how far right of centre he is, although if you are so far right that you can no longer see centre because of the curvature of the earth............

Double post. I just cannot type the initials of that

There's a big opportunity for the Act Party with National so close to the centre...

Yep, it worked so well for them in the party vote.
I don't think anyone seems to want to go more right.

I meant that Act should move closer to the centre right; they could drop their OIO and corporate tax proposals and just focus on stronger penalties for violent offences and less domestic regulation. 

I'd vote for anyone who stops all the regulatory requirements like GST......I hate being one of  the States, free tax collectors!!! 
A centre right party doesn't care any more than a centre left party in regards to individual rights.  They are all tarred with the same brush.

Well the Libertanz didnt stand this year but it looks like some of them have migrated to ACT...and got 0.7% of the vote.
So at best you are amonsgt 0.7% of the voters or more likely 1 of the 1000 voters libertanz got last time.
Great company....

Only someone who doesn't have to do compliance would make that statement Steven....
It's a cost to my time and resources in undertaking the GST.  Tell me why I should do this job when people like you don't have to??? What makes you so special that you don't have to do any tax work obligations? The fact is all tax is burdoned upon business because the wider public is not trusted to do the work and make the payments.

Frankly I dont care, GST is the business environment, dont like, no probs get on a plane.
I get on with things, I pay my taxes and make a profit, I dont whine about it, simple.

I find GST is a pain for retailers and costly to consumers.  It is easy to track though and encourages good paperwork in business, which is a plus.

I just wish they'd take a better overview of what the whoel tax burden costs the economy in terms of velocity of money and it's effects on the mid/lower end of the wage/unemployment scale.
 Penalise the lower end, and that's much of the population that can't keep up it's own economic growth.    The end which the smallest amounts have the biggest advantages.

There are some advantages to dumping GST for other taxes, so if we had thaings like a CGT and land tax I'd be happy to get rid of GST....makes importing less worth it as well.

GST is not so bad in farming.........
It's a pain in the arse when you have multiple clients over many projects with longer completion end up having to duplicate much of the paperwork so your client files can be up to date and reconcile and then you need the information for your GST......If you don't keep client files you're soon going to end up in a mess.
The IRD still requires the paper trail.

GST not bad in farming, cash sales businesses (cafes etc), property management and renting.
If it's cash-based still ok for bigger projects, if your software is half decent, as it tracks the GST when paying suppliers and receiving from customers at time of receipt.

Invoice-based is still ok if your software is properly organised, but the pay up front can be a pain

If you're processing the invoicing, then it isn't to tough to calculate it then.

the only time it's a nightmare is when the Accountant uses software designed for cash-receipt GST and you're on invoice-based, and tries to post and credit off invoices to get the GST report.  Which is what my first farm accountant did using MYOB, it took a week to check the audit trail

Yup, and they've made a really good start collecting 881 party votes in Epsom.  If they can do that good in epsom, just wait until they are unleashed on the rest of the country!

Did you enjoy the election dtcarter?  Was it the results you hoped for....   hehehehe

 I've converted !
.... I'm a big fan , heck , the fannest fan of David Cunliffe ... they should keep him on ... oh , yes ... he's the fellow for Labour's future ... absolutely splendid effort DC , top marks old sport !

I think there's a 50-50 chance the the Labour party will split in two, Cunny leading a new "Union Party" and Shearer leading a centre left party, probably something like "New Labour". 

I think you might be right Happy 123.  Labour has made a dogs breakfast of the election and the post election scenario and there seems to be no end to it. The country has had a very lucky escape. I cannot imagine how they could have made any decisions at all if they had won as Labour has at least two factions in it. The central faction and the union faction who could never agree on much at all. Then you have the two factions trying to work in with the Greens. How could that have worked as they could not even agree on working together during the election process. The problem is that democracy needs strong opposition parties. We currently do not have that. I would go even further Happy 123. I am wondering whether Labour can ever recover from the current problems it has. You have to go right back to amending the constitution and are the unions and their cohorts in caucus and the party going to agree to that. They have so much hatred, bitterness and envy in them I doubt it.

I have said many times that the Labour party is completely antiquated, their big govn, more spending, strong union ideologies have been tried and failed.  They have also lost touch with the average person, Cunny's apology for being a man comment illustrated this perfectly.  They still have strong Maori and Pacific vote, you might see a further seperate faction there, the "Pasifica Party".  Maybe Winnie wasn't talking complete non-sense when he said that he is now the major opposition party. 
If a fracture takes place it is the perfect opportunity for the Greens to take the centre left; they would of course have to drop the far left wing socialist policies.  They are the only party with serious sustainability policies and are the only party this capitalist would consider crossing the line to vote for. 

David Cunliffe is just another Len Brown..

In my opinion you could trim at least 25% of the staff from the Auckland council and not notice any difference, starting with Len.  The more I read about the Auckland Councils spending habits the less happy I become. 

Yes, agree there is quite a few bods in the civic centre doing BA and on 6 figures salary 

Civic Centre...  no, no, no, they're in the ASB tower now, nothing but the best for our council folk:
"A councillor has called it "pure madness" to spend $157.4 million on the council's new central Auckland premises.
Cameron Brewer said the $53.4 million refurbishment of the council's Albert St headquarters, which it bought for $104 million, was excessive and unnecessary.
"It's just nonsense, pure madness...."
Auckland City will be bankrupt before the decade is out. 

bankrupt?  You do realise that moving into the old ASB building and letting go of a number of other properties / leases, the council is actually saving money in comparison to their current spend?  

So I can expect a decrease in my rates?  Why did they need to renovate it?  Why does the council employ 800 "planners"?

Yup, your share cames out 12.5 cents.
Because it's 25 years old.
To plan the city. (there's 500 not 800 apparently)

better the 12.5 cents in my pocket, thanks.

In my opinion you could trim at least 25% of the staff from the Auckland council and not notice any difference, starting with Len.
Where would the children of the grasping entitled find employment partially consistent with their elevated aspirations? 

any particular 25%?

Hows your day going Nicky ?    that  stolen emails book was a big success wasnt it

From his point of view it was; he wanted to sell books and he did. 

He was funded and informed by National. 

Slipping juicy tips of gossip to the enemy of my not-so-enemy is a time honoured system of poltiics, from the days of the Pharohs to the latest electronic media; from the kindergartens to the old folks home....

The focus on Labour is blarney.

The adage "Government's lose elections, Oppositions don't win them" is still true.

Everything has a cycle and looking back over the last 20-40 years it would appear a government natural cycle is 9 years unless they self implode or have a leadership change. 

I think a great efficiency for the country would be to move a four year term. Three elections every 12 years is far more preferable to four.

Yup. Unfortunately, we have had two referendums on changing the term already in 67 in 1990, 68 & 69% in favour of retaining 3 years.  
We don't trust our politicians and want to retain the ability to chuck them out ASAP. 

first term:  get traction, fix what got the last government evicted
second term: impliment policies to pay for first term
third term: usually get kicked out for pain and market changes caused by second term
fourth term: kicked out for cost of implimenting Project Unicorn and lazy politicians